Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Now Playing: Boom Blox

I think it was after E3 2006 that this picture of Shigeru Miyamoto and Steven Spielberg playing Wii Sports began quickly circulating the internet.  People enjoyed the idea of their these two powerhouses conceivably working together.

Now, fast forward two years, and here I am at a local Best Buy purchasing Boom Blox, for my Nintendo Wii.  

It helps to mention that buying this game is a huge departure of for me.  I've never supported any Hollywood talent's involvement in videogames. Period.  I'm not convinced they understand it as a media.  Hollywood creatives work in a passive art form without audience participation.  Naturally, they tell excellent stories and can unfurl expertly crafted narratives (well, maybe except Uwe), but I'd half expect their games to be cinematic than much anything more.

But then I saw Boom Blox at the Nintendo Gaming Summit in San Francisco a few weeks ago, and I became curious.  It was this serene, peaceful,... game?  How could this be?  I saw a concept that, to my surprise, worked.  There was no story, or overemphasis on presentation, just a ball and a stack of Blox... and it was somehow entertaining, a minimalist experience that appealed to my inner completist (especially my confounded ego that likes deftly solving puzzles and getting high scores).

Now, I'm still not sold that Hollywood talent can craft notable games, and it will take more than Boom Blox to convince me otherwise, but I am truly enjoying this game.  I'd definitely recommend it to anyone as a fun palette-cleanser, an excellent distraction when causing mayhem in Liberty City or crashing little mascot driven go-karts starts to wear thin.

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