Block’hood Review

Block'hood

Block’hood is one of those building games, that is either a hit or a miss. It’s not something that appeals to everyone, even if it’s someone who likes playing building games. Only a small group of people may truly enjoy and appreciate the things this game have to offer. Do give this a read if you’re keen on getting this game.

Block’hood is an isometric city building sandbox simulation game. Although the word city building is used to describe this game, that term is being used loosely. You won’t be able to build massive, sprawling cities but you’re able to build an impressive skyscraper or two (if you’re both capable and doesn’t lack in creative ingenuity.)

The game has several modes for you to play, Story, Sandbox, Challenge and tutorial. You may skip the tutorial entirely and jump straight into the story as it serve the same purpose as the tutorial. It comes with a nice little story as you learn the concept along the way. Or you can skip the story and play the tutorial – it’s faster and shorter than the story, kinda like a crash course.

Story Mode

In story mode, there’s a total of 5 chapters to clear. Each of the chapters is relatively short – it took me roughly 2 hours to clear all 5 chapters – but the speed of you moving on to the next chapter is in parallel on how fast you grasp its concept and your execution of it. The story serves as a tutorial despite having one. So you may skip it entirely as there isn’t a story in tutorial mode.

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Block’hood | Plethora-Project LLC

You’ll start with building a small simple town. Learning the resources required to build that building block and the resources produced from the said building block. Each of these building blocks has their own positive and negative synergy with other blocks. Placing the corner apartment block next to a flower garden block will boost its each other productivity, whereas the same corner apartment block placed next to the brewery block will reduce each other productivity.

Finding the right synergy between each block is something which is not being taught in the story and it’s something gain from trial and error.

As you progress you’ll learn to make production chain. Enabling the production of advance goods which in turn enable the placement of advance building blocks. Allowing the arrival of various individuals with various job occupations or wildlife – if you’re able to get the right building pattern. Transforming the once small town to a small economic city.

Events can occur in the game sporadically, such as animal migration or riots. As much as I would like to say that the event is random but I can’t. The requirement to trigger is within your capability, but the timing it occurs won’t be immediate. It’s random.

Once you’ve cleared story mode, head on towards challenge mode and put all your architectural ingenuity to the test. Or just, you know, meet the challenge requirement without any complex structure to proceed to the next challenge.

 Challenge & Sandbox Mode

There’s up to 24 numbers of challenges to do. Each is harder than the previous. Although I say harder, I meant to say it’s more time-consuming and tedious. Proper structural planning is the key to tackling the harder challenges. You are able to immediately tackle the hardest challenge available without going through the easier challenge one level at a time if you so desire.

With that said, once you have beaten the hardest challenge available, the other challenge isn’t that much challenging – and time consuming too.

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Block’hood | Plethora-Project LLC

In sandbox, there are 2 modes to pick, Hood or World.  In the Hood, you’re able to play in ecology or free form mode. In free form mode, you can build your ideal skyscraper or city (albeit a small one) without worrying about the input and outputs of your building block. Where as in ecology, you still can build your ideal skyscraper or city, but it will take a very long time to build as you’ll need to manage the input and output of resources in the process.

Every single building block is made available at your disposal. You can go ahead and build your ultimate skyscraper or neighborhood. The required resources are still needed to be met in order to place down those advance building blocks.

The largest hood you can create is 20 by 20 by 40 blocks. By math, the total number of blocks you’re allowed to place is 16,000, but the game maximum permissible limit is 3,000. If you’re able to reach the 3,000 cap do let me know I’m curious on what you have built to reach it.

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Block’hood | Plethora-Project LLC

In World however, you have a large amount of land to play with. There are 10 different sets of biome to select and you’re able to customize that biome to a certain extend. Such as you prefer a world with more water bodies, then land or a lot of open grassland. You’re able to make multiple hoods in this mode and the hoods can be connected to one another – should you create a hood next to another – and the resources generate by each hood is shared. In a sense by connecting all the hoods together, you’re able to build massive thriving cities. Just like in Hood, the max limit area you can create in World is 20 by 20.


Personal Opinion

Block’hood is a nice game to raise awareness to those that are ignorant that any action that men have created will not have any repercussion to our environment.

There’s a good little short story tied into the story mode and it’s relatively simple to complete. If you don’t want to play the story mode and dive straight into sandbox mode, I recommend playing tutorial mode first. It’s a crash course on how to play the game and it can be clear within minutes.

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Block’hood | Plethora-Project LLC

There is no variation in the challenges other than producing xx amount of yy goods. With xx and yy being the only value that change. Although producing higher tier products will take a longer time to set up, but is it suffice to say that it is harder? Once you’re able to start producing the item required to complete the challenge, you can fast forward the game time. Allowing you to take 5 min break and come back to see your challenge being completed with you not needed to be there to monitor its progress.

The real meat of this game would be playing World in sandbox mode. Due to its massive size, it would be a sight to see the creation of a massive city in that world. The only thing I find lacking is being able to build your city with multiple theme all over the world. You’re able to make districts such as a shopping district or factory district, but you aren’t able to make different them of that same district.

The few things that I enjoy while playing this, is its aesthetics and music. The art is simple and give a nice ‘clean’ feeling to it. The music is calming and relaxing, giving you a sense of tranquility and serenity as you plan on building your city.

Conclusion

I won’t be able to say a definite no to this game as this game has a type of charm that a certain group of people may enjoy and appreciate, but I can’t say a definite yes either. Best if you get it on a sale and try the game for yourself. Maybe the game will charm you instead.


Platform: PC (Windows, Mac OS, Linux)
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Plethora-Project LLC
Rating: Ok (59 out of 100)
Hours Played: 5hrs


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