Blockheads: A Minecraft twist on a good old TV staple

WARNING: This review contains spoilers of the game’s format, and some of the action – but not the result. If you want to see the show first, click the link in the paragraph below – then come back to see what I think of it!

The Dead Workers Party’s love of Minecraft continues unabated, with a pilot episode for a quiz show played within the game: Blockheads! Brent Copeland hosts as students JurassicDL3 (USA) and Masstter (Sweden) battle it out in this Minecraft trivia-and-battle challenge.

Blockheads - a chance for contestants to flex their knowledge of the world of Minecraft.

Blockheads - a chance for contestants to flex their knowledge of the world of Minecraft.

In the first part of the show, there are five rounds of categories on various aspects of Minecraft. Each category contains five questions, rated in increasing difficulty: wood, stone, iron, gold and diamond. For each question the contestants successfully answer, they’ll be awarded resources which will hopefully help them in the second part of the show: the battle… These resources range from a handful of blocks, up through cows, pigs and even a tamed wolf, to weapons and an a complete set of armour.

With all five rounds out of the way, it’s on to the battle, which will determine the winner. In this pilot edition, it’s a miniature Capture the Record arena: contestants have but a few moments to piece together whatever defences they can to protect their vinyl disc before the dividing wall drops (the arena is way up in the air) and the battle begins. Who will prevail? I’m not telling you – you’re going to have to watch it for yourself!

This may be the world's only trivia gameshow with rolling fields as a backdrop. Not sure about the monolithic edifice on the left of the picture, mind you.

Brent Copeland, Blockheads' genial host. This may be the world's only trivia gameshow with a rolling vista as a backdrop. Not sure about the monolithic edifice on the left of the picture, mind you.

I had a quick nose around YouTube, and I couldn’t find any trivia-based Minecraft gameshows; the shows I found, or those I already knew of, tend to consist of:

  • build contests (Epic Build)
  • challenge-based, testing knowledge and skill (The Ultimate Miner)
  • timed obstacle courses (Minecraft: Champions)
  • nothing but luck (Pure Chance)

… so the DWP is making the most of a nice little gap in the genre 🙂

The question is: Should you watch it? Yes, you definitely should – Blockheads shows a lot of promise, and I’d like to see the show become a regular series. Even though the video’s description says that the show will get more polish if viewers green-light it, it’s not as if they’ve simply thrown up raw footage on YouTube. Even in this “rough” state, there’s enough of the concept to firmly get the point across to the viewers they’re hoping to impress.

The one sticking point for me was the final battle arena. The field of play should really have been surrounded by a fence, so that if the players had won any pigs or cows, they wouldn’t be lost by them plunging over the side. And if the arena really has to be up in the air (which was a bit of a mystery to me), the descent of the blocks which made up the dividing wall should have been stopped at a point where the top of the wall meets the floor of the arena. It seemed hugely unfair to me that one of the contestants was placed at a severe disadvantage because he’d fallen through the gap and had to make his way back up again, while his opponent got plenty of time to make an unhindered assault. But, hey, this is the pilot, and stuff like this is fixable.

So if you agree with me that Blockheads needs to be turned into a full series, then go click that thumbs-up button on their video!

If you’d like to find out about the awkwardness of being a fanboi, or how NOT to play pencil-and-paper roleplaying games, then head on over to my latest articles at The Digital Quill
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5 Responses to Blockheads: A Minecraft twist on a good old TV staple

  1. Bo says:

    How would one go about entering to play this game?

    Like

  2. Gleeson says:

    I am a little bit late to the party, but this is what I commented on the video which I just found: “Personally, I don’t think you guys should keep making these. The thing that makes IRL trivia game shows work is the atmosphere of a live crowd, and that just cannot be achieved in this circumstance. Also, a recommendation if you do continue, the host was really well done Brent, but it needs to feel less scripted and more flowing. Don’t be afraid to put a few witty comments in there! It gets boring if the whole thing feels too rigid. Just my two cents ;)”

    P.S. “Each category contains five questions, rated in increasing difficulty: iron, stone, iron, gold and diamond.” I believe the first iron in that sentence should be wood 😉

    Like

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