Boom Blox Bash Party Hands-On

We toss around bowling balls and explosive projectiles at everything in this sequel.

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Only one short year later, Electronic Arts already has a sequel to the successful Nintendo Wii action puzzler with movie director Steven Spielberg's name on the cover. Using the Wii motion controls in a way that feels natural, Boom Blox Bash Party continues the trend of simple controls and family-friendly fun. There are plenty of new levels and other additions to explore, as described in our last hands-on, but this time we got a chance to play around with the latest build to see how it feels.

This is a bigger and more explosive sequel.

If you've played the original Boom Blox, the controls are exactly the same. You'll have to go through a short tutorial in the beginning before you can jump into the other levels, but it's quick and painless. Most of the time, all you need to do is aim and then swing the remote forward to throw balls. The A button is used to lock on, and the B button rotates the camera. There are a few new ways in Bash Party to cause the strategically placed blocks to take a tumble, such as with a slingshot, a cannon, and a virus ball. With the slingshot, you hold A, pull back your Wii Remote, and let go of the button. This is a good alternative to wearing out your arm by constantly tossing baseballs. The cannon is also easy on your physical exertion because all you need to do is light it by hovering over it and holding down A, after which you aim the cannon and release A to fire. Living up to its name, the virus ball spreads its orange-colored disease onto the other blocks, which you can chain with other previously infested blocks for a chain reaction.

One noticeable difference is that a lot more work has gone into the presentation of the game. The menu is a vibrant theme park, and once you've completed the tutorial, you're free to roam to around the available areas. Each time you enter a new area, there's a short cutscene--basically still art--that gives you a glimpse of what you're wandering into. Even the stages themselves have evolved, so instead of requiring you to just knock out blocks that are piled precariously on top of each other, the blocks come in different shapes and sizes that actually resemble an object. For example, in one level we had to lob bombs onto a well-put-together cargo ship to find all of the gems buried underneath. The space level also provides its own unique challenge because you're dealing with zero gravity. You can't just gently hit the neatly piled structures for them to fall over; you have to destroy them with enough force to knock them far into space for it to count, otherwise the pieces just hover in place.

The familiar but strange and cheery rectangular animal characters take on a larger role in Bash Party. They're now all over the place, even on the structures that you want to take down. They don't pop and vanish now when you hit them, so you can toss them around for fun, or even smack them hard enough to bring down neighboring blocks. Another interesting addition is Paint Blox, which functions very much like a match-three game in which you throw paint to change the color of the blocks. It's like Bejeweled but based on physics.

New modes are included to change up the gameplay.

Given that the game is geared toward those who like to play with others, there's almost twice the amount of multiplayer content this time, so you can grab a friend or four and play against each other, in teams or cooperatively. There's also a greater variety with the amusement-park themes. Some of the games that we played in Versus mode involved shooting each other's pirate ships with the cannons, and knocking each other's pucks off of the board. You're still aiming for the highest score, so the goals and premise are the same, but the stages are more diverse this time around, which makes each round feel a bit different. You'll earn achievements as you go along in the form of Boom Bux, the in-game currency that will let you unlock new levels and features if you don't want to unlock them the traditional way. If you've completed everything and are still itching for some new content, you can always create new levels or edit the existing ones and share them with friends online.

Boom Blox Bash Party appears to be a bigger, flashier version of the previous game, with plenty of new mind-boggling levels to conquer and an array of features to mess around with. It's really easy to get caught up destroying towers and tossing around bombs because it's so simple and fun. Wii owners who missed the original may want to keep an eye on this one when it is released on May 19.

Discussion

13 comments
Bonapartess
Bonapartess

I have no clue what I'm even looking at!

AddictedFreak
AddictedFreak

Can't await the new Boom Blox. Had so much fun with the first one. Especially the Versus mode where you had to "roll a dice" that forced you to grab a certain colour was pure fun :)

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Looks very interesting and it's released planning on getting the first one and this one for my wii collection.

tastycasey27
tastycasey27

ilove boom blox, my best bit of the first one was the level creator, ive made over 20 levels, and now i can do it all again in the new one. watch out youtube more vids coming your way woohoo. well in 2 weeks.

Feld0
Feld0

Two more days!!

leleuxm
leleuxm

Love the original and can't wait to play this one. Not sure if I will be paying full price for it though...

Game_Reviewer4
Game_Reviewer4

Boom Blox was a very appatizing game. Making a sequal was the only way to make an even better game if that is possible. This EA games was a huge hit and the next one should be just as good if they keep the classic game modes and bring in some new ones. Also if they enhance the map creator they will bring much more money.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Is this game really worth getting. I need to know.

ganga_
ganga_

i like the original but i wont get this for full price. the multiplayer stuff sounds pretty nice though.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I would feel a right tw8t playing this on my own.

th3chos3non3
th3chos3non3

very glad they upped the ante on multiplayer and refined the player creation tools. had such a good time with the original, but it will fun to play and explore the fined tuned new model.