Block Story Steam Early Access Preview
Block Story, an RPG/ Sandbox fusion, recently hit Steam’s Early Access program after being available for iPhone/ Android for some time. On first glance, most anyone would say it looks like Minecraft – and there’s no way around it, it does look like Minecraft. But that game has a more distinct sandbox feel to it, whereas Block Story seeks to (as the name implies) add a story to the blocks.
Characters throughout the world provide you with quests, weaving a narrative to accompany the sandbox world full of elemental blocks waiting to be turned into tools, weapons and items. Early quests gave me World Of Warcraft flashbacks with repetitive missions, such as a Viking asking me to bring him “x” number of “y”. That said, some of the early redundancy is necessary as players familiarizes themselves with the recipe system and learn to synthesize items.
The graphics are nothing to write home about, but then again neither are the graphics in its primary inspiration Minecraft. The characters do seem a bit out of place, as unlike in Minecraft they are not block people but rather realistically rendered; the same goes for various animals and creatures you encounter in Block Story. The RPG elements are apparent – you have mana you can use to fly and you can gain skill points to level up your movement speed, mana pool, health pool, attack damage and mining speeds. That being said, it doesn’t really feel like an RPG as you play it, because you still have to mine resources to progress. Because of this, the story tends to come in spurts interlaced with stretches of farming/grinding.
Overall, I think Block Story may hold less appeal on Steam than the mobile platforms. I can see the merit of mining some items and upping your weapons during an afternoon commute on your phone, but on a platform such as Steam gamers have access to a wider variety of games to occupy their time. That said, for those who enjoy the sandbox elements of Minecraft, but want a little more structure or sense of purpose, Block Story could be worth checking out.