One of the common complaints about Android phones is that their apps are often worse than the apps on the iPhone – particularly when it comes to games. Personally, I haven’t played enough games on either platform to make or rebut such a claim, but I’ve definitely found one game on Android that I love. It’s called Unblock Me.
Take one look at this game and you’ll probably see that it’s quite familiar. When I was a youngster, my school had an actual handheld puzzle board for this kind of game. It was called Rush Hour, where cars of different sizes were jammed and you had to free your car from the mess. Imagine my excitement when I found an Android version of it!
Let’s take a closer look at Unblock Me and see why I love it so much. It remains one of my most favorite puzzle games of all time.
At first glance, I like the aesthetics of Unblock Me. The graphics are clean, soft, and playful, which means that it provides me with a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Some games out there are too bubbly and too playful, almost bordering on childish. Unblock Me doesn’t have that problem.
The home menu is simple. If you want to play, you can get right into it. If you want to change some options, you can do that, too. Everything is laid out neat so you don’t waste time looking for what you want to do.
But what is Unblock Me? It’s a puzzle game where your task is to get the red block out of the board. Blocks are positioned across the board in either horizontal or vertical positions; a horizontal block can only move right and left while a vertical block can only move up and down. You must shift them around in a way that frees a path for the red block.
Unblock Me offers two different game modes: Relax Mode and Challenge Mode. In Relax Mode, you have all the time in the world to solve a given puzzle. In Challenge Mode, your goal is to beat a puzzle in as few moves as possible. So whether you’re a casual or hardcore puzzle solver, you’ll enjoy the game.
The game comes bundled with a number of puzzle packs that are split up by difficulty. Is this your first time playing? Go for the Beginner pack. Want to put your brain to the test? Fire up the Expert pack and see how much you sweat.
With as many puzzles as the free version comes with, you’ll be entertained for a good long time. Once you beat everything in Relax Mode, try to earn 3-star records on each puzzle in Challenge Mode! I bet you it’s harder than it seems.
Here’s the actual gameplay in action. As you can see, it looks simple but well-designed. I’m actually impressed by the efficient layout of everything. Taking up most of the screen is the puzzle board. You can slide the pieces left-and-right and up-and-down using your finger.
At the bottom, you’ll see 4 buttons. In order, they are:
- Pause: Takes a break from the puzzle and brings up the main menu. You can use this to restart the puzzle, return to the main menu, or exit the app altogether.
- Hint: If you’re stuck, the Hint button will signify the next block that you need to move. It will only tell you the direction that the block needs to move, not how many spaces in that direction, so don’t think of it as an easy-win button!
- Undo: Made the wrong move? Want to take a step back? The Undo button will do it for you.
- Restart: If you’ve cornered yourself and want to start over from scratch, hit this button.
In terms of options, Unblock Me doesn’t have much, but neither should it. It’s a game! I can’t even think of what I’d want to customize. Unblock Me gives you the choice between a darker and lighter wood theme for the blocks themselves, but nothing more. The only other notable option is the ability to reset all your statistics.
I love this game. It’s great for filling in those little moments when you have nothing to do (like waiting in line at the DMV or when you’re bored on your commute). It’s also great for those long sessions when you just want to sit back and relax. All in all, a definite must-have for any Android game library.
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