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Block Earth review (iOS / Universal)

September 21, 2012

“My world is empty without you”

10 word description: Block building / destroying. Jetpack, rocket launcher, multiple textures.

10 word review: Not much to do, plenty to spend real money on.

You will like this if you enjoy: The risk-free building mode in Minecraft. Lego. Pretty skies. Walking on water.

The good news: It mostly looks quite pretty and the performance seems ok on my test devices (iPad and 4th gen Touch). Building and destroying are both easy to do, as is moving around. If you love virtual building blocks and you don’t own Minecraft (an unlikely combination, granted) you will probably like this.

The bad news: It’s not a game. Beyond texture changes, you can’t really do much. Water isn’t water, it’s a solid block with a static watery texture. There is no way to add lighting, no torches. The rocket launcher often doesn’t destroy, it adds a small number of blocks until you change the selected texture. Way too much of the content is available at additional cost. The controls and texture selection icons can’t be hidden for screenshots. Draw distance isn’t that great.

Arcadelife verdict: It’s a start, but that’s really all it feels like. Without any objectives or challenges, you can see everything Block Earth has to offer in the first few seconds. The game engine is decent enough, as are the graphics, although the draw distance could be improved. The controls need a bit of tweaking and special blocks, like water, need to behave differently from normal blocks. Walking on water and hearing the clunk-clunk of your footsteps is just wrong. If this is all Block Earth is ever going to be then that’s a shame as there’s a good game waiting here, even if it is another Minecraft clone. Why not do something a bit different, stay away from the mining, crafting and fear of night that define Minecraft’s gameplay and maybe come up with some objectives based on constructing specific sized buildings to attract alien lifeforms… or anything else that you can think of. Keep the world-building familiar but get innovative with the gameplay. But then what do I know? I’m just some old gamer with a review site.

The water looks nice, but it isn’t really water

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8/10
Audio – 4/10
Controls – 7/10
Content – 2/10
Fun – 2/10
Final rating – 40/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0
iTunes link

Block Earth of Facebook website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.1.1 & iOS 6)
iPad (iOS 5.1.1)
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