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 Review: Blek (Wii U eShop)

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Professor Clayton
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PostReview: Blek (Wii U eShop)

Taking Mind Games to a Whole New Level


Every so often a new game comes along which forces you to change the way you view and tackle obstacles in an unprecedented way. This essentially summarizes Blek, a mobile game which made the leap to the Wii U eShop after gathering critical acclaim for its innovative ideas on the mobile platforms. The major question regarding Blek is whether it is a justifiable purchase on a console, and the Wii U is just the answer to this challenge.

Driven entirely by images on the screen, which amount to circles and lines, Blek doesn't have a story. Or any form of a menu. The manual only tells you that the touchscreen is used to control the game. And it works. Blek's only form of instruction is to show you that drawing lines on the touchscreen has a result. It is up to the player to determine what that result is, and how to apply it to the over 50 levels on hand.


By drawing a line on the Wii U Gamepad screen, your goal is to run into and remove all of the colored circles on the screen, while avoiding the black colored dots. Far from simply letting you draw a line around the black dots, Blek ramps up the difficulty by throwing a few restrictions your way. Firstly, any lines drawn must be done so without lifting the stylus off of the screen. Second, once you remove the stylus, the line will redraw itself repeatedly, over and over again, in exactly the same fashion as you drew it. Finally, you cannot draw your line into any obstacle, or it immediately stops your drawing and begins repeating.

hese three restrictions are brilliant when executed together, and require the player to draw each line out entirely in advance, and clear the level in one shot. Solving levels requires looking for patterns in each of the arrangements of circles, and accurately forming a line which will ultimately hit every circle.

At first, levels can be cleared by drawing a straight line or a circle, however this quickly evolves into one of the most complex puzzle games the eShop has to offer. You'll be drawing loops and squares and more all in a row, with minimal room for error. This ultimately leads to a lot of trial and error on the player's part, but with a game as straightforward as Blek it is difficult to blame anything other than yourself for drawing a line incorrectly.


If Blek has one issue, it is the fact that it is appearing on a console. With the Gamepad to play on, players have more control than before and can even play offscreen if they so choose. On the other hand, Blek clearly is best enjoyed for a few minutes at a time, as it can be frustrating to lose repeatedly when you hit a brick wall, and on a console the game is harder to quickly fire up. Blek both benefits and is hurt by appearing on the Wii U, and the trade off is ultimately up to the consumer to decide which is a better platform to purchase on for their own tastes.

Regardless of the platform, Blek is one of the most simple yet mind boggling puzzle games you can find anywhere, at a low price to boot. Its difficult to come away from Blek feeling disappointed, as the level design is superb and the controls extremely precise, and overall the game is simply enchanting to play. If you haven't played Blek yet, you really need to, or else you're missing out on one of the most creative puzzle games in years.

9/10

Review copy provded by: Kunabi-Brother
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