Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy Review

If I had to summarize Budcat Creations’ Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy in as few words as possible, “Katamari SHMUP 2.0” would be one of the most apt descriptions I could come up with. An upgraded port of Kenta Cho’s 2004 freeware PC shooter Tumiki Fighters, Blast Works is a side-scroller that requires players to use the fallen debris from downed enemy aircraft to augment their own ship, gaining offensive and defensive advantages as they progress.

There are no statistics or attributes given value by a collection of arbitrary numbers in Blast Works, nor are there are any magical glowing powerups floating throughout the airspace; the characteristics and abilities of the player’s aircraft at any moment are defined by its physical form, created on-the-fly by the player. This is done by catching the broken bits (or entire structures) of conquered foes with their own ship, eventually creating a sticky pile of random parts that are haphazardly (or strategically) clumped together.

Form equals function in Blast Works. Each part that is tacked onto a ship adds a new way to gun down foes, and also serves as a shield from enemy fire. One piece might shoot a rapid stream of bullets, while another will create large rings that move slowly across the screen. Even the direction of fire is based on the particular part and its orientation on the ship.

This offensive build-up doesn’t go on forever, though, and although it is possible to snag enough wreckage to fill up the entire screen, enemy assaults can break pieces off of your craft just as quickly as they are attached. This unique concept keeps the gameplay interesting and dynamic, as players will rarely man the same ship configuration twice.

The actual composition of the game’s main campaign is not terribly complex, however, as most of the missions you will embark on are very similar to one another. There is no storyline to what is essentially a child’s play session, animated in videogame form, but that is of little consequence because one can still derive simple pleasure from participating in the action over the course of the game’s 15 stages. Up to 4-player simultaneous cooperative play is a thoughtful addition, but any more than two players on-screen at once makes a visual mess of things.

Blast Works is more a toy to play with than a challenge to conquer. This is evident in the editor mode, which even the title suggests is the game’s primary focal point. Players can build custom levels from scratch, using nothing but the most basic building blocks to create everything from the ships, enemies, and weapons to the scenery, music, and effects. The results range from very simple to incredibly detailed depending on the time and effort put into the work. Alternatively, pre-made items from the game’s campaign are available to use, as well.

Once a design is complete, it can either be put to immediate in-game use or uploaded to an online bank of user creations at This website is a great resource for players who would rather not spend the time building, but still want to add a custom feel to their game. Everything from simple shapes to full levels are available for download, and because the website is linked to your Wii Number, transfers are quick and easy. Combined with the in-game editor, this feature allows for limitless expansion and an always-fresh feel. Sharing content is the reason to own Blast Works.

Conceptually, Blast Works is very “gaming 2.0,” and is similar to what one might expect from LittleBigPlanet later this year in terms of customization and content sharing. Although the initial collection of levels in the main campaign can grow stale rather quickly, the potentially endless stream of user-created content and the unique and entertaining gameplay make Blast Works a very worthwhile addition to any gaming library.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.