The fight for blocks may seem confusing, but it gets competitive rather fast!
The world of puzzle games is a diverse one, with options available for various player types. While I appreciate most of them, it is hard for me to see something new that makes me pay attention. StarBlox Inc. immediately broke the status quo with a mixture of battling and puzzling. The game looked complicated from a distance, but I gave it a fair shake anyway, despite some problems that could potentially pop up. Were these worries warranted? A tiny bit.
In principle alone, I do think that StarBlox Inc. is a great little game. You and another player fight against each other to take control of puzzle pieces. This is done in a platform fighter style fashion, which maybe isn't the most precise method, but it gets the job done. Once you obtain a block, you will twist it to your will and place it on the board. The way you complete lines is similar to Puyo Puyo, where having multiple blocks of the same color is important to score points. A very important thing is that a shape you pick up has to connect to a block of the same color. This forces you to multitask where you fight, what your board looks like, and how to place the pieces to the best of your ability. It can get overwhelming incredibly fast, particularly if you play with someone less experienced.
Gameplay gets more complicated when you realize that you can influence what the other person is doing. You can stop them from throwing blocks onto their grid, or throw the other play into an incinerator to instantly slow them down. The best way to win a match in StarBlox Inc. is to simply take control of the board, and get free pickings at the blocks you need. Once it clicks in your head, specific strategies will come very naturally to you, but it takes a while to get there. When the game manages to shift into second gear, it becomes a highly competitive affair that my more-savvy friends really got a kick out of. I think what bugs me the most is the tutorial. It was way too long and tried to play it for laughs. The jokes made during the tutorial weren't bad, but they dragged the whole learning experience down a lot.
As far as content is concerned, there is plenty to keep you going. There is Career Mode where you travel to different planets and take on the opponents there. In addition, there are competitive modes for up to four players and battles against CPUs for up to eight A.I. opponents. The most interesting feature, however, is the Guide to the Solar System. The option contains all kinds of fun information from NASA about asteroids, space elements, and planets. As you play more, StarBlox Inc. will open up more trinkets in this specific mode. It is a stark contrast compared to the rest of the game, but that doesn't mean I didn't appreciate it. There were highly entertaining reads throughout.
StarBlox Inc. is a neat game, but with a big problem when it comes to explaining things. The game's tutorial drags and for gaming novices, the mechanics and strategy will really not come naturally. There are many little things that you need to keep in mind to give you the edge in battle. Once you get the hang of the proceedings, though, it can become a highly competitive experience with each side fighting for total domination. The battle and puzzle combo is quite an adorable one that runs quite well on Nintendo Switch.