Even though I may not have a lot of time to invest in these Minecraft-style games where you build your own world, I do enjoy them when I have a bit of spare time (but my worlds don’t look like anything spectacular). It’s pretty amazing to see where your own imagination takes you, kind of like how we were with Legos back in the day. The Blockheads is no different — it’s a free alternative for those who haven’t tried Minecraft Pocket Edition or Junk Jack. And for what it’s worth, it’s pretty decent, until you give it a closer look.
The Blockheads is a hybrid of 3-D visuals like Minecraft, but it takes place on a 2-D plane, like Junk Jack. So what we have here are 3-D graphics but you can only move left, right, up, and down. It’s an interesting combination, but it works for the most part. The randomly generated environments are rich, lush, and full of resources that are awaiting you. If you’ve seen Minecraft, then you will know what The Blockheads’ visuals look like.
You start out in the game by creating a male or female Blockhead, and then they will come into the world through a magical portal. This portal is important, as you will be coming back to it quite often to get your crafting options started.
However, it’s a bit slow when you are trying to navigate around the world, since your blockhead is a 3-D model, and will “walk” and “climb” around. If you’re used to the fast pace movement in the competing games, then you may be a bit annoyed with The Blockheads. To move around, just tap where you want to go. When you find something that you want to dig or chop up, just tap on the block, and your character will start digging. By default, you are always able to dig with your hands, but it will take a while. Select one of the tools in the squares at the bottom to use it. As you collect resources, you will see your inventory and how much of items you have.
In order to craft things, you need to return to the portal and then create a workbench. With the workbench, you are then able to create a tool bench, craft bench, woodwork bench, campfire, and more as you level it up. When you have the necessary benches, you can then craft tools, weapons, and even cook food. However, this is where the game falls flat.
In Minecraft and Junk Jack, when you craft something, it happens instantly. In The Blockheads, crafting takes a long time and requires you to sit through it, since it gets paused if you put the game into the background. The game does this so that it will entice players to use “Time Crystals” to speed things up, and if you are out of crystals, you are encouraged to buy more through in-app purchases. I found this incredibly annoying, especially when there are better alternatives to the game that may not be free, but won’t gouge you with tons of consumable IAPs.
I wanted to like The Blockheads, since I heard some talk about the game. However, I fail to find what is so great about it, since it purposely takes too long to do anything in order to get you to cough up real money for crystals. Personally, I’d rather stick to Junk Jack (universal, $2.99), or Minecraft (universal, $6.99) if you prefer the real thing. I just see The Blockheads trying to take the good elements of both of these games and then ruining it with IAPs.
You can get The Blockheads for free in the App Store for your iPhone or iPad, but I would skip it for better games that won’t waste your time.