Crossovers can sometimes make for odd bedfellows. In the case of BLOK DROP X TWISTED FUSION (BDXTF), the minimalist-styled puzzle formula of BLOK DROP U has received a few tinkerings and a fresh coat of paint from Twisted Fusion, a title that has not yet been released at the time of this review. It's hard to say many were frothing in demand of such a team-up, but sometimes the unexpected pair can work out well together.
The core play of BLOK DROP U remains here: tap on boxes to eliminate them from a stage, often letting gravity take control and do some of your work for you. The goals in BDXTF are slightly different, though. Instead of guiding a small, red box to a safe landing, you now have an eyeball with feet named Go Go in addition to saving your monocular friend, you also need to crush all the stationary enemies that appear on the stage as well. If Go Go is the only thing left standing, you win. If Go Go falls off the stage or hits an enemy, or you fail to eliminate all the baddies by the end, it's do-over time.
While the concept is simple, the execution can be challenging. Go Go has a bit more bounce than the red block from the previous game, making long drops more risky. There's also the added concern of getting blocks to slam into enemies, and the blocks Go Go is standing on often fit into that equation. Completing a stage can rely on a mix of pre-planning and mid-fall finangling; although gravity is a steady force, it can feel like just plain luck was on your side, too. The "fiddliness" of the design seems freer than more "step by step" puzzle games, though, and it can feel more like you're trying to force the pieces to do what you want instead of being at the whims of a mechanism.
The Twisted Fusion theme adds a healthy dose of colour to the crossover. The artwork isn't elaborate, but it doesn't have to be. It melds with the BLOK DROP approach well and isn't distracting. The same can be said for the music, which adds some atmosphere without being thought-destroyingly blaring.
The main game has 30 levels with three different environmental themes, with block- and eyeball-destroying saws introduced later on. Whereas the original BLOK DROP U forced you to play through sets of stages in a certain order, you can now choose to play any stage at your leisure. Two additional sets of 10 stages can be unlocked by completing 30 stages or finishing a "secret" stage that's just hanging out right under your nose.
It may seem odd for a game to have a crossover before it's even released, but Twisted Fusion adds a nice twist of flavour to BLOK DROP's low-key yet functional gameplay. Few will likely know who or what Go Go is, or anything about the environments or enemies as they relate to Twisted Fusion, but it's doubtful anyone will mind. Answers are expected to come soon as Twisted Fusion nears release, and BDXTF still stands plenty well on its own as a challenging puzzler for those who enjoy plenty of trial and error.