Of the games concerning the repeated hitting of blocks until they disappear, Breakout is surely the best. Sorry, Notch. If only there was some way to expand upon Breakout. If only someone had ever tried that. If only the Atari corporation had tried to monetise Breakout on an ongoing basis, instead of just releasing it then leaving it as a pure, untouched snowflake of gaming challenge.
Fortunately, an indie developer has done the hitherto impossible – modified Breakout. I know, right? His twist is an excellent, and painful one – each block contains another, smaller game of Breakout which must be played simultaneously with the ‘main’ game and any other activated micro-Breakouts upon being struck by the ball for the first time.
BRICK[bricksmash]SMASH hovers on the especially thin line dividing ‘experiment’ and ‘thing you can realistically play’, and just about gets away with it. It’s essentially a juggling act, in which you must keep a growing number of microscopic balls afloat simultaneously, lest the game end. To be anything more than a short-term awareness and reflex test it could possibly do with an option to temporarily slow one or some of the sub-games, but then again I suppose that would undermine the absurdity of the whole affair.
Another option is to turn it into an ad-hoc multiplayer game, in which 17 players each take one ‘block’ and fight for control of the one keyboard. ‘Please, just give me half a second!’ ‘No, I’ve got to save this one!’ ‘No, me!’ [Smack], etc.
Good work, Alan ‘Draknek’ Hazelden.