Boom Blox: Bash Party


If there’s anything that can be said about Steven Spielberg, it’s that he’s a bit frickin’ jammy. The guy makes successful movie after successful movie for over 20 years, and as if that isn’t enough for him, he decides to venture into the art of cartoon production. Born of this endeavour is Animaniacs, arguably one of the most successful and funniest cartoons ever made. In roll the dollars, even 13 years after its initial release. A few more successful movies later, Spielberg decides to turn his attention to the video games market – and gives us the absolutely wonderful Boom Blox – an explosive puzzle game unlike any other, which came out on the Wii last year. As much as I love to hate Spielberg, it’s easy to see that he knows what he’s doing.

Boom blox was just asking for a sequel, really. A puzzle game that necessitated throwing explosive balls at towers of chickens and knocking them over was bound to grow a bit of a fanbase (even a bit of a mental one), and those game-making-machines over at EA have been hard at work coming up with new ideas to keep the formula fresh. The result? Boom Blox: Bash Party.

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The formula of the game hasn’t changed one bit – you will be assigned a particularly insane task involving a collection of “blox” that will either need to be moved or destroyed to gain points, achieved using the wiimote as a throwing device. Point the remote at the screen, aim where you want to throw your ball, hold down the A button, and make your throwing motion. Your ball will get lobbed into the screen wherever you may have aimed it, and you can watch the chaos ensue. You may be asked to knock down a tower without letting the sheep fall off it (yes…there are sheep), or you may be asked to throw blocks over into pretty little crystals for points. It’s an incredibly simple concept, but it works very well and is a real hoot. Especially when you get your blox to fall exactly how you want them to.

Bash party expands on the original by adding in a whole wealth of new game ideas. There’s “virus” mode – where you are given a ball that will infect other blocks. If a block gets infected twice, it disappears completely, and depending on the structure, can cause a heck of amount of chaos. Some levels demand that you take down a particular structure in as few virus balls as possible. Trying to figure out the best way of bringing down the construction takes some real thinking, and if you want top marks, you’re going to have to really use your brain, rather than lobbing balls willy-nilly.

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It’s not all weapon-based though. New environments have been brought in as well to take the action even further. There are some levels based in the zero gravity atmosphere of other space. Throw a ball into a stack of blox on earth, and watch the carnage as everything that once stood proud falls to the ground. Do this out in space, and beam with glee as the blox fly out in every different dimension possible. The physics are spectacular, and a real sight to behold.

The game is split into themed areas – almost like an amusement park, and each sector demands different tasks. These can range from a “colour carnival” – where most of the games involve lobbing paintballs at white blocks to turn them different colours. Get three colours in a row, and they disappear! Think De Blob mixed with Columns. Although, rather than falling vertically, the blox fall in real time with real physics, and it just makes things that bit more interesting.  My personal favourite themed area though is “Hero” – you will be asked to perform a different set of tasks as a superhero – either take down the bad guys, or save the damsel in distress. When the damsel is a sheep in a dress, however, things just get a hell of a lot more interesting. Playing a giant game of Jenga to save the life of a little lamb is unlike anything I’ve seen in a game before. And I love it.

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The “create a level” tool makes a welcome return, as if the main meat of the game isn’t enough for you. You can still save levels and send them to your friends, but you can now also upload them to the EA hub for other people to download, and you can download their levels too. Even if you manage to complete the bulk of the game, there are an endless number of possibilities of level design to go back to. Get a friend with the game to share levels with you, and this will take an immense amount of time to exhaust.

Boom Blox: Bash party does everything superbly well. The physics are wonderful and never inconsistent or unfair. The inclusion of colourful animal characters makes every level that much more hilarious and gives you much more room for cruelty (yes, I am guilty of lobbing a bomb at a Gorilla…). The main game appears short at first, but if you want to get the top medals on each level then you’re going to spend an awful amount of time perfecting each one, as they all demand a flawless aim. It’s insane how much I wanted to get the Gold Medals on each level –the game lulls you into a false sense of security, thinking that everything is going to be a walk in the park. This is not the case, and some levels are fiendishly difficult. I couldn’t help coming back for more though. Couple that with the level editor and downloadable content, and Boom Blox: Bash Party will keep you going for a very long time.

Hi-Score – Incredible Physics, Very Funny, Challenging and Addictive

Lo-Score – If you don’t have the internet or any friends, you will exhaust it in about 6 hours.

Final Score – 9 out of 10

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