Puzzle Adventure Blockle is a brand new exclusive puzzle game for the Switch. It was developed by INTENSE. Rainy Frog helped with the American/ European release, and provided a review code for this review. It launched on August 3rd in all regions. (Written review continues after the video)
Essentially, Puzzle Adventure Blockle is a puzzle game in which players have to rotate the stage in order to reach the goal, or to complete various objectives. The game certainly left my head spinning a number of times as the puzzles are quite tough! However, is it worth the 7.99 USD? Let’s find out!
Even though most puzzle games don’t necessarily need a story, I found Puzzle Adventure Blockle to be extremely charming with its writing. The basic story is that the mayor requests Kulu, a kat to find all of the world stones so that he could take over the world. World domination, and all. It’s a bit cheesy at times, but I found it quite enjoyable. Kulu is joined by Arika who helps him rotate levels so they could progress on their adventure. The story is incredibly tongue in cheek and plays out in ways that you can probably imagine. While feeling a bit formulaic towards the middle of the game, the story does have a deeper message near the end which I found quite surprising. That’s all I can say without going into spoiler territory, unfortunately.
The game has a huge fan-service vibe to it, but it wasn’t something that enhanced or diminished the experience for me personally. There were a couple of moments where I literally said “what the –” out loud while progressing the story. Overall, the story was interesting, and in my opinion an added bonus to the game. I was really impressed by how well the story was localized. While I haven’t played the game in Japanese to compare, I felt the writing in English was very strong with characters having their own quirks. All in all, you probably aren’t going to be playing a puzzle game for its’ story, so I see it as a nice bonus.
Puzzle Adventure Blockle finally delivers a solid puzzle experience on the Switch. The puzzles can be extremely difficult at times — especially if you are going for the gold crowns. Gold crowns are awarded when players complete three objectives in the levels. They can be using a certain number of turns, keeping your step count down or completing the level within a time limit.
There are 80 normal levels, and 80 hard levels as far as I’m aware — a total of 160 levels. The hard levels unlock after completing the main campaign and really up the challenge. The game does a great job of constantly introducing new mechanics. In each world, there are ten levels, and usually 1-3 new gimmicks in each world. With the earlier levels introducing the mechanic, the later levels really up the challenge and integrate the new mechanics well. Some mechanics include teleportation blocks, turning Kulu into stone, blocks that spit out fire. There are really a ton of gimmicks in Puzzle Adventure Blockle, which really surprised me. There’s a lot more than what most players would expect.
I cannot stress how often I was stuck on some of the levels. I find this to be a great thing as it will provide a challenge for even seasoned puzzle players. One issue with Puzzle Adventure Blockle is when going through the main campaign, players cannot skip past a level. This means that if they are stuck on the level, they are stuck completely. This can be incredibly frustrating as players will be unable to progress through the story.
Overall, Puzzle Adventure Blockle is extremely polished. The graphics are crisp, and there are plenty of music tracks throughout the worlds. The backgrounds have a bit of animation to them which doesn’t distract from the core gameplay. The UI is clean. There aren’t a lot of options in the game — basically just the ability to turn on and off sound effects and the music. The cutscenes usually consist of the same 2-4 drawings, which can be a bit boring to look at.
I wish there was a way to rewatch some of the cutscenes — but to be fair that might be an unlockable I haven’t achieved yet. For this review, I completed all of the normal levels which completed the main campaign. I got 48/80 of the gold crowns in the normal campaign as well.
Puzzle Adventure Blockle has everything that players would want from a puzzle game. Challenging puzzles, crisp graphics and an intuitive mechanic that is constantly throwing new and interesting twists into the formula. Puzzle Adventure Blockle is probably the first must own puzzle game on the Switch. There are ways the game could be improved, but for the first entry by INTENSE on the Switch, it’s well worth its low price.
Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)