Story image

Android App Review: Unblock

29 Apr 15

Remember when you were a kid and you had that puzzle which was made of muddled-up squares in a grid with one missing, and you had to shift them around one at a time until the picture was put together? I bet you had one. Anyway Unblock is only a little bit like that, but it’s easily as entertaining.

The game is simple. As the Google Play page describes it the goal is to get the red block out of the board by sliding the other blocks out of the way. Each block can only move on one axis, and there’s only one hole for the red block to exit through. It’s up to you to detangle the blocks and shift them out of the way without causing more blockages. It feels like picking a lock in the sort of RPG that involves lock-picking (and it says a lot about me that I have a reference for that, but not for actually picking a lock. I’ve got no idea what that’s like).

I’m not sure if there are multiple solutions for each puzzle. There are certainly multiple pathways to get to that solution, and often you’ll need to set things up in ways that look like they’re getting worse before they get better. That and the backtracking you’ll do as you try various possibilities and dead ends mean some puzzles get solved in a few seconds whereas others can take you a lot longer.

It’s to the designers’ credit that so many workable puzzles can be made from such a simple set-up. The box you play in is just six-by-six, even at the more difficult levels. But there are so many slight variations on the formula that Unblock will keep you entertained for hours.

I say hours, but what I probably mean is minutes. Unblock isn’t the sort of game you settle in with for an evening and plug away at until the early hours. Rather it’s a game you dip into between classes, while your kettle boils, or during a quiet moment at work. You do a couple of puzzles, maybe half a dozen if it’s a particularly slow shift. But those dips add up and pretty soon you’ve spent hours shifting around pretend bit of wood. It doesn’t feel that time consuming though, and having worked my way though a week’s worth of these little puzzles I’m still not bored. Apparently there are 4,000 all up, but at the rate I’m going I’ll know for myself soon enough. Unblock is free, fun and addictive. Recommended.

IDC: Smartphone shipments ready to stabilise in 2019
IDC expects year-over-year shipment growth of 2.6% in 2019, while the world's largest market is still forecast to be down 8.8% in 2018.
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
New app conducts background checks on potential tenants
Landlords and house owners need to obtain a tenant’s full name, date of birth, email address, and mobile number in order to conduct the search. And most importantly, they have to get the tenant’s permission first.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Meet Rentbot, the chatbot that can help with tenancy law
If you find yourself in a tricky situation  - or if you just want to understand your rights as a landlord or tenant, you can now turn to a chatbot for help.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) finally releases on PS4
PUBG on PS4 feels like it’s still in Early Access as the graphics look horribly outdated and the game runs poorly too. 
How AI can fundamentally change the business landscape
“This is an extremely interesting if not pivotal time to discuss how AI is being deployed and leveraged, both in business and at home.”