It isn’t often that I find myself sitting down for gaming session on my phone in lieu of the computer or Playstation Vita, which is a shame because the iOS and Android scenes are absolutely buzzing with great games. Take Mind The Blox, by Gelinda Paganini, for example. It’s a cute ‘match two’ game that takes a tried and tested formula and includes flourishes of creativity that give it a uniquely fun spin.
Lines of cute coloured monsters cover the screen and you’ve got to clear them away. If two or more of the same coloured monsters are touching you can blast them with a quick tap, bringing down a hail of new monsters. Clearing every lane of monsters and lining up the keys at the bottom of the screen allows you to level up, bringing a higher score – and even higher difficulty. Things are, initially, quite sedate and you’ll be able to leisurely tap away, with plenty of time to plan out how you will clear the screen, but things are entirely different on higher levels. As you progress matching up monsters becomes trickier, with more of them taking up screen real estate, and in increasingly random colour patterns, too. It’s easy to become flustered and mess up a good run if you can’t plan ahead enough to know where your blocks will end up.
You aren’t alone though, as there’s a cast of loveable misfits on hand to aid you in the game’s four different modes. Dr Strangebomb is an explosive little fellow that can help blow up annoying clusters of random colours, or other nasty dudes. Mr Eater, on the other hand, can eat an entire line of blocks, and can be rotated in the direction you want him to travel, which can be handy if you come up against the likes of Mr Black Rabbit. He’ll make things tricky by replicating to other blocks, meaning you can’t clear them from play without blowing them up, or by using my personal favourite, Mr Magic Mushroom. Magic Mushrooms mix things up a bit by changing the colours of nearby blocks, which can be particularly handy if you’ve got a stubborn chunk of monsters that you can’t seem to clear. There are loads more monster to get acquainted with, but I won’t ruin the surprise for you. Needless to say, all characters are wonderfully realised in Gelinda’s signature hand drawn style; it’s rough but in a goofy and cute kind of way.
The game’s four different game modes bring new challenges, characters and higher difficulties with them, and they are all deliciously addictive to play. Wiping out a huge amount of monsters in one go is accompanied by a sweet dopamine hit, making it super difficult to put the game down in the middle of a session. Mind The Blox II isn’t the most original game, but it stands above the crowd with its colourful cast of characters and authentic hand drawn design. You can even try it out right now for free on the Appstore and Playstore, with optional in-app purchases that unlock new game modes and more characters. And if you are still not convinced you can try out the original web version before downloading.
As a mobile game Mind The Blox II pushes all the right virtual buttons. It’s fun to play, easy to learn and difficult to put down. There is no reason why it shouldn’t be installed on your phone.