The Blocks Cometh makes me want to toss my iPod into a toilet. I envision this happening in slow motion. The iPod tumbles end over end towards the porcelain rim and then a triumphant splash of thick, watery droplets crown the device as it makes contact with the water. Maybe there’ll be a sizzle or two as the electronics thrash before drowning. That’d be hip.

I can’t help but to compare The Blocks Cometh to Super Meat Boy because of the love and hate relationship I’ve developed with it. Like with Team Meat’s game, The Blocks Cometh has style to spare, a superb tone, and a lot to share, but it’s so demanding AND I suck so bad at it, that it makes me want to snuff my iPod and listen to it fizzle.

You get the idea. But there’s an important distinction between these two games: The Blocks Cometh isn’t about trial-and-error, and is it as insane-hard as SMB. It's a manageable game -- that I still somehow manage to suck at -- and a different kind of game to boot.

At its core, The Blocks Cometh is like a crazy game of Tetris that has you, as an avatar, climbing up stacks of blocks that fall from the sky. You can double jump, slide, and even shoot block as they tumble, which is harder than it sounds. I suck because I get can't click with the game's pace and the precision; the speed of the falling blocks ramps up quickly, and you need to be pretty nimble in order to navigate the environment as it changes. I'm just not fast enough.

To give you a sense of what I'm talking about: a common scenario involves interaction with three blocks and the use of at least two action moves in order to reach the highest point. Sometimes you’ll need to slide on a falling block, jump onto a stagnate one, and then double jump to the other side of the level in the span of a second or so.

When you manage to do this you feel like some sort of super ninja -- the master of all things jump, slide, and shoot. It’s great... until you get clobbered because your timing was a nano-second off, which mine usually is.

Like SMB, The Blocks Cometh rocks an excellent tone and a visual flair reminiscent of an 8-bit game. It’s highly stylized and fitting, especially when you factor in the retro-infused music that plays over the action. It’s good.

So, a fair word of warning to those of you who don’t want to get bludgeoned by a game on a device that can make phone calls: The Blocks Cometh is tough and requires a level of precision that I can only barely muster (not that I’m a super ninja or anything.) But if you don’t mind a little pain with your video games, then this is definitely worth some space on your device.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Beethy

    Poor controls ruin this game.
    As I grew up with super Mario bros I'm used to holding down jump when I jump.
    In this game when you hold down jump (while in the air) and you press right or left... Your character will use his 2nd jump. This means that I often lose my double jump early on.
    This fault completely ruins the game for me as I'd otherwise get much higher scores

    • Jezz Torrent

      Thanks for the warning. I also play platformers that way (doesn't everyone?), so this is a definite no-go for me. Double jump should be pressing jump a second time, not left or right. That makes no sense.

    • Halfbot_Melvin

      Beethy. Thanks. We will push out a fix to address this issue as soon as possible.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but, Super Mario Bros came out, what, 25 years ago? Are you suggesting that you haven't played any other game since then in which holding the jump button doesn't make you jump higher?

  • Kamblad

    Poor controls, and bad slowdowns even on an iPhone 4 ruin the experience. This game is not to be recommended until updated. It could be superfun as both the retro graphics, and music gets me in the groove.

    • Halfbot_Melvin

      Hey Kamblad, We also tested on an iPhone 4 and like Phil said it runs for us smoothly at 60fps. Where are you seeing the slowdown? Send me a message @ melivn@halfbot.com

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    I'm finding this one quite difficult, but mostly due to having to use a virtual d-pad and 2 virtual buttons with the iPhone in portrait mode. There just isn't enough space and it means holding the device in a quite unnatural way.

    Runs 60fps on my iPhone 4 though, and has nice 8-bit music.

    • Halfbot_Melvin

      Hey Phil, We like i mentioned above we will address that pesky problem with the d-pad in a quick update.

  • Anonymous

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh I thought the developer was HalfBRICK! I was about to pick it up without question.

    I'll wait on a few more reviews.

    • Gwet17

      Get it without question anyways.

  • Seth

    Good to hear is a fix is coming down the line. The issues are frustrating but don't break the game for me (I've unlocked everyone but the Halfbot character), so if you can handle a bit of frustration there is fun to be had even in this version.

    I would like to see some refinement to the A and B buttons along with d-pad fix. I find them to be a bit small and I'm not sure why B is so far above A.

  • Big Bomb

    I think that you should use League of Evil controls, those are the best ones in the app store!

  • yanhua wu

    88Amity6:

    uggs canada

  • Ollivar Frank

    The game is really boring because of how slowly the blocks come down. I didn't really find the game entertaining.

The Blocks Cometh By Halfbot Reviewed by Brad Nicholson on . Rating: 4