Brickies is a block smashing game with a twist. Rather than losing your ball if you miss it with one of your paddles, it ricochets off a wall behind you.

Instead of lives, you're fighting against a time limit, and each missed shot makes your ball ineffective for a short period.

Other than that, and a cutesy Threes!-style look, everything is pretty much as you'd expect. There are power-ups, blocks you can't break, and blocks that need a second or third hit to clear.

Brick lanes

You control your paddles by sliding a finger across the screen. There's one at the top, and one at the bottom. Tapping releases the ball from your grip at the start of each level.

The titular Brickies are arranged in various positions, and the background of the level is made up of a Countdown-style ticking clock. If it runs out before you've smashed everything, you lose.

Power-ups make things more interesting. One gives your ball an explosive twang, another sprays the screen with extra balls, a third fires out lasers when your ball gets close to any bricks.

You can combine these boosts, if you manage to hit more than one at the same time, and it's particularly pleasing putting spinning blades around your ball then nabbing the speed power-up. Delightful carnage usually ensues.

But the addition of the time limit adds a slightly forlorn air to some levels. When you're bouncing a ball back and forth between your paddles, trying desperately to hit one last block while the clock ticks down, the game loses a lot of its momentum.


And that's a shame, because there's a lot to like here. An endless mode keeps things fresh if you get stuck on a level, and everything is presented with a cheeky smile.

But you can't help feeling this is just a slight shift in the block breaking genre, rather than a giant leap, and that while there are some new ideas here, you've seen everything else it has to offer before.