Blocks Hurt! (Luca Giusti) – $1.99

With the insane amount of games released every week in the AppStore, it’s not too surprising that a few great ones get overlooked every now and again. December of last year was a crazy time for the AppStore, with the onslaught of sales along with all the developers trying to get their apps in before the week off that the AppStore would take, not allowing any updates or releases. Well, during this time, Luca Giusti happened to release a little game called Blocks Hurt! Just now finding out about the game, even after a couple sales and freebie give-aways, I’m kicking myself for not finding out about it sooner. 
Blocks Hurt! has you going up against various monsters that are coming after you. Your job is to stop them (surprise surprise!). But how you do it is what really makes this game stand out. You’re given a chain at the top of the screen which will carry blocks from the left to the right. Tapping on them results in them dropping straight down. You’re also able to tilt your iDevice to the left to slow down the chain, offering more precise block drops. 
Hitting enemies will injure them, but usually require more than one block to kill them. There are also special blocks, some giving you a special power-up, while others are attack blocks, and either blow up, shoot out projectiles, fling fire balls, ect. Getting power-up blocks really comes in handy, but in order to use the power-up, you need to fill up your power gauge, which is done by killing enemies, so you’ll need to make sure that you don’t just waste your power-ups on small groups of enemies. 
There’s only one game mode, but each level has a different objective. Surviving a certain amount of time, building a certain structure, or matching a certain number of blocks. There are also boss battles at the end of the 3 separate worlds, with 30 stages each, for a total of 90 levels. Each stage has a 5 star rating, and once you get past the first couple of levels, the challenge immediately starts to show itself. However, it’s not difficult in a frustrating way. There’s always a decent amount of time to complete the objectives, and every time you don’t 5 star a level will be because of your own screw-ups. But with tight controls, and the game always giving you exactly what you need in order to complete the objective at hand, it always winds up giving you more drive to complete a level perfectly if you don’t’ get it right the first couple times around. 
Blocks Hurt! is supported by GameCenter, and has 4 different leader boards, one for each world, and a total score board, along with 36 hard to unlock achievements. That, coupled with the 90 levels offers up tons of replayability and tons of challenge. The game is so wacky and fun, it’s feels like a weird brother of Riverman’s Pizza Vs. Skeletons. Priced at $1.99, it’s a fantastic buy. The developer is also extremely supportive. In an AppStore full of developers who either pull their games and re-release them or throw ads into their paid games when they don’t sell as good as they were hoping, or even just abandon their games all-together, Luca Giusti has stuck with it, which is extremely rare, and commendable these days. An HD version is planned for release this summer, along with an Endless Survival Mode. If you’re looking for a hidden gem that offers up fantastic gameplay from a developer that deserves to be supported, Blocks Hurt! is definitely a game to check out. 

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