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Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Blocky Roads ($1.99 Universal) is a side scrolling racer where you can customize and drive a car around a world that looks like it was created by Steve, the iconic hero from Minecraft. With a well tuned physics engine under the hood, this game will challenge you to keep your balance on the road.
Blocky Roads is yet another game made to resemble the characters, mods and environment of Minecraft. Unlike other games made in the likeness of Minecraft, the distinguishing feature of this game is that the character that looks like Steve from Minecraft is not hunting, fighting or otherwise exploring the world around him; he is driving a car. And looking at the other game titles created by the developer, Dogbyte Games, you can see that they have had some experience at building character games like 8-bit Ninja and physics based racing games like Offroad Legends. Bring the two together and you’ve got Blocky Roads.
The game begins with a tornado that devastates your blocky farm. As a result of the tornado, different parts of the farm are scattered all around the world. No problem: all you need to do is collect them. By driving your car over various terrain, you set out to rebuild your farm one piece at a time. The controls of the car are easy enough to get use too. By tapping on the right side of the screen you accelerate and effectively tilt the front of your car up. The left side of the screen is used to apply the brakes and tilt the front of your car back down. The up and down tilting effect even applies when in mid-air. Tilt too far in either direction and you will roll over and crash.
Along the road you will find treasure chests full of animals, barn parts, fence and roofing materials from your farm. Each track has three treasure chests for you to find. You will also collect gold coins that can be used to unlock the next track and upgrade your vehicles. Engine upgrades will give you the power to climb hills faster, the drivetrain upgrades are for better traction, suspension upgrades add stability, and upgrades to the chassis will help you jump longer distances by making the car lighter. After successfully completing the third track, you will be able to build your own custom car — out of blocks, of course.
There are nine different vehicle types you can choose from. There is your basic car of course, a tractor, motorcycle, truck and even a tank. Each different vehicle type will handle differently on the road and tip over more easily when facing different types of terrain. When customizing your vehicles, you can add blocks, remove blocks, and color existing blocks. If you do not like the default colors you can edit the individual block types and chose any color you like. You can even animate the blocks which will given them more of a blinking effect. The blocks you add to the car also effect the car’s performance. I added what was essentially a wheely bar to the back of my custom funny car. This particular addition made the car much more stable and helped keep me from flipping over when racing up steep hills.
There are four different terrains, with twelve different tracks including four challenge tracks to explore. Difficulty is added to each track in the form of longer jumps, steeper hills, taller cliffs, break away bridges, and moving platforms. The most devastating of hazard on any of the tracks are of course the lava pits. In order to finish the more advanced levels in the game you will have to invest in upgrading your car. You can keep going back and replaying the easier tracks to increase your coin collection which can in turn be used to unlock, upgrade, and customize more cars. Progress throughout the game is measured by now much of your farm you have managed to reassemble.
Even though the game definitely resembles Minecraft in appearance, the game could not be further from the experience. This blocky little physics racer, with its custom-built blocky cars and blocky little tracks will require a block or two of your attention this weekend.