The digital delights of Sony’s scrumptious PlayStation Network service know no bounds. Aside from letting punters compete in online gaming, stream films, browse the Internet and more, its premier attraction rests in the copious supply of downloadable games ripe for the picking. From PSN exclusives to PSOne Classics, minis and plain old add-on content, Sony’s online space is chock full of goodies battling it out for your hard-earned digital dollars.
Welcome back to another installment of Inside PlayStation Network, where every Monday – Friday we’ll pluck a PSN release—be it new or old—and put it in the spotlight for a thorough dissection. Fancy getting a new PSN game but don’t know what one to plump for? Perhaps this feature will help. Didn’t realize that a game was available in your region until now? We've got you covered. Or, perhaps you were musing over what those lucky Japanese folk were tucking into over in the Land of the Rising Sun? You can be sure our coverage will extend to those rare regional exclusives as much as those firmly embedded on the public consciousness.
Our latest entry focuses on the PlayStation mini offering, Mad Block Alpha: Revenge of the Fluzzles.
Developer: Open Emotion Studios
Region(s) available: North America, Europe
Offering a contemporary spin on the classic tumbling block-based template, Mad Blocker Alpha is essentially Tetris albeit with one fundamental difference – you can only manipulate blocks vertically. Horizontal movement has been elbowed out of the proceedings, so players must stack up block combinations in order to rake in the rewards. And by rewards, we mean meaty chain combs and ample power-ups.
Bizarrely the game boasts a storyline, focusing on the fictitious realm of Machu Popyu and its inhabitants, known as Fluzzles. Unfortunately for the little critters, a group of dastardly beings dubbed the Mokes have invaded, turning Machu Popyu into an industrial wasteland. As such, the Fluzzles step up to the task of utilizing their shape-morphing powers to bring forth the Great Buhmba to rejuvenate their homeland. The story itself is told through some particularly eye-catching, hand-drawn artwork.
Still, that just serves as a convenient backdrop for the task at hand. As mentioned, Mad Blocker Alpha is strikingly similar to other Falling Block offerings, so the game’s meat-and-potatoes matchmaking shouldn’t be unfamiliar to most folk. Players have to match four or more coloured blocks in order to ‘pop’ them, with the more blocks you stack, the bigger combo you’ll receive. Chains activate a roulette mechanic on the side of the screen determining whether or not you’ll bag a power-up.
These items can be both a blessing and a curse, however. On the plus side, you can gobble up stuff like mad blocks, which eliminate every block baring the same colour as the one it falls on. Bomb blocks, meanwhile, detonate in a cross shape and destroys all blocks in its path. On the flip side, you might find yourself lumbered with a few bad eggs. These include the pesky moke blocks that transform an entire row of your screen to ‘dead blocks,’ which can only be vanquished by means of a chain attack. Beyond the main story campaign, there’s also a couple of modes up for grabs in the form of Endless Mode and Tower Mode. The former is pretty self-explanatory, though the latter tasks you with raising the stack upwards in order to penetrate to the next stage.
Fancy having another peak Inside PlayStation Network? Then join us again same time tomorrow.