Infendo Review: Brick Race (New 3DS)

Imagine if someone hacked a game of Tetris and turned it into a top down racing game, and you have Brick Race. Actually, it’s more like a top down object dodging game than an actual race. Let me explain.

Start with, as I said before, a Tetris board. At the bottom of the board is a collection of blocks that vaguely resemble a race car. You can move this car left or right on the grid in order to avoid a steady stream of similarly shaped blocks representing your racing opponents.Photo Aug 21, 12 50 09 PMWithin the roughly 13×18 grid, you have three lanes of three blocks each (with a two block “shoulder” on either side). Cars cascade toward you in one of the three lanes, 8 vertical blocks apart, without moving horizontally. Your goal is essentially to dodge left and right, avoiding as many cars as possible for as long as possible, and beat your high score. As you progress, the level increases, and the game scrolls marginally and progressively faster, although how much faster and how frequently it increases remain a mystery. I could not discern a distinctive pattern.

And that’s pretty much it. There’s no finish line. There’s no rival car to triumph over. It’s just an endless stream of falling blocks to avoid. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before in countless iPhone, Android, and probably even Atari games, but it’s in its simplicity that it succeeds as a toilet-break time-waster. One session typically lasts about a minute or two, enough to keep you occupied during a long queue (or a long poo), but not so long that it overstays its welcome. Chances are you’ll screw up before you tire of it.

If the simple-yet-addictive gameplay doesn’t keep you coming back, the music might. The soundtrack is an original 8-bit composition that will play in your head long after you close the lid on your 3DS. Unfortunately, this is the only music you will hear, but the loop is about two minutes long, so chances are you won’t get sick of it with one session. (I’m actually tempted to hit up the developer for an MP3 to listen to during my real life drives.) If that kind of music isn’t your thing, the volume can simply be turned off. There are no other sounds in the game, so you won’t be missing any gameplay cues.Photo Aug 21, 12 49 16 PMThe only major issue I’ve had with the game is with the controls. One tap on the D-pad moves you one block in the chosen direction, and it’s usually very responsive. But occasionally, for no discernible reason, your car will slide a few blocks instead of one. I’ve tried double-tapping the D-pad, holding it in the direction, pressing the shoulder buttons, pressing the face buttons, tapping the screen, and everything else I can think of, but I can’t voluntarily duplicate the effect, and therefore suspect it is a flaw that will hopefully be corrected with a patch.

The only other complaint I have is that the game is exclusive to the New 3DS, but since it was programmed with Unity, that’s unavoidable. Unfortunately, it will limit the game’s user base.

All in all, this is an enjoyable entry in the eShop library, and for only $1.49, you’ll get your money’s worth. Just don’t go in expecting anything more than a 10 year old cell phone game and you’ll be satisfied.

(Editors note: Review codes were provided by the developer, RCMADIAX)

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