Microbot Review

Microbot Review

Sep 6, 2017

Yes, Brick Breaker… the iconic BlackBerry game. Two-tone brick smashing fun powered by a rebounding ball and a trackwheel guided paddle. For it’s time, it was mobile gaming through and through.

It was fun.

But boy, you just might wanna checked the newfangled game Microbot, relatively fresh on the Play Store. It an interesting Brick Breaker clone, with a lot of flair, and simple makeup.microbot3

But this ain’t your grandma’s brickbreaker, nor would this one be found on the classic BBOS smartphone. No, this one has a few tricks up its sleeve, which allow it to be a bit of a multipurpose action pony if you will.

At first glance, it looks futuristic; at the very least, an updated version. It uses colors to highlight effects, and the animations are mostly smooth and logical. The sound effects are a welcome, almost needed aspect of the game, and help the gameplay along. It plays in portrait orientation.

Yes, the game itself is an ode to its backstory. Instead of a paddle, you man a gun protecting your city from said microbots. The idea is to fire on the boxes that appear; you should note that the boxes have differing levels of invulnerability, as shown by the number on them. A box with, say “2” requires two hits to be destroyed. The boxes usually come in lines.

Said gun can be shot every step by tapping the screen in the direction you want. One strategy is to bounce shots off the wall to get multiple hits on the encroaching enemy. As you get hits, the weaponry gets better.

But back to the aforementioned encroachment… get those things quick, because there is a major tower defense element going on. You have to eliminate the bots before they breach the city line (at the bottom of the screen). Ah, but there are some bots that do special things; some heal others or themselves every step, which means you might want to take them out quickly.

But there are also energy-bound power-ups which are fun, like reflectors, viruses and the like, which help.

All in all, ii is fun, with plenty to like; the commercials can be distracting, but can be removed.

Brick Breaker Hero Review

Brick Breaker Hero Review

Jan 20, 2016

Full disclosure: I cut my mobile teeth on BlackBerry OS.

Yep, I did my thing on the physical keyboard, and did all manners of business on my units. As my last mobile OS stop before transitioning to Android for daily driver, I developed most of my mobile device usage mores on it.

One game that makes me reminisce positively was the stock arcade game Brick Breaker: 2D, paddle-style trackball goodness. High scores were shared, reputations built and time enjoyably wasted.

The game (along with assorted variants) eventually made its way to other platforms, and one of the more recent ones, Brick Breaker Hero, is now available for Android perusal.bb3

It’s a pretty simple game; looks-wise, one gets into this one in portrait orientation. It keeps the rough 2D look, but is way more colorful than the original, with a series of characterizations and foliage to make the game feel more “alive.” The game is heavily dependent on animations, and the ones therein are quite smooth, with colorful explosions and cascading effects.

The sounds are equally effective, with the cheery signs underscoring the game’s arcade cred. For those that rather have a quiet experience, the sound can be toggled off and on via the game’s settings.

The gameplay is leveled and easy to understand; in the foreground, one controls a paddle, and launches a ball. The idea is to use the launched ball to smash bricks and other objects by keeping the rebounding ball in play. The side walls also bounce the balls, so when a ball is returning towards the paddle, one needs to account for such actions. The idea is to smash all objects, accumulate as many stars as possible and move on to the next level.

There are power-ups, which are great when it comes to harder levels and faster moving balls. One does get a set number of balls to clear every level, and if completely depleted, one loses a life… and yes, lives are not unlimited. If all are used up, one can use real cash, or wait on more lives to regenerate over time.

Games like this invariably end up pretty safe to try; this one is familiar enough to get old heads to try, and fresh enough to potentially lure in folks new to the concept, and others in-between. It flows well, and even the energy requirement manages to be not so annoying.

Brickies Review

Brickies Review

Jun 11, 2015

I love brick breaking games.

It goes back to my BlackBerry days; there was something so delightfully elegant about paddling projectiles into bricks for points. I was quite dexterous with the indefatigable track ball, and I’ll even cop to boating about my high sites on the interwebs.

Since then, the game has evolved a great deal. There are different versions sporting different tricks, from 3D variants to explosive versions… and everything in between. If brick breaker is one’s poison, there are several cross-platform ways to get a fix. As such, you’ll probably forgive us for initially viewing Noodlecake’s rendition Brickies with a wary eye; after all, we’ve seen it before.

Still, this is Noodlecake we’re talking about here.brickies2

At its core, this game retains the main brick breaker concept: using a paddle mechanism to keep an ever-rebounding ball to smash bricks without letting the ball to hit the “ground” at all. It appears in 2D, and makes use of pastel-y colors to highlight the bricks, which help them resonate against the clean background.

What Brickies does it to increase the challenge by adding a paddle to the “top” of the screen, such that both paddles are controlled simultaneously and in sync by the same sliding finger gesture. The two paddle system makes it quite interesting and different from the iconic BlackBerry version, as one has to watch for the quick rebounds in two areas. Interestingly enough, a “dropped” ball doesn’t end the game immediately; instead, the ball is deactivated — meaning no points or bonuses from contact — until it makes contact with a paddle. To make up for this, a different gameplay element is added in: a timer. Not finishing a level quickly enough can cause failure.

Of course, there are power-ups; special bricks yield some special effects, and the way the bricks are laid out affects gameplay and potential strategy.

The game has tons of levels, two game modes, and a high scoring listing. The controls can be run by tilt or touch, which is an added benefit. In the one mode, it works in leveled fashion with Angry Bird-like scoring and the ability to reply levels before continuing. There is also an endless mode where players can go against the clock by smashing to gain more time.

It works way better than one could guess, and takes a popular legacy game and dresses it up a bit. It’s not overly fancy, and that is a big part of its charm.

