I’m sure many of you are aware of Minecraft. It’s a pretty straightforward simulation type game that allows you to build and survive in an open and very pixelated world. I have Minecraft Pocket Edition on my Android (what Minecraft lover doesn’t, right), but the updates seem to take forever. Unlike the PC version which is constantly being updated, the Pocket Edition barely sees updates which add new features and improvements. It’s left me longing to play something, a little more. Block Story is a totally fleshed out Minecraft clone with a plethora of new features.
What is it and what does it do
Block Story is an excellent Minecraft clone for Android, which is outfitted with a whole slew of new features and gameplay improvements. Namely, instead of just building with pixelated blocks you can actually take on quests and explore the world on grand adventures. There are tons of weapons to carry, vehicles to use, enemies to defeat, and a diverse crafting system.
- Powerful Minecraft clone with tons of unique features
- 87 different mobs from lizards and dragons to sharks
- A large selection of weapons to craft
- Fully realized crafting system
- Level up and customize your character
- 4 different control modes, virtual joysticks, accelerometer and virtual d-pad
- Vehicle to traverse the endless world faster
- Quest system like modern RPGs with objective tracking
- Frequent updates with new features and improvements
- Graphics tweaking options (turn up or down depending on your device)
- Can’t load saved worlds in the free version (premium version is cheap)
- Quests can be redundant (collect 30 pieces of wood)
- No multi-player support, yet
- There are some minor bugs here and there
- Also available for PC and Mac (through Desura)
- Uses about 165.2MB of RAM while running, it’s safe to say it drains the battery
I’m going to make a big assumption here that you already know what Minecraft is and how it works. If you’re reading this review than chances are relatively high you have some idea of what kind of game it is. Essentially, you collect resources to craft tools, which in turn help you survive. It’s actually a little more complex than that but you get the gist of it. Because Block Story is a lot like Minecraft I’m not going to cover the basics, I’m going to highlight what features make it a different game altogether.
The lite (free) version of Block Story is pretty much unhindered except for one thing, you cannot load previously saved worlds. That means all the work you do in one sitting is for naught, at least with a single world. You always have to start over again unless you pay for the premium version, which is actually pretty cheap ($1.98). You create a character when you first start playing that you level as you complete quests and defeat enemies. Your character will carry over to other worlds even in the free version, so it’s still quite a bit of fun to play even if you don’t want to drop the money.
The world is infinite, and just keeps going so you will never run out of areas to explore. There’s a crafting system much like Minecraft that allows you to create tools, resources and more. The terrain is actually quite beautiful, and if you have a high end device you can crank up the graphics through the settings menu.
There are four different controls schemes, three of which make use of virtual buttons on-screen. There’s an option to use one virtual joystick, two or even a directional pad. The final control option allows you to use the accelerometer to tilt the device. Surprisingly, all options work out pretty well although I tend to use virtual joysticks more. As much as I loathe touch controls, I dislike the lack of precision from the accelerometer when tilting the device.
Where Block Story differs from other titles in the genre, is in the way you actually play the game. Sure, you collect materials and resources by punching blocks, and you can craft tools. Sure, there’s an endless world to explore that’s inhabited by baddies (87 different kinds to be exact, way more than Minecraft). The enemies are pretty awesome and range from dragons, to tiny animals and all the way to sharks in the sea.
But you don’t play Block Story to build, you don’t even really play to explore. You play Block Story to progress, much like you would Skyrim or any other RPG. Some of the quests are redundant, but that’s okay it gets you familiar with the game.
Block Story is incredibly fun, and I’m really surprised that it’s just a mobile game. It seems like a console quality title, and it offers so much more than Minecraft in terms of features. Some Minecraft lovers will hate it, just for the sheer fact that it’s not Minecraft. If you really give it a chance, I think you’ll discover something different beneath the surface, something new.
The best part about the game is that, just like Minecraft, the developers are continuously updating it and adding new features.
Unfortunately, Block Story uses about 165MB while running, which is a pretty significant amount of resources. Keep in mind, while playing a game like this that uses a lot of your system memory the battery will also drain faster. Especially, when you take into account the fact that the display remains on for extended periods of time.
Conclusion and download link
Block Story is an Android game that offers many more features than Minecraft: PE, and it’s even free. Of course, you cannot load previously saved worlds in the lite version, but you can still progress (level up) your character as you wish. There are tons of weapons to craft, including guns, bows, swords and magic. You can wear unique equipment like flippers to swim faster, and there are even vehicles to help you travel through the world faster. Of course, the basics are in place too like a fully realized crafting system, infinite worlds, multiple biomes and more. Furthermore, it has pretty low requirements so it should work fairly well on older Android devices, and with high end devices you can even crank up the graphics settings. If you’re looking for a Minecraft: PE alternative, or just a great Android game to pass the time then you might want to check this one out. It’s continuously being updated with new features and improvements so by the time you read this and check it out, something new has probably already been added.
Price: Free (Lite), $1.98 (Premium)
Version reviewed: 6.0.4
Requires: 2.o.1 and up
Download size: 41MB