Posted: December 16, 2013
So I haven't been very active within Blockland and only recently I've learned that Return to Blockland has been shutdown since February. Well, bugger. One of the biggest things on this review was RTB's existence.
Not to worry! The community has already found ways to circumvent its shutdown and there are backup pages and a whole new chat addon thingy that imitates RTB's.
IRC Chat: http://forum.blockland.us/index.php?topic=255973.0
(I SERIOUSLY hope that Steam doesn't block the links any time soon. If it does, let me know and I'll fix it.)
I haven't tested them and I don't have time to. But as far as I can tell, they all look pretty legit.
By the way, here's a cool FAQ I've found in case you have any questions: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=204838112
This game might sound cheesy for some people at first glance. "I mean gee, a game where you play with legos online? What is this, people never heard of how bad Roblox turned out to be?!" (Personally I like games where you build stuff very fun, that's why I bought Blockland years ago in the first place...)
Oh trust me, it's a lot more than that. This game is like a fusion between Garry's Mod and Legos, but FAR easier to play. You can do pretty much anything in a stylized block world - houses, cities, deathmatches, survival games, racing tracks - and a lot more with its intuitive building and eventing system. Eventing is a sort of very very easy "scripting" within Blockland that you can use to make certain blocks to do certain things from within pre-set lists of actions that you can do to the block for it to do something you want and a lot more. It might seem very overwhelming at first, but when you start playing with it you'll get used to the idea quickly.
Building, in my opinion, is a little bit trickier, as you have to move "ghost blocks" around with the numpad (or some other buttons if you're on a numpad-less laptop) and then press enter to deploy a block, and they cannot be floating, nor penetrating the ground or other blocks, unless they are to be built within a Zone Brick which allows you to make actually floating blocks inside of it, so you don't have to make invisible supports for every floating island you might want to do. Buiilding is also very well optimized as you can do a number of moves with the ghost bricks to get them where you want and how you want quickly and efficiently; there exists a macro system where you can "save" the moves you do to a block so you can replicate patterns like stairs and stuff like that without much of a hassle. However, building can be clunky as you have to take blocks from a list to put them in your block selection list - you can only carry up to 10 blocks at a time, I believe.
However don't let this limit your creativity, as you can do pretty superb buildings in this game as evidenced by the game's great community - there is lots of support for this game, the developers and its players won't hesitate to help you with any problems you might have with the product, and there are just a LOT of addons in this game that do not allow it to ever be boring, especially with the Return to Blockland addon which is basically a community hub for the game, complete with a chat room, news, and a ton of other addons that are mounted into RTB for easy access, deactivation and (un)installation. RTB can also be downloaded for your server so you can get new Administration features, get the addons of your server listed in the server browser, so the players don't have to download it directly from your server (given they're hosted in RTB), and a few more features.
WARNING: Read the update above first. RTB is no longer functional, but there are backups.
Making addons for this game is, from what I understand, not tremendously difficult, and as long as you have the talent and willpower to make that one brick you can't find but need, or to make that weapon of your dreams, have a Ferrari in your garage or just a simple addition like a new face for your Blockhead, or maybe a song you want your Music Brick to play, all in all there is no (?) limit to the addons you can make for the game. I wish I could write from experience, but unfortunately, apart from a song or two I didn't make any addons for this game.
What I WAS ABLE TO do however was host servers and oh boy, coming from a person who can't ever host servers because of his connection not ever letting people connect, this was a HUGE plus for me. Even the player with the most blocked-off router can host games for their friends and never be hindered by issues like tremendous lag or timeouts, in my experience I found the netcode of Blockland to be very good. At least... I think this is the netcode's doing.
The gameplay is very appealing and so are the graphics, as they are very beautiful and, unsurprisingly, very colourful, stylized to look like a cartoon, similar to the likes of TF2, except on legos. Yeah. Graphics for me are very hard to describe. The "maps" (or just... plains) are roughly customizable so they have bodies of water or different types of surfaces, which can spice up the game a bit - I've always liked to build in maps with lots of water.
Overall, the game is very enjoyable and on the right servers it can be a ludicrous amount of fun. It is really amazing how such a simple and cheap game like this can provide so many hours of entertainment, from messing around with a few people to doing giant, elaborate buildings, from having mindless fast-paced deathmatch to having class-based capture the flag matches on carefully structured builds and just so much more. Blockland is truly a game for the ages, despite a few flaws like clunky building and some instances of lag when there are too many bricks within a server or when they're being duplicated.
I have this game since V12 and now it's on what, Vtwenty-something or so, and from there and now I still recommend it to everybody, kids to adults. The only thing I DIDN'T like is how they got rid of maps in an update months back. Back then you had maps like Bedroom and Kitchen, that were... well, semi-realistic bedrooms and kitchens. I REALLY liked those! But hey, they needed to take a radical action to let the game evolute and that was the end result I suppose...
TL;DR: This game is great! Totally recommended! A bit clunky to get started, but you'll get used to it! Lots of addons to help you, client-side and server-side! The graphics are also beautiful!