It either takes guts or a strong sense of self grounding to refer to any game you’ve developed as being awful while at the same time be willing to show how bad it is by making the game publicly available. But rather than call it a day, Boddicker Games used the experience to follow up their debut breakout game (Bricking It) with a vastly superior homage to the genre by producing Brick’s Revenge.
Upon initial look, Brick’s Revenge appears to be a clone of classic breakout games like Krakout and Traz. But as you start to play through the first level and notice that the screen slowly scrolls down a couple of lines to reveal a black and white chequred band, you quickly realise that the objective is to get your bouncing ball into a goal zone, rather than having to eliminate all bricks on screen.
But as the game title implies, your paddle is not the only thing that is sending projectiles across the screen. The bricks blocking your path to the end zone are not going to sit there and wait to be demolished and as such you will find yourself dodging kamikaze bricks, laser fire, missiles and giant bricks. Getting hit by one of these results in an immediate loss of one of your lives.
Interestingly, you do not immediately lose a life if you let the ball slip by you. Each time you fail to get to the ball in time you record a ‘miss’, with this counter getting reset once you do successfully hit the ball. It is only when you record three consecutive ‘misses’ do you lose one of your game lives. This adds an interesting mechanism to the play as you will find that on many occasions you will be put in a tight position where going out to reach a ball will put you in danger of being hit by one of the hazard projectiles and that it may be best to take a ‘miss’, with the hope you will get the ball on the next time it comes back to you.
Taking a miss is also advantageous where you are having trouble with controlling the ball as its position resets off your bat at a more controllable and gentle trajectory, providing you with a convenient way to get the ball to go where you want it to while minimising the risk of being hit by a projectile.
Brick’s Revenge provides a very satisfying game of breakout with a gentle difficulty curve that really ramps up by Level 5 as you are constantly trying to avoid three hazard projectiles hurtling down at you at a fast pace. It will certainly take quite a bit of practice before you get to anywhere close to completing the game’s 12 levels.
For most part, the ball physics are realistic and the general game play speed is good. Graphically, the game does look quite nice and polished, something lacking from all other breakout clones developed over the recent years. The game’s music soundtrack is quite enjoyable with its bouncy and somewhat psychedelic tones providing a suitable backdrop.
Brick’s Revenge is a good response to Boddicker Game’s debut title and is a welcomed addition to the C64 breakout genre. It doesn’t introduce anything that necessarily standouts but it’s subtle deviations make it an interesting arcade experience that most will enjoy playing for a few days.
Brick’s Revenege will be available to pre-order from Bitmap Soft real soon.
One of the better breakout clones to be produced in the modern day era of C64 gaming with its subtle twists to the genre allowing the game to stand on its own.
Retro gaming journalist promoting NEW C64, Amiga, Amstrad CPC & ZX Spectrum games. Contributes to RetroGamerNation YouTube channel, RVG and Vintage is the New Old blog sites, Reset 64 Magazine, The 8-Bit Annual and various other publications.