December 19, 2008

Booty Blocks: Addictive Underwater Columns-Like iPhone Game

Games like Bejeweled, Columns and Tetris are mainstays for any small-time video game addict. Over the last year, with the advent of the iTunes application store, the iPhone has developed into a force to be reckoned with in the world of handheld gaming, taking on both Sony and Nintendo. And with that growth comes the introduction of new, innovative games that build on the well-known titles and take advantage of the unique features of the iPhone, including multi-touch and the accelerometer. Among the more fun games I've enjoyed is the new Booty Blocks - which landed on the store just yesterday.

Booty Blocks: Lining Up Same-Colored Boxes

Booty Blocks, developed by Planet Moon, starts out as the latest of the traditional falling block games, dropping individual colored boxes, or "pirate booty" from the top of the screen. When five like colors are connected, you double-tap on the phone to have the boxes explode, and free up even more space. But you'd be remiss thinking that this was just "yet another" game like this. Unlike just about every other game I've seen, which locks the blocks in place once they've fallen, you can move the boxes left and right, up and down, with the push of your finger. And you can even tilt the iPhone left or right to shift the full set of blocks at once.

Booty Blocks: Setting Combos and Blowing Stuff Up

When I first started playing Booty Blocks, I thought the game might almost be too easy. Connect the boxes, blow them up. Repeat. But of course, the game got harder. Not only did the boxes start to fall more and more quickly, but there were new wrinkles tossed in to make my job harder. New metal boxes would show up and impede the boxes during their descent. Two-square blocks would fall and leave gaps. New colors. And other boxes would require being blown up more than once to clear them from the screen. Then, kegs of dynamite would fall, which, when blown up, could hit the boxes sky-high.

Booty Blocks: Seeing the Crates Pile Higher

Before I knew it, I was having fun, and learning I could propel my score ever higher, as I cleared multiple combinations on the same screen, sweeping rows of blocks one way, and others another, all while more boxes fell. And while I did rack up more than half a million points, I have a feeling I'll do much better my second time around.

Booty Blocks, available for $1.99 from the iTunes store, is a great example of a new breed of iPhone applications that bring new interactivity, and show you don't need a keypad or many buttons to have a real video game experience.

To see a video of the game in action for yourself, check out Drew Olanoff's blog here: Booty Blocks for the iPhone and iPod Touch is out!