Tower Bloxx Deluxe Review

Xbox Live Arcade has quickly become much more than it was originally intended to be. First starting off as a place for small, arcade-oriented gaming, the service has become a stomping ground for fully featured titles such as Shadow Complex and Battlefield 1943. Yet sometimes we still get small, casual, and arcade-like experiences that look to bring a laid back feel to gaming.

Tower Bloxx Deluxe is one such game, and it excels at providing this feeling. It’s just a shame that it feels restrained and too simple for its platform.

Tower Bloxx Deluxe is a port of the cellphone game, Tower Bloxx, both developed by Digital Chocolate, and it shows. The original game had you trying to build a tower as high as you could before it fell over. Each block would be attached to your crane arm and swing back and forth on the screen, and your objective was to time the swing to drop the block perfectly onto the tower. If you placed it directly on top of the previous block, you would get a score bonus and a combo would start, leading you to try to get each successive drop perfectly aligned as quickly as possible. It was a fun and addicting little game that was perfect for wasting some time on the bus or waiting in line. Tower Bloxx Deluxe expands on this idea, but can’t quite escape the concept that it’s predecessor has established and feels like an ill fit for a console platform.

Tower Bloxx Deluxe

In Deluxe, you’ll still drop blocks on top of each other, but the game adds a few extra flourishes and modes to warrant the “deluxe” moniker. The first change of course is the visuals, which are now full 3D instead of the cartoon 2D visuals of the cellphone version. The game’s graphics are actually a high point. The towers themselves are bright and colorful and look as if they pop from the screen. The visuals also do a great job of communicating your progress and awards to you. As you stack towers perfectly, the game spouts stars and audio cues that ramp you up to continue the combo. Little people fly in on umbrellas and succsessive drops bring more and more people in giving you a sense of accomplishment and that you are playing the game well.

The game also throws in a few different modes to expand on the one-button gameplay. The standard Quick Game has you trying to build a tower as high as you can before it topples over. This is a pretty fun mode and always has you trying to beat your last score. It taps into that old school feeling of surmounting your last score or the score of others. Time Attack has you building a tower as fast as you can. As you build higher and higher, you reach time checkpoints that add ten more seconds, and each perfect drop adds one second. The added factor of a time limit makes for a frantic mode that tests your ability to make perfect drops and try to get as high as you can within your time limit. The real draw of the game though, and the beefiest mode available, is Build a City. In Build a City, you’re given plots of land that need towers built to attract a population. Each plot has a certain number of squares that fit one tower and you have different types of towers that each draw in their own number of citizens. You are then tasked with building these towers in each square to try to maximize your population. There’s a strategy here that requires certain towers to be built so bigger, more citizen-drawing ones can be placed.


The game’s multiplayer Battle and co-op modes are the two that try something different with the concept. Battle has up to four friends trying to get to the finish line first. Along the way, you can trigger power-up rings that give different weapons to attack other players, such as slowing down the crane, turning their screen around, or blowing wind to make the tower wobble more. This is a good change of pace and can get very hectic and competitive when four people are competing. Co-op brings you and your partner together to try to build a tower as high as you can in the given time limit. The catch is that one player drops the blocks, while the other controls a hand tool. As one player drops the blocks, the other must use the tool to straighten the tower. Each straightened block adds one second to the clock, as does each perfectly dropped block. This is probably the one co-op mode that I can say is truly cooperative and the most fun I had with the game. I was constantly communicating with my partner to straighten blocks while I dropped more, and at every 25th block, the roles change. This constant back-and-forth play was great fun and I wish there were more modes like this in the game.

While it’s nice that the game attempts to add some depth, the core gameplay is where this mode and many others fall apart. Even though there are all these extra modes, the extremely simple gameplay is just not built for a game of this magnitude and price. Each mode boils down to you pressing one button to drop a block. Yes they can be dressed up in different formats, but this core concept never changes. It becomes boring and drab, making you wonder why a the game costs ten dollars. This concept is well suited for the few minutes of gameplay that a cell phone provides, but not as much on a console that has other, better puzzle games in its library.And while the multiplayer plays with the concept, the fact that it’s not online is a huge misstep. This error just calls more attention to the fact that the game costs way too much for what it brings to the table.

The simple gameplay overshadows all the extra modes and graphical flourishes that Tower Bloxx Deluxe has to offer. If you own the game on your cell phone, I wager to say you have the best version. Just stick with that and pass on the Xbox Live version unless you’re a die hard Tower Bloxx fan.


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Author: Matt Erazo View all posts by

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