Review By Kids, For Kids: Blockland

 

If you like legos, I think you will like Blockland.  Blockland is a game where you build with bricks and create structures.  You can also make the bricks do things like disappear or set off traps.  You can create your own world, just like with legos, but in Blockland, the legos are interactive, such as guns and bows that actually shoot bullets and arrows.  You can also create a Deathmatch where everyone kills each other and see who is the last one left standing, or you could make a farm, with animals that move and do things.  The possibilities are endless with Blockland.  However, I do think that the online servers that you can join might not be the best for kids.  Some of these servers may contain inappropriate language.  But you can still play by yourself or start your own server for people around the world to join.

With Blockland you can also create your own weapons and maps to play on.  Blockland uses TorqueScript, a coding language.  If you want to learn TorqueScript like I have, you can make new weapons, maps, scripts, or vehicles.  Blockland only costs $20 for a lifetime membership, so overall I think it’s a good deal.

Reviewed by Nick

A little more information about Blockland 

It’s 94 degrees with high humidity outside, and all my boys are cooling off inside playing Blockland.  They spend hours working with friends from all around the world building their own multiplayer games.  Today, it’s a Call of Duty Deathmatch server, with Red Team versus Blue Team.  They’ve designed their own lego brick style weapons, characters, buildings, and maps, and now they’ll play the game they built.

Blockland is a non-competitive multiplayer sandbox-style construction game – like playing with legos on the internet.  You can play the freeware version, which is limited to 150 bricks, to get a feel for the game.  Or, you can unlock the entire game by buying a lifetime membership for 19.95. 

According to Wikipedia, Blockland is built on the Torque Game Engine and was developed by Eric “Badspot” Hartman for released in 2007.

Blockland allows users to write add-ons for the game to share with other players. Generally an add-on will consist of new building blocks, weapons, maps or items.  While Blockland is not open source, all of the default vehicles and weapons in the game use the add-ons system so players can examine working examples to help them learn about how to modify the game.

Structures can be built in a single-player or multiplayer setting.  The game also features a variety of vehicles players can control, weapons, saving and loading of constructions, automated construction through macros and a mini-game system. The minigame system enables users to create configurable and self-contained game modes using options and then play in the world they create.  These can range from a simple deathmatch to a zombie survival game to Capture the Flag. This system can allow players on a server to be in a minigame while the others continue to build. Any player who buys the game can create a server. A standard server is able to hold up to 32 players.  Blockland uses a trigger and event-based system to create basic interactive objects such as light switches, missile launchers, collapsing brick structures, or arcade-like games such as Pong. Players can also script triggers and events.  Blockland features an add-on system to aid users in managing custom content, such as weapons, vehicles, types of brick effects, player commands and game modes.

Using RTB (Return to Blockland), you can find high quality add-ons you can download in game that have been screened and approved by the RTB moderators.  And, if you have questions, RTB forums are better moderated than Blocklands, so there is less swearing and attitude.

Where is LEGO in all this?  Why isn’t this a LEGO game, if you’re building with lego bricks?  According to Wikipedia, the creator of Blockland, Eric Hartman was in talks with LEGO early on, but nothing came of it.  LEGO is currently working with NetDevil to create an online multiplayer LEGO game, called Lego Universe, to be globally distributed by Warner Bros.  Delayed again and again since 2008, Lego Universe is currently scheduled to be released by October 2010, and is currently in Beta testing.

By all appearances, Lego Universe will be quite different than Blockland – it has brick building, but it also has a storyline, a cast of characters, plots and quests, and is more of a RPG (role playing game) in a LEGO designed and created world.  Whereas Blockland is all about building, connecting with friends, and created your own world.

So check out Blockland, for free.  And if you like it, go for the $19.95 membership.  Get creative.  Build with bricks.  Create elaborate towns with castles, moats, blacksmith shops, campfires.  Create  games – visit the arcade servers.  Create maps with oceans, mountains, rivers, trees.  Learn how to create and script add-on’s, or mods, and minigames.  It can be as easy or challenging as you want.  Play on open servers with people from all over the world.  Or, password protect your server, and just play with friends.  You can even play just local LAN, with only the computers, laptops, and netbooks in your house on the server together.  The possibilities are endless, for endless fun.

Blockland free version:  recommended for ages 6 and up.
Blockland $19.95 paid version:  recommended for ages 10 and up.

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] you like Blockland, you should check out Minecraft.  All of my boys laid out their cash and purchased Minecraft […]

  2. 2

    […] Our review on Minecraft is here, and Blockland is here. […]

  3. 3

    Danny said,

    Yep, Blockland is great. The best part is that if you know any torque coding you can create your own weapons and mods. It’s really cool. Hopefully I can learn how to do some of these things.

    -Danny

  4. 5

    gizzemac said,

    Blockland is epic if i could rate it i would give it a infinte the only thing is some people might put bad stuff but other than that it is awesome!!!


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