Do you ever miss those halcyon days of youth when all you had to do was sit around and play with blocks? The days where the only pressure was whether or not you wanted to play with the kid next to you, and then it turned into a block frenzy requiring only the bestest of block skills? Claymore Games brings that good ol’ block fun to the iOS world with Chock A Block. Does Chock A Block match the insanity of two-year-old competitive block building or does it tumble in shame?

Chock A Block is a sliding block puzzle game. Its straightforward name is indicative of its simplicity. The player slides around blocks, matching three or more of one color to earn points. A few additional variations get added to the game play to give it a bit of a boost so that it’s not just a mundane color-matching game. The board has three colors; yellow orange, and red. When you match three yellows, it turns into one orange block; when you match three orange, it turns into one red block; and when you match three red, it turns into an immovable black block. This element adds a tactical approach to make sure there aren’t any stragglers left over with no other blocks to bond with. Also, a block will slide until it hits an obstacle, either another block or the wall, so you can’t just move the blocks directly to where you want it, which means planning is involved.

You get a lot of bang for your buck with Chock A Block. You can try the free mode, which comes equipped with ads hitting you in the face, or you can pay a dollar to enjoy a hassle free time. Both versions come with several different game modes, but the free version doesn’t come with Challenge mode, which allows you to play against friends. It’s nice, though, that players have the option to try the game out for free and then pay the dollar if they like it. Gotta love those risk free investments! The game modes provide anywhere from a hectic, high pressured experience with Survival mode or a relaxed, go at your own pace experience with Zen mode. Each has their own appeal and keeps things fun switching between them.

The controls aren’t always that responsive, though, which can be problematic and irritating. All you’re supposed to do is place your finger on the block you want to move and swipe it in the direction you want it to go, but if you swipe too quickly the game doesn’t recognize your movement, leading to multiple attempts to move blocks or forcing you to pause after you touch the screen to give it a second to register. Other than irritating you, it doesn’t affect the game unless you are in Survival or Beat the Clock mode -- in those cases unresponsive controls can really cost you.

Chock A Block is quite the fun little game. It’s simple, while providing a decent challenge and a workout for your fingers and your brains. If you like puzzles and crave a variety of game modes, consider checking it out.


App Store Link: Chock A Block for iPhone & iPad | By Claymore Games | Price: $1.29 | Version: 1.0 | 27.5 MB | Rating 4+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating