ultimate-block-party.jpgNo, this doesn’t have anything to do with Dave Chappell, conscious hip hop music, or a brief Fugees reunion. However, Ultimate Block Party (known in Japan as Kollon) is a fun little anime-inspired PSP puzzle game brings back memories of Tetris Attack. You arrange colored blocks in groups of four to clear them out. As with many good puzzlers, things aren’t nearly that simple. When playing against a CPU or friend, the disappeared blocks are sent to the other player’s side, adversely affecting their game screen. Blocks can glue together, become harder to move, or even cover up the playing field. Clearing out blocks can earn magic squares, which give certain advantages such as changing all the blocks in a row to a certain color and blowing up clusters of blocks. As expected, you can chain together blocks and add on to your score. You play as one of 8 characters, but there are no real differences between them. It offers a Vs mode, an arcade mode, and a single player endless mode. There is also a campaign mode, but all it is is simply Arcade mode with just one character and some intro animations. In a nice little touch, the game offers Ad-Hoc play (something that wasn’t in the Japanese release), but good luck finding another player who has a copy of this game.

Ultimate Block Party may not be Lumines, and it doesn’t offer a whole lot in the way of game modes, but it’s still a solid title for casual gamers. It’s hard to find thanks to the lack of decent marketing around its release, but puzzle fans should definitely check this game out. Now that I think about it, this would make a good Xbox Live Arcade game.