My #2 Favorite Dream-Build-Play 2008 Winner: 'Blow'

Today we have exclusive hands-on impressions with Microsoft's 2008 Dream-Build-Play winners. Of the six winners, we've picked our three favorites…

I'm a sucker for a good puzzle game. They both impress and infuriate me. "Braid"'s hidden simplicity made me want to finish its puzzles without cheating.

"Blow" could do the same thing. It's too early to tell, but it's easy to understand why Microsoft picked it as one of their Deam-Build-Play winners this year.

In "Blow," players must place a series of fans around the environment to propel bubbles to an exit gate. You can manipulate the speed and direction of the fan and whether it heats the bubbles up or cools them down. The more efficient you are with your fan placement, the more experience points you earn in each stage.

As with any good puzzle game, it's deceptively simple before the difficulty ramps up and you're left scratching your head for 15 minutes. That happened to me with the fifth stage before I moved on to the next Dream-Build-Play game, but it was too late -- "Blow" had already hooked me. It's very good.

"Blow" received an honorable mention in the competition, so it is not eligible to become an Xbox Live Arcade title. However, it should show up in Community Games when the New Xbox Experience launches on November 19.