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Preview: Blankos Block Party is a uniquely fun MMO with a twist

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It takes a lot for me to be interested in an MMO, if I’m being honest. World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls Online, and the other titans of the genre don’t appeal to me whatsoever. I don’t want to grind and play a game that just… isn’t fun. Blankos Block Party is not like that and that’s why I think it looks awesome.

Full disclosure, I didn’t get to play Blankos Block Party but watched a developer play it for about 45 minutes. So, what the heck is this game? Blankos are a vinyl toy figure, you collect them, customize them, and play as them. They live in a world constructed purely of fun. Platformers, races, deathmatches, and really whatever your mind can conjure up.

You play in this world that’s popping with life, it’s like a constant party filled with other toys. In our demo, we saw an assortment of Blankos running around with different attachments and colors. According to CCO of Mythical Games Jamie Jackson, the vinyl figures are something he’s always been fascinated by.

Jackson has a deep history with games like DJ Hero, he noted that DJ Hero was originally supposed to have vinyl figures in the game before Activision published it. Blankos Block party is something that has been brewing in some capacity for quite some time. The reason it’s happening now is a bit surprising: the blockchain.

There’s a blockchain element to Blankos Block Party, essentially allowing you to buy and sell your in-game items however you please. Jackson told us that this offers all kinds of possibilities. “Imagine being able to sell the stuff in games you don’t even play anymore,” he said.

He noted that there are ways to authenticate rare items and see their history, even suggesting they could giveaway the Blanko we saw in the press demo as a one-of-a-kind collector’s item. This could be used for money, giveaway items in charities, and more. Think Steam and its marketplace for skins, trading cards, and other goodies. So, since the marketplace is such a notable factor, of course there will be lots of items within Blankos Block Party.

Blankos Block Party
Blankos Block Party

On top of that, real world toy makers from the days of He-Man have come on to help design the Blanko figures. When selecting your character, you can see who designed it, see its unique skills, and read more about the history of it.

The closest thing that I could describe the actual game to is the glory days of custom games in Halo 3 or Halo: Reach. That nearly limitless freedom in creating whatever you want with the tools and then spending all your time with your friends inside them. One of the most interesting maps we saw created by a player was a pachinko race.

All the players start at the top and fall down a large slide. The goal isn’t to get to the bottom first so much as it is to collect the most points that are placed on the slide (think coins from Mario or rings from Sonic).

Blankos Block Party
Blankos Block Party

After that, we saw a platforming race with probably a dozen or so players jumping up a map with a 2D POV. Once they got up it, the map turned 3D and allowed for different kinds of movements. Again, this really reminded me of some of the really creative maps from Halo: Reach’s Forge mode.

Of course, you’ll have a Netflix-style feed that recommends levels to you created by the community. If you’re a creator yourself, the more likes and plays your level receives will grant you unique Blankos. Say you get a million plays on your level, you’ll be rewarded.

In your downtime, you can go to a hub-world called the Junction. This has other players mingling, stores to visit, and carnival-esque games like shooting galleries to partake in. While the heart of the game really lies in creating and playing people’s creations, there’s still fun to be had in the Junction.

Needless to say, Blankos Block Party is the kind of MMO we need more of. It’s pure fun and imagination for all ages. It has a lot of heart and ambitious ideas and I sincerely hope it gets the traction it deserves to make it a success. The game will have a beta sometime in 2020.



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