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.