By Adam Roche
Tower Bloxx Deluxe is a deceptive game. Upon downloading it, I found myself confounded by it’s instructions. For this game, I would need precisely one button. One.
As a veteran of the Xbox 360, and having enjoyed, and been bedeviled by, the complexity of controls in say, Gears Of War 2 or Rainbow Six: Vegas, the news that I would only need the use of one button curled my lip, cock-rocker style. However, although your digits don’t have a lot to do, your brain certainly does, for Tower Bloxx Deluxe is a game of timing, intuition and rhythm.
Do not be fooled by it’s high-rise vistas, and architects be damned! Tower Bloxx Deluxe is about building, yes, but you are not aiming for the glories of a Westminster Abbey or a Taj Mahal. With the press of a button, your ever extending crane will let go of an apartment block. Your aim is to drop it onto the steadily rising pile of apartment blocks you’ve already placed. However, as your building continues to grow in an ever more drunken state, it will begin to sway and rock, as will your crane. With every successful drop, tiny versions of Mary Poppins and her brethren will swarm to the last dropped block and inhabit it, with the resulting population being your score.
Timing is everything. Drop a block perfectly in line and more flying rats will inhabit your building. You’ll also begin to accrue a score multiplier. Drop one haphazardly and not only will less folk will want to live there, but the building will sway more violently, making subsequent drops as difficult as staying married to Jordan.
Within minutes, I was hooked, refusing to blink until my eyes swam with pain. The wonderful thing is, that when I did keel over with nausea, my children immediately snatched up the controller and jumped in, easily able to pick up the simple controls and gameplay. Before we knew it, two days had passed, and we were close to malnutrition. Luckily there was a power cut, which bought me enough time to feed them, wash myself and chase out the many rats that infested our living quarters (my wife had foolishly left open the front door).
Beyond the Free Play, which allows you to build unto the heavens, there are Time Attack and Build A City modes, the latter of which endows you with demands of building a set amount of buildings in a certain area, and requires you to populate said domiciles with a certain amount of Poppins’s. With extra blocks such as ornamental roofs and balconies that will attract greater numbers of the crow people should you place them perfectly, it’s a mode you will find yourself replaying over and over again in the pursuit of the next few elusive occupants.
At 800 points, it may sound steep, and although it initially charms, there is little in the way of variety, but give it a chance and you’ll find yourself with a charming and addictive addition to your XBLA library, one that can be easily dipped into by you and the rest of the family inbetween lengthier, more complex confections.
Just remember to blink.
Oh, and peeing is important…