Bloom Box, by Nexx Studio (not to be confused with EA’s Boom Blox for the Nintendo Wii), is a neat little iOS puzzle game that seems to have everything going for it in terms of production, but falls a little short of being a challenging title. That’s not to say that it is a bad game; on the contrary – it’s definitely fun to play. For me, though, it just ended up being a little bit too boring.
Bloom Box presents the player with a “garden” in a grid (8×8). There is a trigger box which can be “detonated” by tapping the activation button at the bottom of the screen – this sends drops of water to adjacent squares on the grid. If other boxes are hit by the drops, they also detonate (a chain reaction. The goal of Bloom Box is to set off all of these boxes. There are also three stars on the grid which, for the sake of completeness, should also be activated. Your rating for the level is dependent on how many of the three stars you hit.
Some of the boxes in the garden may be moved around (using the touch controls), but they can never be placed on another box or on top of a hole (holes are fixed as well). There are various types of boxes, and each type “explodes” in a particular way. Initially, you start off with blue boxes that, when triggered, shoot their payload toward all four compass points; red boxes explode on the diagonals. As you continue through the game, more boxes become available. To make things a little easier, the boxes, when touched during the moving phase, will indicate which squares around them will be activated.
Great graphics and sound make this a nice title for basic puzzling.
The visuals and sounds are great, and the interface is easy to use; again, this makes it easy for puzzle neophytes to get in the game fairly quickly. At the moment, there are 120 puzzles to play distributed across several gardens. The stars that you collect can be used to unlock a fourth garden with more difficult puzzles.
If you’re new to the puzzling scene, or if you would like to relax and kick back with a decent puzzle game, then you can try out the free version of Bloom Box – or, for $1.99 you can get the full version. I found that the game was fun for the first little while, but became boring before long. The puzzles, while well-designed, tend to be fairly simple. Logic will prevail, and offer quick solutions – especially since there are multiple solutions to most of the puzzles. Now, to be fair, I am a bit of a puzzle hound – so this might be a good fit for someone who is cutting their teeth on puzzling; more so due to the great production value behind this game.