If you played last year’s title from EA and Steven Spielberg, you recall fondly the unique and creative puzzle game that provided hours of fun. That game was Boom Blox on the Wii. It was essentially a simple formula; you would be given stacks of blocks, and were tasked with knocking them over with various objects at your disposal. The game’s attractiveness was largely due to the realistic (and sometimes awesomely unrealistic) physics system. It is hard to imagine taking that same formula from that great game and improving on it. After all, what could that possibly look like? The answer comes in the form of Boom Blox Bash Party. It adds to the first title with more creative levels, and most importantly the ability for players to create and upload levels for everyone around the world to enjoy.
First of all, Bash Party is not a whole lot different that the original, and this is a good thing. Sure, there are tons of new levels to play, but they are simply executed in exciting new ways. There are more environmental intricacies, more gravity-changing settings, and more combinations of moves available. You’ll go from open air, to underwater, to outer space, and you can imagine how gravity and physics will be affected by these various venues.
One area in which this game does excel is the variety of modes and options available. You’ve got the traditional block-bashing modes, a new paintball mode in which you throw paintballs at the blocks to score combos, the Jenga modes, and shooting modes. That’s just an idea of what is here, and you will never get tired of any of them. The main single-player mode is huge this time around, and contains well over 400 levels to conquer, offering plenty of variation and fresh material to keep you coming back for more.
The single-player stuff is great, but Bash Party is the kind of game that is best enjoyed with your buddies. You can play against your friends or with them, in both competing modes and cooperative. One of the (if not the only) big disappointments in this title is the fact that there is still no online multiplayer; something I was really hoping would be included. Thankfully, if you have some friends to play with, the local multiplayer is still as fun and furious as ever. Cooperative mode brings an awesome dynamic of teamwork and strategy into play, and in my opinion, this is when Bash Party is at its best.
EA took a lesson from Microsoft’s system of achievements in designing Bash Party. As you complete levels, you will earn different medals and gain achievements such as earning a certain amount of gold medals in a row. These medals are crucial for your experience, as they are the keys to unlocking new material for creation. You may be able to complete a level, but to complete it in a way that will earn the best medal will have you wanting to throw your trusty Wii Remote through the TV, in a good way.
The single most incredible aspect of Bash Party, hands down, is the create and share system that has been built-in. EA has given us a system in which we can go in and literally create a puzzle from the ground up. You can choose the setting, the physics, the blocks, the ammo, and so on. But the fun doesn’t end there. Once you have created a level, you can upload it to the server where anyone around the world can search for it, download it, and enjoy smashing your masterful creation. The content available will be quite vast. You will literally never run out of new puzzles to solve.
One negative aspect of this game is arguably the visuals. The blocks and objects in the game are relatively blocky and low-res, and look to belong somewhere in the Gamecube era. However, everything runs very smoothly and without hiccup, and you’ll soon forgive the visual drawbacks because of how fun it is to play. The sound is exactly what you would expect, with fun sound effects and engaging tunes to draw you in and keep the gaming intense.
With Bash Party, EA and Spielberg have taken the original Boom Blox and built on it to produce a package that is creative, innovative, and crazy-fun to play. Add the ability to create and share new puzzles, and we are left with a must-buy on Nintendo’s little white box. Whether you missed the first game or enjoyed it for hours and hours, I recommend you head out and pick this one up for hours of creative fun.