dockAbloc ($0.99) by SJTeague is a unique action puzzle game that will cause spontaneous rage quits or jumps of joy. It all depends on how smooth you are at flying anti-gravity devices.
We know all too well the impact that fuel has on our lives. Just look at the rising gas prices. It’s painful. In dockAbloc, your task is to guide cargo (apparently it’s some form of fuel) into tight fitting hubs and help bring the world out of a fuel recession.
The premise of dockAbloc is truly unique. You are a pilot of an anti-gravity device that transports oddly shaped cargo bundles across the sky. You control these bundles with two sets of thrusters. One set is for lateral movement, the other is for rotation. You can also control the speed of the cargo by tilting the device forward and backward. In my opinion, the controls feel pretty clunky, and it would be nice if there were alternatives to the joysticks. Even plain buttons could work well.
If you can get used to the controls, dockAbloc is a ton of fun. The game plays similar to the game show, Hole in the Wall. In dockAbloc, instead of passing through a hole in a wall, you have to align your cargo bundle with the design of the hub. When matched correctly, the bundle and hub fit together like puzzle pieces. Of course there is a small margin for error, but if you miss too badly you will lose some of your cargo.
This may sound easy, but there are quite a few obstacles that make things difficult. The first thing you need to worry about is wind. The wind varies in direction for each level and slowly increases in strength, making it difficult to even travel in a straight line. On top of that, you will have to dodge cargo bombs, navigate through gates, and deal with unstable cargo.
From what I can tell, dockAbloc features somewhat endless gameplay. When you start a game, you keep going until you run out of lives. You lose lives by either not meeting the minimum cargo threshold or by failing to reach the hub. You earn money for each cargo bundle that you dock, and lose money for any lost cargo. Your high scores are recorded via an in-app leaderboard (not Game Center).
All things considered, dockAbloc is a somewhat mediocre title. Although the concept is interesting and unique, the controls and presentation are not quite up to par. If you aren’t convinced by the looks alone, I would hold off on this one until an update hits. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some new game modes added. I’m sure time trial would be a nice addition to this game. Until then, dockAbloc is simply not worth the price.