Date: 01-12-2011 14:00
Author: Zahir Merchant

PDC profile: Zahir

Blockids is a PSone Import that is pretty straight forward; a 3D Breakout clone with a few new ideas thrown in to spice things up. So is this brick breaking adventure worth your investment?

Time to Brick Some Breaks! ...Err wait...



So, have you played Breakout? If by some crazy miracle you haven't, here's the basic idea. You control a paddle at the bottom of the screen. This paddle bounces a ball that breaks bricks that are positioned on the top of the screen. If the ball goes past the paddle, you lose a ball. If you lose all the balls, you lose a life. Lose all the lives, it's game over. Once you have broken all the bricks, you move on to the next stage to do it again. Blockids builds on this basic formula by introducing power ups, special abilities, and a 3D perspective.

Blockheads...
Blockids gets straight to the point with only two modes. There's an "Adventure Mode" that gives you a limited amount of lives, and a "Challenge Mode" that gives you unlimited lives for 100 stages. Also, in Challenge Mode, there is a boss stage every ten stages. Sadly, I never got to a boss during my playthrough of the game because I kept dying. Both modes let you choose from 8 characters, and each one has one of three special abilities. Depending on who you choose to play as, you will either be able to catch the ball with your paddle, plow through bricks without bouncing back until you hit the back wall, or grow your paddle to twice its size. You charge this special ability by breaking red bricks, which fills a gauge. When it is completely filled, the power is automatically triggered. Additional power ups are randomly dropped from destroyed blocks, including ones that speed up/slow down the ball, make the paddle grow/shrink, move the paddle further up or further down the screen, and one that lets you automatically win a stage. The game takes advantage of its 3D perspective by allowing you to bounce the ball over stacks of bricks by pressing . You can do this as much as you want, but you have to be careful with your timing, because you can bounce the ball over your paddle as well as the blocks if you aren't careful. You can change camera views for a better angle on the action by pressing the Select button.

The Final Brick to Break
All in all, Blockids takes a game that has been done to death, and does something slightly different. Nothing too crazy, but it's just enough of a change to check out if you enjoy this sort of game. The character sprites are nicely rendered, and the background music is enjoyable, even if it can get a bit repetitive. I enjoyed my brief time with Blockids, even though it wasn't exactly a tough game. It is something that is best enjoyed short bursts, perhaps 30 minutes at a time, tops.

Blockids was originally developed by Athena in 1996. It has now been brought to the North American PlayStation Store as a PSone Import by MonkeyPaw Games. It is priced at $5.99 and takes up 80mb of disk space. I played the game for about 2 hours on my PS3.

6/10
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