1-4 Players | 15-20 Minutes
In Blokk! you’re an architect looking to assemble the perfect three-dimensional cube. Draft unique, three-dimensional polynomial shapes and put your creativity to the test, but the solution may not be as cut and dry as you think. Blokk! features multiple game modes including solo, cooperative and competitive. With 3 completely different play styles for each game mode there’s always a fresh way to play Blokk!
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
The best way to describe Blokk! is if you played Tetris in a rubik cube with a little Jenga thrown in for good measure. Constructing a three dimensional object forces you to think differently – It’s part strategy and part dexterity. This can be a bit of challenge even when you’re given the perfect piece… Blokk! makes it nearly impossible to get the perfect pieces and then, almost mockingly ask you “What are you going to do with it now?”
Blokk! features a ton of different ways to play the game. For starters, you’ll have the opportunity to play I, Blokk! (Solo), Blokk! Party (co-op) or Blokk! Off (competitively). Each game mode features similar game play and scoring so you can easily jump from one to the next.
Once a gameplay mode has been chosen, you’ll have the option to choose your Construct Mode. The game features 3 different ways to approach the game, each with its own unique mechanic and level of difficulty. I’ll discuss this more in-depth here in a moment.
The goal of Blokk! is to form a three-dimensional square with the fewest imperfections by drawing and placing three-dimensional polynomial shapes. The best way to describe these shapes are Tetris-like, but Blokk! takes them to another level with all sorts of crazy combinations and twisted shapes, blending anywhere from 1 to 4 cubes together. There are also 6 different color cubes to choose from – each with their own unique shapes. The Construct Mode will determine how you implement these colors into the game.
To achieve this goal of the perfect square, blocks are placed on the playing platform called the Stencil. The game comes with 2 different Stencils, one featuring a 4×4 grid and the other a 5×5 grid.
The first Construct Mode is the Free Blokk! mode. This is the easiest mode where the player or players freely choose one block per turn irregardless of its color to place on the Stencil. This mode gives the builders a lot more freedom to construct the cube as they see fit. While it still is a bit of a challenge, no restrictions are placed on the players and overall it’s a more causal play.
The second Construct Mode option hands fate to the Blokk! dice. The game features a jumbo D-6 die with different colors on each side. Players take turns rolling the die and choosing a block shape in that particular color. The intermediate level of difficulty does up the ante, forcing you to choose from a more limited number of options.
Finally, the Card Blokk! Construct Mode allows players to pull a card from a deck featuring a specific shape and color block. This is the game’s most difficult mode limiting your options to a specific piece of a specific color to play.
THE GAME EXPERIENCE
One of the cool things about Blokk! is it can be played as a competitive game or just a casual activity. The different game modes and play styles allow you to tailor the game that suits your players and your mood.
While these differences fluctuate in difficulty, simply taking the easiest combination of play and style doesn’t mean the game itself is a breeze.
What makes Blokk! a challenge is the unique block shapes found in the game. While there are some simple Tetris-like shapes to play, there are a number of twists on the standard polynomial bringing some completely unique shapes to the table. Your strategic approach may depend on if you’re playing cooperatively, solo or competitively. It’s critical to plan ahead for your next turn giving you the optimal number of spaces to play going forward. But… if you’re playing competitively you may want to limit those options for your opponents forcing them to work within an awkward space. Coincidently, playing defensively can come back to bite you, leaving you with few play options yourself.
Each player begins with a 100 points and points are deducted for imperfections. Any time an empty space is blocked in or a placed block goes beyond the “perfect” cube shape, points are deducted. Players can also lose points by knocking pieces off the Stencil. Ultimately, the player with the fewest missteps will be declared the winner.
THE GOLDEN BLOKK! CHALLENGE
Another fun feature is the Golden Blokk! Challenge. These are a series of gameplay challenges forcing you to meet certain goals or work within certain limitations. For example, The first set of challenges require you to play all 3 Construct Modes on the 4×4 Stencil, each time meeting a certain point total. Later on, you may be required to build a perfect square only using one set of color blocks (which rates extra hard on my personal Blokk! difficulty scale).
As you successfully accomplish these goals you’ll be awarded the coveted gold blocks. These blocks feature even more bizarre and wild shapes, upping the cube count from the standard 4 cube max to a pentacube (5 cube shape). Once achieved you can incorporate these golden cubes into the game for your own sadistic pleasure. The master-level challenge requires these gold blocks to be used in play. I didn’t attempt it, but the ultimate challenge requires you to build a perfect “Ninii Cube” which is a cube constructed using all the games pentacubes.
COMPONENTS & ART WORK
The copy of the game I played was only a prototype, but I was pleasantly surprised by the size and quality of all the components. Everything was printed on a 3-D printer, but it all had a good weight and looked well designed. It’s my understanding the final version will feature wooden game cubes vs the plastic ones I recieved. The rulebook was fairly clear and I imagine with a few tweaks will be easy to understand and follow. The artwork for the game is very colorful and commercial. I expected Blokk! to be delivered in a small, compact box, but this is a much more extravagant production. The game box features a well thought-out system for storage and I look forward to seeing the final insert.
Blokk! does feature an unintentional mini-game, played when piecing like-color cubes back together to fit neatly inside the box. Fortunately, the game comes with a handy guide to construct these cubes, but we spent a good 45 minutes attempting to build them ourselves only successfully accomplishing 3 of the 6 colors.
Blokk! seems destined for mass appeal. I can definitely see Blokk! sitting on the shelf at Target or Walmart. The rules are incredibly easy to grasp and the game’s core puzzle is challenging enough to keep people of all ages engaged. The different game modes don’t add unnecessary complexity as they could have, but rather provide interesting variation giving the game more life and longer legs. While this could have just been another dexterity “activity”, the designers infuse enough gamification into Blokk! to keep it competitive and challenging. I also imagine before the Kickstarter’s all said and done, they’ll have a few additional wrinkles up their sleeves.
Overall, Blokk! is a fun, family game with mass-market appeal. It plays quickly and barring any shortcuts taken in the final production phase, the game’s quality build and visual appeal will likely draw people in. I think there is a good balance of challenge and accessibility that should give both gamers and non-gamers alike something to enjoy.
If you’re in the market for a unique family game that will appeal to kids of all ages, you should definitely give Blokk! a look.