A million bullets, almost as large as a person, flying at you from all directions. The source of these dangerous flying projectiles: turrets.
According to the Steam page, Block Story is a voxel-based building game so, of course, the first conclusion I jump to is that it is a Minecraft clone. In the first few hours of looking at the game, I was too biased but, looking at it again after a break, I was able to appreciate it for what it was.
Block Story is tagged as an ‘RPG’ on it’s Steam page, so you would expect story, character development etc. I was disappointed to find none of this.
You are told upon getting into the world that your only objective is to survive, and that is it. There is friendly quest-giving NPCs, but a majority of them are just fetch quests with half-decent rewards.. As a big RPG player, I did not find the role-playing side satisfactory.
During my play-through of this game, I found three music tracks. Out of these tracks, only one plays during the main part of the game. The rest of the time, you must suffer (literally) in silence. On top of this, the small amount of music present is dull and boring. There is a few, unique music for the boss fights, but the tracks are short, and like the rest of the music, nothing special. The developers have explained that this is because of the size limitations imposed on mobile, and they are working on new music for the PC version.
Block Story has the standard building block style, but does it in a higher resolution, and with a lot more detail than other building block games. The models have higher resolution textures, but some are wonky and disproportionate. Some of the models – such as the Viking – look poorly done. Graphics-wise, I would say Block Story is a mixed bag.
Mobs, NPCs and Spawning
There is a huge variety of mobs, and each of them fight in a different way. For example, the shark will just swim at you and bite, while the dragon will fly and breathe fire, ice or lightning. They each have their own unique drops, which makes killing them more rewarding.
For the most part, the enemies are programmed well enough to put up a fight. However, all mobs have huge amounts of health. This is difficult, considering you do not start with any weapons, and made worse by the fact that they regenerate health with ease.
Weapons, Armour and Tools
Apart from the story, this is likely one of the most frustrating parts of the game. When attacking enemies, I found my weapon kept on going back into my inventory. If it was not doing this, it was not responding at all, forcing me to rely on my fists against seemingly impossible enemies.
Even if I avoided the combat altogether, I could not escape the broken items as tools seemed a waste of materials too. Everything could be mined with your bare hands, and at a similar speed too.
Crafting and Building
There is only a single bit of innovation is this area – how it handles recipes. You get an in-game recipe book which, considering the expansive selection of craft-able items, is much appreciated. Some recipes can only be earned from completing quests, which would be alright if there was more quest variety.
In conclusion, Block Story seems to have been dragged straight from the iOS folder to Steam, with many features removed. What may look like a great trailer, could actually be considered false-advertising when you realise that it was originally made to promote the iOS version, which comes with more features at a cheaper price. It also proclaims itself an RPG, but fails to deliver on some of the major genre elements, such as story and character development. Yes, it maybe Early Access, but it is also nothing more than a higher quality, cheaper version of Minecraft at the moment. I urge you not to waste your money on it, until some decent PC views appear.
Editor’s Note: Please do not put ‘One of the top role-playing games on mobile and PC’ as one of your features on your website when you have not fully launched on PC, and the game is fundamentally broken. Thanks.
– Matthew Scowen