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.
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.