PAXAUS Indie Showcase 2015 – Blockpocalypse
Blockpocalypse, the newest game from Australia’s own Dime Studios was playable at PAX Australia 2015, and fresh off the show floor I deliver my hands on impressions with the quirky four player party apocalypse game.
The moon is falling, and unlike a certain high profile franchise that we all know and love, the moon does actually smash into the earth. With the world thrust into chaos an amusing cast of characters must scale the environment to reach a helicopter that is waiting to scoop you up and lift you from the burning apocalypse below you. Players will need to grab blocks and stack them in order to climb from platform to platform, but amongst the chaos of an elevating tide of lava below, players will inevitably get in each others way creating both chaos and a number of laughs throughout.
Though playable solo, Blockpocalypse is best enjoyed with three other players; the core experience, a survival mode that requires the four players to collaborate and use the items/blocks at their disposal to create pathways to proceed to the next platform. From the limited time with the game that I had there appeared to be little consequence handed out to the player who abandons their teammates and escapes on their own, but it does create an interesting dynamic between the team members – do you help each other to the finish, or screw over your team at the final hurdle and leave them in your dust – it will certainly create a barrel of laughs for those playing.
Four players can also participate in Blockball, Crown of Chaos and Elimination modes, on top of the core Survival mode. Blockball sees players engaging in a basketball game, not too dissimilar to #IDARB, with the twist being that the player needs to stack blocks to get up to their platform where the basketball ring hangs. This factor creates a tug of war between the teams because without the platforms it becomes much harder to reach the ring; you can bounce off players, throw dynamite around to destroy blocks, or bounce yourself to a higher platform in your quest to get to the ring, or defend the other teams ring, and it’s a lot of fun to play. Elimination is about as straight forward as it sounds, last man standing, knock your opponents into the lava to be the final person alive at the end of the match. The final mode is Crown of Chaos and it’s a simple case of possessing the crown for as long as possible, players are always trying to knock the crown from your grasp, but the longer you hold it, the larger the lead you build over your opponents.
With a cast of amusing characters including an Emperor Palpatine inspired Dark Lord, Skellington and Left Shark, a funny reference to a Katy Perry Superbowl performance, the fun begins before you even enter a match. I didn’t see a great range of playable maps, but this could simply be a product of this PAX demo being a vertical slice of the final product, but from what I’ve seen it seems that Dime Studios have again created a fun indie game that can be consumed in both short and long bursts. Coming to Steam in 2016, Blockpocalypse is one to look into – and one that you should support – it’s a game that could do well on consoles as well.