StarBlox Inc
Nintendo Switch

Developed By : Ingenium / Seed Interactive
Published By : Illumination Games
Category : Fighter, Puzzle, Party
Release Date : Oct 18, 2019

Combining things and trying to create new things is…almost a way of life. It’s a new step that can either pass or fail in some wild mixtures. Sometimes combining things that seem to make sense from a distance end up crashing and burning. While others seem laughable, yet go off like fireworks in the sky. StarBlox Inc. on the Nintendo Switch seemed to me that it was almost set up for failure, with its premise of combining puzzle building Tetris-like gameplay and some fighting mechanics. However, once you get inside of this one, you realize you might not end up laughing at the game.

You have just joined the team at StarBlox Incorporated. Your job? Sorting cargo aboard your vessel and getting it ready to ship out all across the galaxy. As is true in any business, competition is fierce in cargo sorting, and you’ll be directly facing off against that competition with each delivery. Sort your cargo needs faster than your opponent does and you’ll claim the job!

Each job starts on a galaxy map and shows you your next level/destination, whether it be a ship or a planet. Each level has it’s own stipulations, because dealing with your competition isn’t threat enough. These stipulations include an increased or decreased gravity, waves of lava and more. And while these can be threats to you, you can also use them to your advantage in getting ahead on the cargo!

As you begin a level, you’ll be given a quota that needs to be met of the cargo blocks, which are represented in red, blue, green, and yellow. To successfully meet this quota, you’ll need to chain these blocks together in matching successions of colors of three or more. Complete all of your quota needs and you win.

The cargo enters the level from a tube on the level, and this tube can be on the sides, top, or bottom, but will usually be one tube per side. Blocks enter at random, but they are somewhat influenced by the needs of both sides in terms of size not color. This means that if you are sitting on a couple of single-block spaces, these are more likely to generate but you won’t get more green just because you need green.

Your character can run from side to side, and also has a jet-pack for jumping and flying around the level, which is activated by pressing up on the left joystick. Blocks can be picked up by pressing B, rotated to any desired position with the L and R buttons, and thrown once again with B. Lastly, you are able to perform a punch maneuver to try and set your opponent off. This punch can be charged up every time you complete a chain of at least three, and when charged it has the power to stun your opponent for a few seconds.

Every level will have at least one incinerator, some may have two. They can be used for a number of reasons, both good and bad. Generally, once the cargo pieces are launched from the tube, they end up on a track towards these automatically (otherwise they just fizzle out over time). Just because you’re not finding pieces that you need, doesn’t mean you can’t take the ones your opponent needs and throw them out. Be careful getting close to it though, because they are plenty big enough for you to fall into…but that also means they’re big enough for a stunned opponent’s body to be thrown into.

Along with the stipulation in each level of gravity and such, you may sometimes need to pack your cargo into a specific shape. If so, your cargo area will have a template and it’s your job to fill it in perfectly. This is more often where you will run into the issue I mentioned above about about needing certain sized pieces.

The final thing you’ll need to worry about are powerups. Certain cargo blocks will have a picture inside of them. If you can get these packed into your rocket and activated within a chain, that powerup is yours. These can be things like a drone that fires a destruction beam at your opponent, sending a black hole to hover over your opponents rocket, giving yourself a shield of protection, and many others. Grab these quickly though, because they can be used against you just as well.

StarBlox Inc. can be enjoyed in a single player campaign, or in local multiplayer with up to four people. Both the standard and pattern modes of play are available, and things can get much more hectic when playing against other humans instead of the AI. This definitely makes play a lot more fun and intense, but the single player mode can still hold it’s own against it.

When I first opened this game up, I was unsure how I would feel about the combination. There’s a training mode available to learn the ropes, and completing this only made me more weary. However as soon as I got into the first career mode level, I was completely hooked. It’s definitely a combination that sounds odd at first, but somehow it works in it’s execution.

To top it all off, if you have any young ones that play games with or without you, not only does this present a unique way in creative problem solving, but it grants another learning experience as well. Since the game takes place in our actual solar system and not a fictionalized one, you can unlock a number of different entries for the journal. These entries give fun facts and photos about the planets, moons, and even some asteroids in our system.

In the end, this is a really fun game that can be experienced and enjoyed by all ages. So when this game officially launches tomorrow, be sure to pick it up and dive into it ASAP. You won’t regret it, so get out there and make sure that StarBlox Incorporated is the number one cargo sorting company in the solar system!

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This game was made in a partnership with Ingenium Museum of Science and Innovation in Canada

A code was generously provided for this game to The Switch Effect