Brick Breaking Doesn’t Break New Ground

Combine one part Tetris, one part Dr. Mario, and one part Snood, and you’d get the aptly named Brick Breaking game on Facebook.

A puzzle game that asks you to clear the board of bricks, the game is more challenging than it first appears. You can only clear bricks that are in groups either horizontal or vertically touching. Initially this makes clearing the brightly colored bricks easy, but in the end you’ll inevitably be left with bricks of differing colors on opposite sides of the board and no where to turn. You only have a certain number of magic wands you can use to clear single bricks, and a poor use of clearing bricks early will mean you’ll be burning those wands early and often. You run out of magic wands and you lose.

I must admit this is one of the more challenging Facebook puzzle games out there. The Flash animation isn’t anything spectacular- only a handful of colors and very little game variety. It may keep some puzzle players coming back for more, or it may turn off casual gamers just as easily. The developers have a leaderboard set up, but a lot of the players on the boards keep complaining about inflated scores – suggesting that people have figured out a way to cheat.

There is also a tournament mode and a “collection” tab which can only be unlocked by inviting friends. The tournaments don’t work and this indicates to me the developers may be napping on keeping up with the application. The boards are littered with insults and offensive comments too, and while I don’t normally discredit a game for such behavior, I do think it’s an indication of how committed the moderators are to maintaining the community.

The puzzle aspect is compelling, but not enough to differentiate it from more well-developed Flash games… and the community aspect isn’t exactly “welcoming.”

Gameplay: 6

Development: 3

Difficulty: 8