You rotate quadrants of four numbers aiming to create 4x4 squares of the same number. Doing so will increase the number tally, making it possible to score outrageous combos by placing higher numbers nearby. As you play, number boxes will be converted to black boxes, meaning they become more difficult to rotate and position. Once all the numbers have been converted to black boxes the game is over.
There is a loose plot in Numblast but it is very Japanese. We think it has something to do with maths, science, monkeys and eggs but we're not quite sure.
Alongside the standard mode there is also a puzzle mode in which the screen must be cleared within a limited amount of rotations.
The first thing that really struck us about Numblast was the excellent music score. It's kind of a mix between a Danny Elfman score, Michael Jackson's Thriller and an old horror movie. It totally gets repetitive after a few hours, but you can't beat those first few moments of listening to the soundtrack where you're convinced it's probably the best music you've ever heard.
Most puzzle games don't need a plot but apparently Japan disagree. Numblast has some nonsense going on involving monkeys laying eggs out of their mouth. Regardless of the actual story the cut-scenes are trying convey, the whole game has a very Japanese, hand-drawn look and feel to it. It's rather a treat to the eyes.
It'll take you a while to get into Numblast, but once you do there's a lot of addictive fun to be had. Scoring massive combos is supremely satisfying, particularly when they take so much planning to succeed. Like most puzzle games the very core is extremely simple, but getting good requires patience, practice and planning. The one-more-go element certainly comes into play.
With the average round lasting around 25 minutes and a rather steep learning curve, Numblast can require a massive time investment. It's certainly not the type of puzzle game you can use to fill five minute voids.
Numblast probably has some of the worst English video game voice acting we've ever heard. We're pretty sure they pulled an 8-year old boy off the streets of London to record some quotes in half an hour. It's terrible. Thankfully you can switch the voices to their original Japanese counterparts.
Like most puzzle games, Numblast is deceptively simple on the surface, but there's actually a lot to get your head around in order to score highly. You'll need to be quick-witted and clever in order to score some of the higher totals, which may or may not put some people off.
Numblast is not the easiest game to pick up and play, but once you get a feel for the mechanics, it's a lot, lot harder to put down.