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Hands On: Mad Blocker Alpha

Revenge of the Fluzzles.

Irish developers Open Emotion are a lovely bunch of chaps, full of zest for their PSP minis release of Mad Blocker Alpha, a remake of their already released Flash (and iPhone) game, which is due for release onto the PlayStation Store on the 10th of February after a slight stumble in the schedule.

Essentially an entry into the  ‘match-four’ genre, this portable puzzler’s unique charm is in its graphics, a slightly kooky, bizarre mix of hand-drawn smileys and oddly warped backgrounds that break the mould of the obvious inspirations like the classics Columns, and, mechanically more so, Panel de Pon.

I’ll be honest, and I’ve said this to the guys already, the graphics style is a little bit too out-there for my particular tastes, but that’s a subjective opinion and yours might differ completely – it’s certainly original at least, with the distinctive blocks offering up all manner of grins and grimaces depending on their colour.

The gameplay, however, is solid.  It’ll be familiar to anyone that’s played titles like Puyo Pop – you just need to connect up four blocks together to pop them and then, if you’re smart, the laws of gravity will work in your favour to help you rack up some combos and if you score well you’ll get a handy power-up which can help turn the game in your favour.

Like the aforementioned games, the rows of blocks in Mad Blocker Alpha can only be switched around horizontally, you can’t rotate them.  It’s less about fitting blocks into each other as it is about creating big chains by carefully lining up future sets of blocks, and this takes considerable skill and planning.

The main mode is labeled ‘Story’ and takes place over a good chunk of levels based around a map, but the package is bolstered by Endless and Tower modes, the latter in particular switches things around a little and thus offers a bit more for your money, although at this stage we don’t actually know how much Mad Blocker will cost.

It’s well worth keeping an eye out for – minis come and go without so much as a whistle these days and it’s easy to forget about the best ones as they get lost amongst the weekly Store updates.  We’ll get a full review of Mad Blocker Alpha once we get PSP codes: although it scales up to the PS3 screen it’s clearly meant to be played on the portable.

Until then, check out these brand new screenshots.

Open Emotion have asked us to point out that the chaps will be in the PSP minis PlayStation Home space on the 10th, so if anyone wants to ask them any questions about the game’s development (or otherwise) they’re more than welcome to!

  1. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    I had forgotten about this – i actually liked the backgrounds – I’ll keep an eye out for the review.

    Comment posted on 29/01/2011 at 10:29.
    • OpenEmotion
      Since: Nov 2010

      Cheers man! We really hope you like all the backgrounds in the full version :D

      Mike (Lead Artist)

      Comment posted on 31/01/2011 at 09:51.
  2. nemesisND1derboy
    Since: Apr 2010

    Irish devs have my support. Will probably buy this.

    Comment posted on 30/01/2011 at 23:45.
    • OpenEmotion
      Since: Nov 2010

      Thanks Bro! Ireland is in such a shitty state now that it’s great to see that small Irish companies still have the support of the general population :) If you do pick up the game please rate it highly (If you enjoy it of course) as that will get us more sales hopefully! Thanks again man!

      Paddy (C.E.O, Sound Design)

      Comment posted on 31/01/2011 at 09:52.
  3. OpenEmotion
    Since: Nov 2010

    Yo guys, thanks for all the support. It’s amazing because this is the part thats the most terrifying… Just before release… Because you’re hoping people will see the potential in your product but from the feedback from you guys and The Gaming Liberty thus far we are so pleased… Its quite terrifying actually, ha ha! Hope you all enjoy the game :D

    Paddy, Mike, Colm and Eoghan

    Comment posted on 31/01/2011 at 09:50.

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