I recently ran across TowerBloxx Deluxe 3D in the iTunes App Store. Having enjoyed Crazy Penguin Catapult (also by Digital Chocolate, Inc.), and having seen all of the good reviews and screenshots in the App Store, I decided that it was worth having a look. The idea behind the game reminded me very much of a Sim City type game. You are a builder and your job is to build towers for three neighboring districts. When you build your buildings well, people called Toonies come to live in your towers. The more people you have living in your district, the more types of towers and types of roofs you unlock to build. Also, you start with only the first district unlocked and the others are unlocked after you build up the first one sufficiently. There are strict rules governing what type of tower you may build where and it takes a little planning to maximize the population for the space that you have.
I started a game and started building my towers. To build a tower, you first select what type of tower you want to build and tap “Go.” The app then takes you to a screen that has the first piece of the tower suspended from a rope swinging over the ground. A simple tap on the screen makes the piece fall placing the base for the tower. Each successive piece is placed in the same way. You must time your tap just right to get the pieces to stack up straight and not fall. If you get the pieces exactly lined up, this is called a perfect drop. It increases the population of your tower and steadies the tower for a short time after the drop. As your tower gets taller and ultimately more crooked (unless you are much better at achieving perfect drops than I am), it sways more and more. The swaying greatly increases the difficulty of lining up the pieces. As you build your tower, you can see the Toonies falling through the air hanging from umbrellas and taking up residence in your tower.
After you have reached the prescribed height for the type of tower you are building, you can place it on one of the plats in your district according to the rules of the game. Throughout your playing there are achievements to be earned such as multiple perfect drops in a row, reaching a certain height, or building a certain number of floors in a short period of time. The app also keeps track of the statistics of your games. While I found the graphics to be amazing and the game to be very well thought out, it did not keep my interest for long. Essentially, your time throughout the game is spent tapping the screen to make the blocks fall at just the right moment when they line up. In that way it reminded me a lot of their earlier game, Crazy Penguin Catapult where you tap the screen to make the penguins catapult at just the right moment.
There are options of other play modes if you don’t want to play for a long time and build a whole city. There are the options of a Quick Game, Party Game, or Time Attack. A Quick Game is just that. You try to build a tower as high as you can by dropping pieces on top of one another. If you miss a drop 3 times, the game is over. The goal is to build your tower up to 300 high. I never got anywhere near that number. A Party Game turns TowerBloxx into a two person game. You turn your iPod/iPhone horizontal and the screen is split into two. You decide how high you want to build your towers and then have a race to see who can reach that height first. In a Time Attack game, you are racing against the clock. You must build the tallest tower you can before time runs out. The clock starts with 44 seconds on it. Every 10 floors you reach a check point that adds more time to the clock, but the time added to the clock gets smaller and smaller the higher you build. These other game play modes can be fun, especially racing against someone else in Party Mode.
Overall, TowerBloxx is a very well designed game, but it just doesn’t have the long-term interest that I think an app of that price should have. After 30 minutes of play, I was tired of dropping blocks on top of one another. Maybe the free version is the way to go.
TowerBloxx Deluxe 3D is $5.99 in the iTunes App Store.