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Evercade Game of the Month 2024 #2: Block ‘Em Sock ‘Em

1 Tobi

It’s a new month, and that means it’s time for a new Game of the Month! For the uninitiated, Game of the Month is a programme where Evercade VS and Evercade EXP owners can download a new independently developed game for free between April and December. You can enjoy the full version of the game without limits right up until the next update, at which point it will be replaced by something completely new to try! Next year, all of the Game of the Month titles for this year, plus a few exclusive extras, will be published on the Indie Heroes Collection 4 cartridge, which will likely drop around February.

For the second Game of the Month of 2024, we’re delighted to bring you Block ‘Em Sock ‘Em, a collaborative project between two veterans of the retro gaming space: YouTuber John Hancock, and Second Dimension, developers of Eyra, The Crow Maiden and Beer Slinger from Indie Heroes Collection 2 and last month’s Game of the Month The Curse of Illmoore Bay.

Block ‘Em Sock ‘Em is a puzzle game that is easy to learn, but hard to master! The concept is simple: all you need to do is eliminate blocks from the screen until the number of blocks left on screen is equal to or less than the “Goal” number indicated on the status panel on the right.

In order to do this, you move your little John Hancock around with the D-pad and toss a block with the X button. John will toss a block straight up when you press X, and it will eliminate any blocks of the same colour. When it hits a block of a different colour, it will swap places with that differently coloured block, which will open up new moves for you to use. Simply clear enough blocks from the “Left” counter to reach the Goal number before running out of your limited number of tosses and you win! Use up all your tosses before reaching the Goal number and you lose.

There are, of course, twists to the formula, and these come in the form of special blocks. You’re introduced to these right from the very first level, seen above. Note the block with the left-pointing arrow in the upper right of the level: tossing a block into this will cause it to slide along in the direction of the arrow, clearing out matching blocks horizontally rather than the usual vertically. As usual, though, when it hits a non-matching block, you’ll get that non-matching block in your hand for your next toss.

You’ll also note that at the start of a new level and under certain circumstances, you’ll be given a “star” block that acts as a wild card. This can be used to destroy any coloured blocks, but think before you toss — the order in which you eliminate blocks is often critical, as failing to plan out your moves carefully can leave you in an unwinnable situation!

Thankfully all is not lost if you do get “stuck” like this — simply hold Start and press B to reset the current level you’re on. The stage will go back to how it was when you first started it, allowing you to try a new strategy.

And that’s about everything you need to know! Putting that knowledge into practice is the tricky bit, of course, because the level designs get increasingly fiendish as you progress!

Hancock and Second Dimension decided to collaborate on this project after the former felt that there weren’t enough puzzle games available for Block ‘Em Sock ‘Em’s original host platform. He noted in a video accompanying its original release (above) that while the platform is primarily known for its action and shoot ’em up games, as he had gone through life he found his tastes for gaming changing over time — and as it happened, at the time Block ‘Em Sock ‘Em was developed, he was in the mood for some puzzling action! (If you’re stuck on the initial stages of the game, be sure to check out the video above, too; Hancock shows you how to solve the first three levels!)

To get started with Block ‘Em Sock ‘Em and the Game of the Month programme for 2024, connect your Evercade VS or EXP to the Internet via the Network option in Settings, then perform a system update to the latest available firmware version.

When you’re all updated, you’re ready to go — start the game through the VS or EXP logo on the left of the main Evercade menu and get ready to bust some blocks!

Note that we always recommend Evercade users keep their consoles up to date as a matter of course to ensure maximum compatibility with new cartridge releases and implement fixes to known issues. Please see the Evercade support pages for full patch notes; all new firmware updates are cumulative, so update once and you’ll see all the benefits.

Please note that saves from the Game of the Month edition of Block ‘Em Sock ‘Em will not carry across to the Indie Heroes Collection 4 cartridge when that releases in February of 2025 (TBC).

Quelle: Blaze Entertainment

08.05.2024 00:38


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