Stack of Bricks:Xbox Live Indie Games: Devoloper:Rafaro
I can only imagine the meeting at conference room at Rafaro. I picture a shiny cherry table with a gaggle of high priced executives and their minions gathered around. The wall is adorned with analog clocks announcing the time in such far-flung ports as Singapore and Buenos Aries. A plasma television lowers silently from it hidden recess in the ceiling and on it appears their latest masterpiece, already in action.
And the best name they could come up with is Stack of Bricks?
Fortunately despite the quotidian title this is not a Tetris clone. I hate Tetris clones. Instead this is a Breakout clone. I love Breakout clones. In fact I currently own five Breakout clones of various quality. So needless to say Stack of Bricks will have to do something to break out of the pack no?
Well simply not screwing up the simple game of Breakout is enough for me. My breakout clones are all basically the same. I just like the slightly different takes the various companies have on the classic. I mean it is Breakout after all, how can you screw that up?
Well for one thing you could make the screen slightly isometric so the bricks seem far far away. Another thing is you could do is make the ball very very small even on a large screen high definition television (I could only imagine trying to play this on a standard set.) Rafaro does seem to muck up a sure shot. Even if none of the design flaws are game breakers in and of themselves the entire package is not a good representation of Breakout..
Rafaro does have some nice window dressing for a Breakout clone with a good steampunk feel and detailed paddle (complete with shooting flames). Unfortunately their artistic vision really doesn't seem to improve gameplay. I would compare it unfavorable to fellow indie Breakout clone Bricks4ever's neon nightmare visuals.(Which at the very least invoke seizures in otherwise healthy individuals therby making the game more challenging.)
What does effect the gameplay however are the two above faults and the remarkably leisurely pace at which the game takes place. This is quite noticeable when one is hunting down that last brick with no energy or urgency present.
Overall, with some small reservations, I recommend Stack of Bricks at the dollar price point. (If just to feed my addition to Breakout clones.) Strangely enough though Rafaro has placed this at the three dollar price point which seems a bit dear for a flawed breakout clone.
Review Score: $1
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