What to play this weekend: Super Happy Fun Block

I spent last weekend at the Boston Festival of Indie Games and played many super games. A real standout was Super Happy Fun Block (universal, $2.99), a side-scrolling puzzle game that's cute, fun and challenging. Its hero is a bulbous little guy you can't help but root for as you guide him from puzzle to puzzle, building and destroying as you go. Here's our look at indie gem, Super Happy Fun Block.


Super Happy Fun Block (let's call it SHFB) is a side-scroller with some puzzles tossed in. It's got a fun, hand-drawn look that reminds me of the stuff I scribbled in notebooks while bored to tears in sixth grade. It reminds me of the charming (and now defunct) Parachute Panic. The main character has a few cute facial expressions to watch out for, too. Note when he's ticked off to see what I mean.

Game Play

The game introduces the main mechanic -- moving, destroying and creating blocks -- in a clever way. You're rolling across the scene with the on-screen control when you bump across a block in your path. At this point an animation takes over, and you watch our hero struggle in vain to get past the obstacle. At last an idea dawns on him, and as it does, a second on-screen controller appears.

This new controller is red on one end and blue on the other. Sliding it to the red lets you destroy the red blocks in your path. Slide it to blue, and send the blue blocks to the great quarry in the sky.

Ah, but wait! Not to give anything away, but occasionally you'll have to create red and blue blocks as well. Again, a combination of left and right controllers makes this happen. Eventually you're working on some tricky puzzles that require you to push, pull, destroy and build, sometimes at the last second, in order to continue your journey.

SHFB is one of those subversive games that seems at first like something you'll play once. Then you give it a try and days later you're still eager to beat "just one more level." I think it's quite fun and I suspect you will, too.

Super Happy Fun Block is definitely what you should play this weekend.