Jul 16, 2014
If there is one well known concept in the video game industry, then itâ€™s Tetris. That game knowns dozens of iterations and has proven to be worth to many different publishers and developers out there. After all those years and versions, one might think that Tetris isnâ€™t suitable any more to base a new game on â€“ but the very least is true. Enter 99 Bricks: Wizard Academy.
In 99 Bricks: Wizard Academy players take on the role of a sorceress apprentice. The student must get familiar with the art of stacking blocks and raise that knowledge to an art form. De blocks come failing out of the sky and have different shapes â€“ and here is the point we should stop comparing it to Tetris. The biggest difference between that game and 99 Bricks, is that in 99 Bricks, players should keep on building and building on top of there creations, where in Tetris one should destroy their own accomplishment. The game isnâ€™t over when the screen is full of blocks, players can build until a couple of blocks have fallen off. When that happens, a crazy roof appears out of thin air, which needs to be placed on top of the awesome tower that has just been build.
WeirdBeard, a game developer from Amsterdam, has also implemented gravity as a gameplay component. Not just because of the falling blocks, of course. But when some blocks a stacked just a bit on the edge of an other block, it might fall. This also means that blocks might be squinted on oneâ€™s tower, instead of really straight next to the other one. At that point, players must think ahead and keep in mind that, when building upon those skew blocks, one might need some extra space to keep the tower steady. This is where the game really shines for me. Because when I was at this point, it was always my own fault.
When players are building their towers, they collect coins. With those coins, they can unlock different things. For example, one could buy a new robe for the wizard or some extra lives or magic. With magic, players can do different things: zapping away the falling block, which spares a life. Or make it gold, to get some extra cash. The blocks can even be made of solid bricks, so they wonâ€™t fall down anymore. Sometimes, I encountered that the lighting zapped away the wrong block for me and that is really the only downside to this game â€“ mainly because this is a physics based puzzle game where control means everything. And zapping blocks is, apparently, something I didnâ€™t had complete control over.
But the rest of the controls a marvelous. By tapping ones, players turn the blocks around. By swiping left or the right, the blocks will go that corresponding way. And by swiping downwards, they will go down much faster. It canâ€™t go wrong, in my experience. And this, combined with the extremely addictive nature of the game and the quirckly looks, makes 99 Bricks: Wizards Academy are very well made and fun game to play.