Motley Blocks is a 3D puzzler that usually has me behind the eight ball, especially since gamers must clear off all the blocks within a short period of time.  Most of the time you will be connecting same colored blocks by feverishly running a finger across your device, and excellent coordination, as well as grace under pressure, is needed to complete each level. Since I have neither attribute, failure is my main default with Motley Blocks, but thanks to its addicting and diverting game play, I'm far from frustrated.

If you want to connect blocks immediately, the quick play mode is the best way to go. A randomized set of colored blocks rapidly rotate, and if you don't connect the blocks before they reach their intended finish line, then it's game over. If, for example, you attempt to string together a group of blue blocks but accidentally link them to a black block, then the string is broken. It's a mistake, given the speed of the game, that's hard to recover from. Connecting as many same colored blocks as possible is imperative, since the more blocks you erase, the slower the blocks move, thus giving you slightly more time to complete your goals.

Power-ups are also an invaluable help, and although Boomer helps you blow up a bunch of blocks, Freezie is more my speed. Time is of the essence with Motley Blocks, and nearly freezing the action, even if it's for a few seconds, may be the difference between completing the level or just starting over. If making dough is your power-up of choice, then Goldie fits the bill.

If you are successful at clearing the blocks, a random image will appear before you, and after all of my failed attempts I've never been so happy to see a cucumber on my iPad. Each level you complete will give you points to purchase more power-ups as well as compete in daily challenges. And speaking of purchases, the free version comes with 50 puzzles while purchasing the premium edition (for $2.99) features an extra 30 puzzles.  Gamers can also create their own levels, and the most popular puzzles have the chance to become official Motley Blocks levels. Since I'm not that ambitious, I'll just stare at my cucumber.

Power-ups aren't the only luxury items up for grabs. Under the Creators Gallery section, you can enter different levels which vary from very difficult to very easy. There are also randomized puzzles to play if you want to roll the dice, but since I'm all about completing levels and earning more currency, the very easy gallery has been a total blessing. If a certain puzzle under the creators gallery strikes your fancy, you can also purchase it with your accrued game money and save it on your own gallery. To rack up my scores, I bought an easy level, and whenever I feel the sting of defeat from the harder puzzles, I simply open up my gallery folder and play a puzzle I know I can already win. I know it smacks of laziness, but sometimes I like my blocks a lot less motley.

Brimming with a touch of moxie and inventiveness, Motley Blocks is a welcome addition to the puzzle game genre. And whether you win or lose, the song remains the same. Just connect the dots before it's too late.


App Store Link: Motley Blocks for iPhone & iPad | By Square Enix | Price: Free / $2.99  | Version: 1.0 | 33.3 MB | Rating 4+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating