Game Review Data

Game Title

Denki Blocks
RAGE Software
1 to 4 Players. Battery Save.
Andrew Blanchard



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Ever since the groundbreaking Tetris, games developers have been banging their heads against the wall trying to replicate its success. 'What's the problem?', I hear you say. There really shouldn't be one but for some reason no one has yet managed to follow this game of falling blocks while retaining its simplicity and addictiveness. Up steps the next contender - Denki Blocks, from Gameboy newcomers Rage, which appears to have all the ingredients to become the Tetris of the new Millennium but did it give us sleepless nights or just put us to sleep?

Screen Shots


Outlining the gameplay in this title is simple to say the least; if Tetris can be defined as 'fitting falling shapes together', Denki Blocks is 'pushing coloured boxes together'. This may appear like mindless gameplay to you at the moment but read on, you may change your mind. The game starts off so simply you might wonder why you're playing it at all but this is really just a cleverly constructed learning curve so hang in there as by the time you reach the fourth area you'll be struggling to solve anything.

You start off by pushing same coloured blocks in order to fuse them together. It should be mentioned here that it is the walls and various obstacles (always in white) that move and not the blocks. The blocks will only move when a wall or another block pushes them. Got it? Good.

Things get more difficult with each color introduced. It may sound strange but you actually spend most of your time avoiding blocks. This is because joining blocks too early can trap you in a corner or jam the walls thus rendering you helpless. This can happen a lot to start with but using the 'Reset Puzzle' option will give you another crack at it. If this isn't enough, as a bonus, you'll sometimes be challenged to replicate a given shape using one of the colors which eventually opens up other areas.

We started off in 'Tournament Mode' where you solve puzzles from different hosts located in various parts of the island. There are 25 from each host set up in a grid fashion allowing you to tackle the puzzles in any order. Complete 15 and you win a special award and the option to try the next level of gameplay. There are other modes that have you beating times, matching the 'Par' moves already set and there's even a four player option using just one GBA. Another way to tackle the game is just to play all of the puzzles available although this is not as interesting as the other modes and only really for puzzle purists. The battery save system is exactly as you'd wish as your name and position are saved automatically even if you just switch off.

We're only reviewing the GBA version of this game as the differences between it and the GBC version are so slight it that it really didn't warrant a second look. Basically the GBC version gives you exactly the same gameplay so the end score stands for both versions. The GBA version has more levels and superior sound/graphics/animation and that's it. In an original marketing move UK residents with digital television can play a demo using 'OPEN' and your remote control. This really is the ultimate 'Try Before You Buy' and in the comfort of your own home too.


This is possibly the simplest control system we've seen as other than travelling through the various options the only in-game control used is the 'D-pad'. For anything else you need to know there's a whole tutorial section in the game which disposes of any need for a manual. Yes, this is a truly portable game.


Throughout the game you're treated to some wonderful airbrushed cartoon graphics that suit the gameplay perfectly. Everything has a very whimsical feel about it so you get the impression that this game never really takes itself too seriously. The style of animation also complements the title with large sprites dominating most cut scenes. One entertaining aspect of the game is the host puzzlers in 'Tournament Mode' who become visually emotional when you're playing the puzzles set by them. The Princess is especially amusing and when screaming she opens her mouth wide enough to swallow a small puppy.

Sound & Music

The music, like the graphics, immerses you fully in this wonderland of puzzles and, unusually, never becomes annoying. The sound effects too do justice to the gameplay but hey, these are just sliding blocks we're talking about.

Final Comments

The simplicity of this game makes it accessible to absolutely everyone. It's one of those games where even your parents could suddenly become very interested in your Gameboy. If you don't like Tetris or puzzle games in general then there's absolutely nothing here to change your mind. For everyone else, however, prepare to put the rest of your life on hold. This is handheld puzzling at its best.

@ EAGB Advance 2002. All rights reserved.