Blokus is an incredibly simple board game that’s easy to pick up by both children and adults alike, as well as those new to designer board games such as Small World and Carcassonne. You start with a set of Tetris-like blocks (I guarantee every new player will be compelled to say “oooh, it’s like Tetris isn’t it!?” when you sit down to play), the goal being to place as many on the board as you can. The only rule is that your pieces must and indeed can only touch at the corners (see the screenshot). After a few rounds, space becomes a little more premium and you’ll start blocking each other off, trying to find weak spots where you can creep through he opponents’ carefully laid walls of defense. A full game should take no more than 30 minutes.
The iPad implementation of this classic boardgame is just as fun, though the interface feels a little gimmicky. It takes a while to get used to the on-screen control for orienting and flipping your pieces over – something that we do intuitively in real life but needs a lot of thought to implement properly on a touchscreen device. It’s easy once you get used to it, but turn off the time limit if you have players who’ve never played it on the iPad before, or with children. Playtesting with my wife, she got frustrated a few times as she tried to flick and twist the piece how she wanted, only for the countdown to end and the computer places a random piece somewhere for her instead! It’s a minor gripe and a quick learning curve, though.
There is a good selection of multiplayer modes – the usual pass n play, local wifi, and an internet play option too – but when I tried to join a game it said none available.
The addition of various challenges through a tournament mode play and achievements are a nice touch, but somewhat irrelevant.