Wednesday, March 4, 2009


It was hard at first for me to figure out what it is about StickBrix that makes it bad enough for Big Mean Flash Gamer. I mean, the concept isn't that difficult to follow - it's like Breakout but with more acts of violence as you try to either whack unsuspecting stickmen with your bouncy ball or remove the ground beneath them so they can fall to their doom. That all sounds like fun to me, since I'm a big fan of both Breakout and hurting people, but my suspicions were raised almost immediately by this warning at the start of the game:

Here's an inalienable truth - any game that warns epileptics not to play just in case it kills them is going to have far too much going on for anybody to process.

Of course, it starts off with a ton of promise. You have plenty of lives (and you'll need every one.) Things are kept simple enough, in one sense at least: there are only two power ups, and one of them just makes your ball bounce faster, which is pretty useless when the entire screen is flashing red and blue in your face while the same techno tune that Mo Fun Zone uses in almost all of its games plays ad nauseam in the background.

It's hard to keep track on everything when you have so much crap flying at you at all times. There are occasions when the ball is barely visible, and it's moving at such a pace that you don't realise it's about to go until it's too late to do anything about it.

On top of that are the annoying little pricks with the baseball bats who can deflect your ball. This means you have only two choices - hit them so fast that they don't see it coming or take out the platforms beneath them.

And that's great until you get into a situation like the one above. For whatever reason these blocks can't be destroyed, so you have no choice but to keep bouncing your ball up and down and hoping for the best. This process can take many long, agonising minutes. I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun to me.

This Dragonball Z reject is some kind of boss, I suppose, dropping fireballs to kill you. He needn't bother - with all the stuff happening on screen, I lost all my lives pretty quickly. But it's cool - StickBrix has an autosave feature allowing you to start from the last level you reached.

Hold up - what is this shit? This isn't the last level I reached - this is the first level again! Except this time I have fewer lives! So they included an autosave feature that saves everything but the levels you've completed! How is that helpful?

Even if you don't have epilepsy StickBrix is certain to give you a headache. It gets an A for effort but an F- for the end result. It seems this was a Breakout clone too far.

1 comment:

  1. I found this blog when I was looking for images of cuccoos (don't judge me) and I have since been reading through your posts and laughing. I love these reviews. Seriously.