DeathMetal HD Review

The first thing that drew me to DeathMetal HD was the title. After all, I do love me some death metal. All the screaming and blast beats find a way to satisfy me and my cold, black heart. Now, the game features not a lot in the way of death metal: there’s some heavy riffs that get involved in the menu and when powerups are activated, but this is really just a grungy-looking Breakout-style brick-breaking game. I mean grungy-looking not to say that it’s ugly, or that it looks like grunge music, but that it looks like it takes place in a dirty factory.

The core of the game is really quite familiar: paddle at bottom, bricks at top, ball somewhere hopefully between the two. Powerups for making the ball turn into fire (and unleash some metal riffs straight from hell), increase the paddle size, and make it magnetic are available, along with powerdowns like speed-ups, paddle shrinkers, and ball shrinkers. No one likes shrinkage.

Now, where DeathMetal HD succeeds is that it has a brilliant control scheme: because the game takes place in landscape instead of portrait like many games of the same genre, it has the ability to use a two-thumbs virtual button scheme. The left thumb moves left, the right thumb moves right. There’s also a swipe control by touching the paddle directly, and tilt controls available. But having these thumb controls makes the game just feel infinitely better than many games in portrait that just use swipe controls.

That may be the most interesting part of the game: there’s not a whole lot to make it stand out, it’s an otherwise fine Breakout-alike. The worlds are long, and it’s not possible to continue progress mid-world from where a game ends. So expect to replay the early levels a lot if shooting for progression; playing it as a high score game appears to be the real aim.

While DeathMetal HD could use more death metal and a few tweaks, its control scheme alone makes it a satisfying brick breaking game.

Friday Free Game Rundown September 21st

Friday Free Game Rundown September 21st

Sep 21, 2012

Being in jail wouldn’t be fun. All of the TV shows who glamorize being in jail, don’t talk about all of the bad stuff that happens that would make a person want to escape. Since we aren’t recommending anyone purposely go to jail simply to try and escape, here are a few games to simulate the experience and much much more fun way.

Jail Escape

Jail Escape is a 2D scrolling game with pretty simple controls. The goal of the game is to escape jail. The reason for the escape is actually a good one. The character’s wife is being held by the Mafia and he needs to escape jail to free her. By skulking through the sewers in secret rooms to avoid the guards, the faster the escaping happens the better.

Download Jail Escape

old offender | Escape from jail

Old Offender is actually a pretty difficult game. The game starts in a jail cell. while there, the search starts for items within the cell that can aid an escape. for people who enjoy the games where there’s a lot of thought involved this would be a good one. Each stage builds on the last. All of them involve searching for items in different options for escape. Much like it would be if one were to really escape from jail. Be crafty and think like a criminal.

Download old offender|Escape from jail

Prison Ball

Prison Ball is a brick breaker style games. Goals to break down all of the walls to break out of prison. There are 140 different levels to try and beat. Gaining power-ups will help break down the walls more efficiently. Much like in a real jailbreak, time is an enemy. Use a fingertip to toss the ball at the walls.

Download Prison Ball

Jumping Jax’s Jail Break

Jumping Jax’s Jail Break his jumper game where the only real control is to tilt the screen to control which way Jax jumps. The coast isn’t clear for Jax’s jail break attempt. There are angry birds and killercopters trying to thwart his escape. The plot has Jax taking on God and even the Devil. That must be some crazy jail, I can see why he wants to escape.

Download Jumping Jax’s Jail Break

Stckman Prison Escape

Stckman Prison Escape is a funny little game in where the main characters a stick figure dressed in jail. His buddies sent him a cake with a bunch of stuff hidden in. Using trial and error on the different items, one of them will surely help the stick figure prisoner escape. The game isn’t very long, but it has some pretty good cut scenes showing what happens when different items in the cake are used.

Download Stckman Prison Escape

Aces 3D Brick Breaker Review

Aces 3D Brick Breaker Review

Sep 19, 2012

For the uninitiated, it may take a while to understand: Brick Breaker is a way of life. The original game cut its teeth in boardrooms around the world as a stock staple on modern BlackBerry devices, and has spawned a loyal following of paddle-sliding, brick-smashing aficionados world-wide.

There have since been many iterations on different platforms, but Aces 3D Brick Breaker from Concrete Software is one that I found is worth a second look. Or two. Or twelve.

The concept is mostly the same. I use a paddle to direct a ball to break bricks, while also preventing the ball from getting past the paddle. However, the Concrete Software version does the unthinkable; it creates a realistic 3D environment. In one scene, I was in what looked like a construction foundation with a transparent bat smashing at bricks. And there are more themed scenes to enjoy as the game progresses.

In this version, the ball came right at me, which changed the perspective of the game way more than I could have envisaged. It did take some getting used to, but the developers did a good job of using simple artistic perspective (like gradually increasing size of a returning ball) to make the game more life-like.

I found the power-ups to be innovative; they made the original BB port fun. But these ain’t your Uncle Hank’s basic power-ups . No sir. The power-ups range from staccato-sounding Shotgun to reflex-resting Force Field. The power-ups added a challenging — yet achievable — level of difficulty for me, which was good. Besides bricks and power-ups, there were high-scoring gems that yielded points too.

As in the original, I completed a level by disposing of all the bricks, regardless of score. Still, points are the name of the game, because my rep is based off my high score, and there is an online chart where I could compare my prowess to other brick damaging geniuses.

I was fairly impressed with this re-imagined version of brick breaker. While the controls did take some getting used to (even though, as noted, the developers made a valiant effort to include options to make tracking the ball easier), overall, it is a pretty cool interpretation of the game that makes it ever new.