Just the other day, this writer happened to encounter a page loading error on Google Chrome and got an opportunity to play that hidden dinosaur platforming game, where the T-rex has to jump over rocks and cacti as it runs through a desert. You know the one. This 'game' is simple, something that's just there to distract you for a minute while you wait for your internet to catch up, and it exists for that sole purpose. Now, imagine if Google put that game on the Nintendo eShop – as is – for $2.99. Would you buy it? If the thought seems ridiculous to you, then we'd strongly advise you to steer clear of BLOC.

If you've ever played PONG, one of the earliest and simplest video games in existence, then you've essentially played BLOC. The gimmick here is that, instead of just two paddles, there are four which can be controlled independently by the GamePad's various inputs, with the potential for four players to jump in. Hopefully, you don't want to play it on the TV with friends, because this game supports the GamePad alone; no other controllers can be used. If you just so happen to be a solitary gamer who wants to play the game alone, you can also choose to control all the paddles at once. Honestly, that just about describes the whole game.

Gameplay is exactly what you'd expect - a ball starts in the middle and is randomly served to one side. If it gets past a paddle that's a "-1" for that side, and the ball serves again from the middle. After four rounds of this, each side displays how many times the ball passed the paddle and then it all starts over. In terms of match customization, barriers can be added to mix up where the ball goes, ball speed can be adjusted on the main menu, and you can also remove paddles and replace them with walls if you have less players on hand or want to use less paddles. All of this helps breathe a little more life into the gameplay, but it's rather difficult to resuscitate something which is already dead.

The problem with BLOC is that it fails to offer anything interesting or new to the typical PONG formula; this is just about as basic as a game can possibly get while still being called a game. Having a few willing friends play along livens it up a bit, but the glacial pace of gameplay – even at max speed – puts a very low ceiling on how much enjoyment one can glean from this. Playing it alone, then, is just an exercise in patience; there's not even a means of keeping a record of your highest rally.

In terms of presentation, BLOC leaves a lot to be desired. The visuals are boring and static; most of it is black and white, while some rather flat shades of magenta and yellow occasionally pop up on bumpers or balls. There's no flair, no personality, just a utilitarian look that's utterly forgettable. The music is the same, featuring two simple, annoying tracks that actually manage to take away from one's enjoyment of the experience. If you must play this one, we'd strongly encourage you to play it muted.


PONG released in 1972, and BLOC might as well have launched in 1973. It's PONG for four players, and nothing more. There is nothing of significance here that is worth your time; it's an entirely forgettable clone that feels like a cheap online flash game. If you feel like playing PONG or a similar game, save yourself the money and go play one of the many clones available on the internet for free. It won't have to do much to be more feature heavy than BLOC, and you won't be upset with yourself because you wasted money on it.