Spielberg's 'Boom Blox' offers charm, challenge on Wii

ByABC News
May 10, 2008, 10:55 AM

— -- Steven Spielberg is more than just an Academy Award-winning film producer and director he's a video game creator as well. On the eve of the release of his next blockbuster Indiana Jones movie, Spielberg and Electronic Arts have rolled out Boom Blox, a charming puzzle game for the Nintendo Wii.

"I am a gamer myself, and I really wanted to create a video game that I could play with my kids," says Spielberg. '"Boom Blox' features an enormous amount of fun challenges and cool scenarios for your kids to solve or for you to master together."

Not only did Spielberg come up with the idea of having puzzles based on the building and knocking down of blocks, but he also supervised the art, the character development and the game play. He even named some of the characters after three of his daughters.

Boom Blox can be played in three different modes: Play, Party and Create. The Play mode offers two sequential paths of exploration for one player. The Party mode gives up to four players a chance to compete or cooperate through 120 levels of puzzles. The Create mode provides a creative sandbox in which to fashion puzzles to share with others. In all, there are almost 400 puzzles to solve.

By starting in the Play mode, you can unlock more content to use in the Create mode. The Play mode provides you with two approaches to the puzzles: the Explore mode, in which you work through a series of progressively harder puzzles, and an Adventure mode, in which you are presented with ministories that give you a reason to solve puzzles set in four different worlds. The puzzles found in the multiplayer Party mode are variations of the puzzles found in the Play mode.

Every puzzle features block structures that need to be altered. You are presented with an objective and the means to solve it. The beauty of these puzzles is that you can attempt them an infinite number of times, so with experimentation, you can figure them out.

One of the simplest puzzles involves figuring out how to hit a structure with a ball to make it tumble down. The game uses a realistic physics engine that makes blocks, balls and other objects behave in anticipated ways.