Friday, July 14, 2006


Brickbreaker is a crappy game that comes installed on any Blackberry device. It's a Breakout and Arkanoid type game, with you controlling the paddle using the Blackberry scroll wheel. Unfortunately, said scroll wheel is rather stiff and clunky, and difficult to use, so it makes the game a bit rubbish. And some of the design decisions in the game make it really dire:
  • The ball doesn't bounce off of a wall at the angle you would expect - it seems to be prretty random whether it bounces back at a more obtuse or acute angle than it hit at
  • The powerups are assigned at random, which means that you could be lucky and get five extra lives in the first three levels, or you could get none, making whether you get very far in the game random as well
  • One of the powerups is the catch. But when you catch a ball, you then can't move your paddle until you've released the ball, meaning you miss out on any other powerups that are falling
  • When you catch the ball, you can change where the ball's aimed by rotating a guideline with the scrollwheel. But when you fire the ball, it doesn't actually go where the guideline said
  • After not very many hits, the playing field starts to move down the screen, one block each time you hit the ball, until the bottom of the block field is just above your bat. In later levels, such as level 16, there's a row of indestructable blocks across the bottom of the main block field. If you lose a life after the field has moved down, you have no chance of surviving long enough to get the ball back up into play, so effectively you've lost all your lives at once.
I've played it a lot, though. Why? Because Soren, someone I work with, told me his score. I beat it, he beat mine, and so on, and currently I'm about 200 ahead (on 9155). Competitiveness is a good thing.

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