Blockolicious review

By Pete Davison Comment

Blockolicious is a new Facebook game from Hibernum Creations. The game has been available on iOS for some time — though since its release, our tracking service AppData indicates that the game is no longer featured in any App Store leaderboards, suggesting that its popularity has declined considerably over time.

Blockolicious is a gem-matching puzzle game that initially appears to be a simple Diamond Dash clone. The basic mechanic is almost identical — players click on groups of three or more like-colored gems that are touching each other to remove them and score points accordingly. It’s in the additions to this formula that Blockolicious successfully distinguishes itself in the crowded puzzle game genre and establishes its own identity.

The main difference between Blockolicious and Diamond Dash is in the “juice blocks” mechanic. When removing a gem group, the gem the player actually clicked on turns into a juice-filled block. If three or more of these special blocks are matched together, they turn into a bomb, which in turn may be used to destroy all gems of the same color. This, in turn, charges up a powerup meter at the side of the screen, allowing the player to unleash various special abilities.

The game may be played in two different modes: Sprint and Marathon. In Sprint mode, players are given two minutes in which to score as many points as possible, while in Marathon players have a limited number of moves in which to try and top their highest score. Juice blocks react differently in both modes, too — in Sprint, they gradually spill out their juice and disappear when empty, while in Marathon they remain where they are until turned into (or destroyed by) a bomb. This gives the two modes a very different feel — in Sprint, it’s a frantic race to match blocks as quickly as possible, while in Marathon players can afford to take their time and position their juice blocks more carefully.

The game monetizes through sales of soft currency, which may be spent on additional lives or on unlocking powerups. Powerups may also be unlocked through completing specific achievements in the game, and lives may be acquired by waiting or receiving gifts from friends. In a somewhat player-unfriendly move, it costs two lives to play a game in Marathon mode, while it only costs one to play a Sprint. This is presumably due to the fact that Marathon games tend to last a lot longer, but still seems unnecessarily harsh, particularly as the game does not appear to warn players that a Marathon game will cost two lives before they click the Play button.

This criticism aside, however, Blockolicious is an excellent puzzle game and a successful evolution of the basic Diamond Dash formula. It is well-presented, addictive and fun — and it is also not overly pushy about inviting friends, sharing achievements or monetization, making it a game that will prove palatable to those normally resistant to the “nag” screens of other Facebook games. It remains to be seen whether its differences from the Diamond Dash formula will be enough to see it enjoy long-term success, however — but in the meantime it’s well worth a few plays.

As a new release, Blockolicious is not yet listed on our traffic tracking service AppData. Check back shortly to follow its progress according to MAU, DAU and user retention figures.

Play

A good evolution of the Diamond Dash formula, though the overly-harsh lives system may put some players off.

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