First Look: Block Story

By Beyhan Moustafa on May 26, 2014, 3:00PM EDT

Block Story is a new quest-based adventure game uses Mojang's Minecraft as its influence. The team over at MindBlocks Studio have incorporated the core mechanics of Minecraft, but also introduced RPG elements, which will have you traversing through the land to create new items, unlock portions of the game by completing quests and fighting a large selection of enemies get further in the game.

For people who have played Minecraft before, you will feel right at home with the core aspects of Block Story. You will start off creating basic items with wood, stone and coal ore and from here, the game uses a tutorial which introduces the games mechanics, items and the various NPCs you will encounter along the way. The quests play a big part in the game, as they offer a sense of purpose as you complete new quests. By completing quests, you unlock new recipes which lead to better items as the game progresses.

Creatures, enemies and NPCs are conveniently located near spawn blocks which are found all over the land. You can collect these blocks and they allow you to manipulate where they can spawn. You also have a base, which offers a great advantage. You can have anything you want spawn in a convenient location, which will take the hassle away from finding a specific spawn block. This is very useful when one of the NPCs is a merchant and you need to purchase items from him to progress through the game.

Throughout the game, you are given experience points by doing various actions. These points allow you to start increasing your stats, which range from the health of your character, to sword damage and magic damage. As you progress, you will also start to use trinkets which will offer increases in stats, which of course makes fighting some enemies more manageable.

Block Story doesn't shy from using Minecraft as inspiration. The "blocky" world does look a step up from the vanilla default texture Minecraft has to offer. The color pallet does increase quite a lot thanks to each craftable and spawn blocks also have different colours, which illuminate the area around them. It truly looks amazing at night time when the blocks illuminate the world.

The controls are quite good for the most part. The inventory is easily accessible and offers a lot of assistance when knowing what each item is, thanks to a conveniently placed help function. There were times when placing items got finicky and would not leave the cursor. Character movement is really fluid and does offer a really smooth experience when traversing through the land. There were times when your character will move around when mining, due to the game accommodating the character from moving up escalated areas without having to jump each time. Although, this is a rare occurrence and does not interrupt the flow of gameplay all too much, it's still a bit annoying.

Block Story, although still in Early Access on Steam, does offer quite a lot of content and a well-polished experience for players to keep engaged for quite some time. The game is still getting improved upon, which the developers are assuring, and it means the future for Block Story does look promising.

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