The ethics of releasing videogame clones is a sticky area, but we’re generally okay with it provided the developer doesn’t steal assets, game engines, or the like. However, when EdisonGame took The Blocks Cometh, ported it from its Flash format to the iOS, and published it under the same name with hardly any changes, it was absolute theft. Halfbot, the true developers of the game, rightfully got the stolen app pulled and went to work on their own iOS port of the game. The result is a great game that graciously gives nods to the people who supported their cause.
The Blocks Cometh is like a hard-mode version of The Incident. In the game, blocks drop from the sky, and you need to dodge them to avoid getting crushed. In addition, you need to jump on top of grounded blocks to get as high as possible. You can also attack some blocks to break them apart. Different characters have different attacks that vary in range. The gameplay is pretty simplistic, but any part of your character that gets smashed by a falling block spells game over, so intense precision is required. This is a game for serious gamers.
The blocks falleth, the blocks landeth.
The Blocks Cometh on iOS plays much the same as the Flash version, but the playing field has been shrunk to fit the iPhone’s screen and the game gradually speeds up. A new and far better soundtrack has been included as well. There is also a tilt control option, but it isn’t quite as responsive as the touch controls (which, in turn, aren’t perfect either but work well enough).
But the biggest addition to The Blocks Cometh on iOS are the four new playable characters you can choose from. These give nods to Halfbot’s biggest supporters in getting the faux version pulled from the App Store, including Destructoid (Mr. Destructoid) and Ravenous Games (the League of Evil Agent). They even included the League of Evil Ninja who was present in the EdisonGame version. Each character has a unique stat build and plays differently, making them all worthwhile to unlock.
Our big disappointment with The Blocks Cometh is its limited scope. We hope Halfbot returns to add more modes, special block types, and other features to keep us entertained for the long haul. The game does include both Game Center and OpenFeint, which is nice.
The Blocks Cometh is a fun little game that stands against shady publishers repurposing content that isn’t theirs for a quick penny. It’s a dirty, unethical, and quite frankly illegal business practice that we see far too often in the gaming space.