MINIMALIST GAMEPLAY MEETS MAXIMIZED ENTERTAINMENT
Puzzle games often get brushed aside. Who would want to play a puzzle game when Smash or Call of Duty is begging to be played? Blek however, is a simple game that isn’t trying to be the next Halo franchise. It’s just trying to be Blek.
Kunabi Brother, the developer for Blek, is actually two brothers from Austria. Both having degrees in computer programming, they decided to delve in the gaming industry. Blek is their first game ever developed.
Blek has no story nor plot. The game simply displays the title of the game then immediately goes into the first level. With this, there is no tutorial per se, but several levels that allow you to explore the mechanics of the game. To play, you simply use the stylus on the gamepad to create a line. This line repeats over and over until you’ve hit all the colored circles. However, if you hit a black circle, the line will get sucked up and you’ll have to try again. Sounds simple right? Luckily, if you make an error you are quickly brought back to the level to creatively try again.
The levels naturally increase in difficulty, but they progress in a way where you’re not scratching your head for hours on end. One example of this comes after quite a few levels. Eventually, you’ll see larger colored circles with smaller white circles in them. Once you hit the large circle, the small circle will begin moving. Logically, the first time you see this, there won’t be any major difficulty determining how this can be utilized. But now that you’ve been exposed to it, you’ll be challenged to use this technique in a more meaningful way.
Just as the gameplay is very minimalist, so is the music. Simple chimes and bounces from the actions is all that’s necessary from this game. If there was anything more, then it would just get in the way of the gameplay and mechanics.
My one big issue isn’t the subtly of music or the simplicity of the game. My big gripe is that I think this is in the incorrect platform. As I was playing Blek, I was looking at the Wii U’s gamepad 100% of the time. Though the same exact thing was displayed on my television, it was just more convenient to look at the gamepad. Perhaps this was the design, but the fact that this game isn’t available currently on the Nintendo 3DS is a big missed opportunity.
The Verdict: 8.1 out of 10
Blek is an enjoyably simple game. The quick start allows players to get immersed in the puzzles to progress onto more elaborate challenges. The game allows you to challenge your creativity without making you feel inferior. If you’re getting annoyed and frustrated by this game, then you’re thinking too hard and just need to take a breath and try another method. Blek is on the Nintendo eShop for $5.99 and is an absolute buy for those seeking a new and easy-going game.
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