Tower Bloxx is a deceptively simple puzzle game from Digital Chocolate that offers two key modes of play. The main action is tower building, which you do with one button. Each floor of your tower is brought in by crane, and it sways back and forth until you drop it by pressing the 5 or OK key. Your goal is to build the straightest tower possible. If you misalign your blocks, the tower will start to sway, making it more difficult to properly place blocks. It's a challenge at first, but you quickly settle into a tower-building rhythm, making the action awfully easy.
That tower-building mechanic is offered in a quick game mode, where you just build the biggest tower you can, and the game ends after three missed drops. But the more interesting mode is the build city mode, which combines the tower building with a logic puzzle. The puzzle asks you to cram as many big buildings into a set space as possible. You'll start out only able to build small 10-story buildings, but eventually you'll get 20-, 30-, and 40-story buildings. The catch is that the different towers have different requirements. The blue 10-story ones can be built anywhere, but the 20-story towers can only be placed next to a blue one, and so on. Figuring out how to place as many 40-story buildings on your map as possible takes a little thought, and this gives some more meaning to the tower building, overall. That said, it would have been nice to see the game include multiple levels with more-challenging requirements, as once you get good at building the towers and get a firm grasp on how to properly place your buildings, there's not much else to do but work on getting your population up. There's an online scoreboard for both the city and the quick play mode, so if you're interested in some competition, you'll find a reason to go back and make your towers better and better, though we ran into a few problems getting the high-score server to respond.
Tower Bloxx has a basic but effective look to it. The towers sway back and forth, and you'll see little people hanging from umbrellas floating in to live in your building as you're building it, which is a clever little touch. The game's sound consists of two brief audio tracks, both of which have a real jazzy slap bass FM-synth sound to them, making them almost sound like lost tracks from the Paperboy soundtrack. They're nice, but they loop too often and soon wear out their welcome.
Tower Bloxx is straightforward without coming across as overly simplistic. You'll feel like you've got a good grasp of the action almost immediately, and the build city mode brings some lasting value to something that would otherwise be a real one-trick pony. If you're after a puzzle game that works differently than the standard block breakers out there, Tower Bloxx should be pretty appealing.