If you've been diligently living an entire second life inside The Blockheads [Free] like I have, then you're really going to be excited about its forthcoming version 1.2 update. The Blockheads takes the whole Minecraft building/exploring/crafting formula and mixes in a dash of The Sims with the ability to have multiple characters with various attributes that needed to be managed. It also bested Minecraft in the interface department, simplifying things with a 2D plane instead of a fully 3D world and using a brilliant touch control scheme and easy to navigate menu system. The Blockheads feels perfect on iOS devices.
It's also a free-to-play title, and uses a premium in-app currency and different levels of timers in a similar fashion to the hundreds of other free-to-play games out there. One big difference though, and something that a lot of players weren't crazy about, is that the timers in The Blockheads would only tick down while you were actually playing the game. Most other free-to-play games allow you to play for a few minutes, queue up a bunch of actions, and then leave the app and go about your business while the timers ticked away, usually reminding you via push notification when one had expired.
The main reason the game was designed this way was to encourage people to warp in a second character. It's not something you can do right off the bat, but eventually you progress far enough with your single character that you're able to add a second character to your world. This is one of the main features of the game, as you can have up to three characters in a world at once and you just kind of play god and tell them what you want them to do. It also heavily mitigates the timers, as similar to using multiple cars in Real Racing 3 [Free] you can queue up a bunch of stuff for one character to do and while they're busy you can go off and play with your other characters.
Well, the problem is that many people either didn't realize, didn't have enough of the proper in-game items, or just plain didn't want to warp in a second character. Because of that, there are many players out there who are queueing up a bunch of tasks for their character and then are forced into sitting there and staring at them until they're done. This isn't what developer David Frampton had intended.
So with version 1.2 of The Blockheads, a fundamental change will take place. When you exit the game, whatever tasks you have queued up will continue on, and when your Blockhead is done they'll simply pause until you come back and give them something else to do. They'll also stop what they're doing if they become too hungry or tired, so you'll need to be mindful of that at least. But this means that no longer will you need to just leave your device lying somewhere with the game running so your Blockhead could finish whatever they were up to. Instead you can play a different game or app while the timers run in the background. Actually, to be clear the game itself doesn't run in the background, so don't fear for your battery life. Instead it quickly simulates the time that's passed (among other things) when you start up the game again.
What other things, you ask? That's actually the next big fundamental change coming to The Blockheads in the version 1.2 update. Now you'll be able to craft tin-foil hats that free your Blockheads from your omnipotent control over them, and while they're wearing one they'll act on their own exploring, mining, gathering resources, or whatever other activities pop into their wee AI brain. I can't wait to set a Blockhead loose in a cave somewhere and come back to find out what they've explored or done on their own.
Among the tweak to how timers work and the ability for Blockheads to have free will, there are tons of other new things coming in this update. For one you'll now be able to warp in an extra Blockhead for a total of four, and the cost for warping one in has been reduced to half what it was before. Fish now live in bodies of water and you can craft a fishing pole to catch them for food. Sharks also live in the water, and if you encounter one and are able to defeat it you'll get a bounty of meat and a shark jaw trophy that you can hang on your wall at home. The size of the trophy correlates to the size of the shark you killed too, which is a cool touch, and you might even come across a clothing item or two in the shark's stomach from a Blockhead who wasn't so fortunate.
There are many many more details too, like tweaks to how queueing up items and actions work and lots of performance improvements and fixes. Too many to name in this already too long post, but rest assured the flow of The Blockheads should be better than it's ever been once version 1.2 hits. As mentioned, the update is submitted and in Apple's hands now, and assuming everything goes smoothly with the approval then we should be seeing it hit sometime in the next week or two.
For now be sure to stop by our forums or the official Blockheads forums for some discussion, or read up on some tips to help you get started if you're new to the game. We'll let you know when version 1.2 of The Blockheads hits the App Store.
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