Earlier this month, we brought you a preview of Hibernum and Konami's newest Facebook game Blockolicious, which offers a safari/animal themed take on the match-three genre. Now that we've had a chance to go hands-on with the game, we've found that while Blockolicious is unique, it's actually its most unique element that makes the game suffer.
Blockolicious offers two gameplay modes: Sprint and Marathon. Sprint gives you two minutes to earn as many points as possible, while Marathon mode offers unlimited play, so long as you continue to earn enough points in each level without running out of available moves. Throughout both modes, you'll spend your time creating Juice Boxes by clicking on groups of three or more like colored blocks. These Juice Boxes are a completely different kind of symbol, and can only be matched with other Juice Boxes. Clicking on a match of three or more Juice Boxes creates a bomb capable of removing all of the same like-colored blocks from the screen, but actually creating them is easier said than done.
Each Juice Box is created on the square where you clicked to destroy the group of three or more like-colored symbols, so you can't haphazardly click all over the screen just to eliminate blocks. If you do, Juice Boxes will be scattered across the game's entire board and you'll quickly run out of moves. In Marathon mode, this is unlikely to happen, as you'll have an unlimited amount of time to decide exactly which square to click, reducing the possibility for mistakes. In Sprint mode, however, where timing is everything, this is a pretty big issue.
In Sprint mode, you're working against the clock to earn as many points as possible so that you can climb your friends leaderboard, and you don't have the time it takes to accurately click on every square. It's far too easy to allow the board to become full of useless Juice Boxes and isolated "normal" blocks, which can't be matched with Juice Boxes, even if that would solve every problem we had with the game. Sprint mode never allows you to get truly "stuck," as Juice Boxes will eventually run out of juice (which doesn't happen in Marathon mode) and will disappear from the screen altogether. However, when you have a screen full of these useless Juice Boxes, you'll waste valuable time literally doing nothing while you wait for them to expire and disappear.
While Sprint mode can be chaotic and exciting if you're lucky enough to get into a flow of creating bomb after bomb, Marathon mode is ultimately where Blockolicious truly excels, as it tests your ability to think ahead while mixing that with a bit of random luck. Sprint mode unfortunately suffers from the inevitability of creating useless Juice Boxes and wasted time, even though we'll eagerly admit that this particular mode has some of the most catchy music in a Facebook game to date. It's just unfortunate that Juice Boxes can't be sacrificed to create further matches of three or more like symbols, as it would increase the flow of gameplay and push the overall entertainment value of Blockolicious through the proverbial roof.
If you'd like to try either of these modes out for yourself you can now play Blockolicious for free on Facebook.
Click here to play Blockolicious on Facebook --->
Have you tried Blockolicious on Facebook? What do you think of this fairly unique take on the match-three genre? Sound off in the comments!