Developer: Carson Whitsett
Price: free Download on the App Store
When a retro game is given new life, there’s no guarantee of a successful resurrection. Of all the replicas of the classic Breakout, MacBrickout might be the best and can at least claim success. This classic brick breaker is ideally suited for all iOS devices and has been cleverly reinstated in this version with a ton of power capsules, hidden items and special bricks. MacBrickout features 27 different and unique levels to challenge players’ reflexes and quick thinking – plus it incorporates a bit of strategy as well to achieve a solid action arcade game in its simplest form.
MacBrickout has an intuitive interface and has thankfully been appropriately designed to maximize play area without interfering with paddle controls. The available balls, capsules and bricks are varied and include bombs, radioactive balls, bonus capsules that enlarge your paddle, slow the ball, stick the ball and in some cases warp the ball. There are just enough elements to keep the game interesting, but not so many as to clutter the screen or detract from the crux of gameplay.
A certain amount of strategy is required to beat each level, but anything can happen – whether its interference from a stray bubble or the revival of dead balls from the sand pit below – so players best be ready for anything.
Like other games, MacBrickout is free to download, but not all features or levels are available. Only three levels are initially available, but players can unlock new levels one by one by beating the others during a game or can make an in-app purchase to unlock all levels at once. A total of three in-app purchases are available – unlock all levels, unlock full version (which includes all the bonus capsules and balls, but not all levels), and a special “umphee” pack that gives players an edge for beating the harder levels.
MacBrickout is riddled with originality from the accompanying soundtrack to the level designs, but at the same time offers the familiarity of the classic game. The included strategy guide provides players with an in-depth explanation of the simple touch controls (lift-touch is a bit tricky to master) and has a bonus capsule chart to explain the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of power-up prizes. In short, MacBrickout is retro meets modern and the result is a solid arcade game that translates well to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Anyone who loved Atari’s Breakout or similar brick buster games will appreciate the design and originality of MacBrickout.