Nervous Brickdown Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by ShadowXP, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. ShadowXP

    ShadowXP ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Dec 20, 2002

    Will you brickdown with excitement or will your DS be meeting the bricks itself?

    Ah. Nervous Brickdown. I'm pretty sure you probably haven't heard of it. But you probably should have, considering it was published by Eidos (where's the Kane & Lynch-esque hype!?). Developed by Arkedo Studio for the DS, Nervous Brickdown is a fresh take on the brick-busting money-grabbing game we've all come to know and love as Arkanoid.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So you must be thinking, "surely the gameplay is pretty simple - move the paddle and hit the bricks!" Well, you'd be right to a certain extent, but all's not as it seems with Nervous Brickdown.

    The premise is easy - using the touch screen to d-pad to move the paddle (situated on the touch screen), The game features 10 different modes, but 99% of these require to be unlocked by playing the Arcade mode. Each level in the Arcade mode is made up of 9 different stages and a boss stage (yes, believe it or not, it's possible to have bosses in Arkanoid!), but the best bit is that each level has a theme - this ranges from 'pow' (the classic Arkanoid - basic brick-busting) to 'ghost' (blow into the microphone to blow away the ghosts trying to steal your ball) all the way 'speed' (clear the level as fast as possible by bouncing a laser instead of a ball).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The different themes add a great twist to your usual Arkanoid clone, and make the game unique for the DS by utilising the touch screen. The touch screen features are usually very obvious, but some are unique, for example using the stylus to draw your own paddle which is used in-game. Depending on the shape of the paddle you draw affects how the ball moves when it hits your paddle. They also utilise the microphone on the 'ghost' levels - by blowing into the microphone, you 'blow' the ghosts away, but this isn't very effective due to the DS' poor microphone; you have to blow hard and it's hard to concentrate on bouncing the ball when you're blowing away ghosts with your breath. *HUFF* (what a sentance!)

    There are 135 levels in total, and the amount of effort that has gone into the level design is obviously high, but sometimes it just doesn't work very well. Arkedo try to keep you engaged for a long time by 'spicing' up the general idea of Arkanoid. Sometimes, you won't be required to hit blocks at all - rather, clean up the ink splodges on a letter. Whilst this is imaginative and does keep you wondering what you'll be up against next, it's not nearly as challenging as some of the later levels in the original Arkanoid. Except the rather charming 'Retro' stages which are definitely one of the games biggest highlights - the bottom screen acts as a mini Arkanoid game, and the top is a platformer. You have to play the platform game whilst bouncing the ball on the bottom screen! I loved this, and it really makes up for the lack of challenge that's present in some of the previous levels.

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    Overall, the presentation of game is very nice, the menus are easy to navigate and are well laid-out. The level design can range from quite good-looking to rather boring, but most of the time this is intentional and it suits the theme of the level nicely. The sound compliments the levels but isn't anything to rave (excuse the pun) about, and most of the time you'll find yourself turning it down, but it doesn't matter. Nervous Brickdown is a great game, easily passed off as shovelware from the people who only care about the next Final Fantasy. This is a fantastic attempt from the 3-man indie development team Arkedo, and can be bought for a steal of £10 from your local Asda so get out there and spread the love, and make sure you keep an eye out for their future titles!

    All in all, Nervous Brickdown is one of the best Arkanoid clones in years. Inventive, stylish, and just damn right good fun, it's the perfect game for casual gamers. A warning though, you might turn hardcore if you keep playing it - it's highly addictive!

    Gameplay Video

  2. litium

    litium GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 19, 2008
    [​IMG] Great review! Nervous Brickdown was the first break-out game that i played on my DS. After that i tried Arkanoid DS and well, let's say Nervous Brickdown maged to stay a few months on my SD card.
    Good luck in the comp!.
  3. Toni Plutonij

    Toni Plutonij *has TrolleyDave & tiny p1ngy on moderating shelf!

    Former Staff
    Dec 22, 2007
    Depths of Nuclear powerplant
    Very nice review, and great game for NDS! I put it on my cart accidently, and I was really pleasantly surprised! Very interesting "bricker" the best I have played so far..
  4. yuyuyup

    yuyuyup GBAtemp Psycho!

    Apr 30, 2006
    United States
    USA MTN timezone
    Nervous Brickdown 2007 GOTY
  5. JPH

    JPH Banned

    Jul 11, 2006
    United States
    Ah great review Shadow. [​IMG]

    I didn't even know this game existed until now. However, it looks like a fun as fuck yo
  6. Joshunar

    Joshunar Advanced Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    United States
    Nervous brickdown was a great game. good job on winning.
  7. airpirate545

    airpirate545 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 5, 2007
    United States
    Great review, it inspired me to get this game. However, your review states you can play the game using the d-pd but I found no such option.