One of the things I love about the App Store so much is that you never know what sort of quirky game will pop out of the woodwork at any given time. In this case, Brick Roll from Gavina Games is my sleeper hit of this week's releases so far.
It's funny because it's sort of like another Spinning Circle Jumping Game like An Alien with a Magnet, which I talked about earlier today, but mixed with some Pac-Man [$4.99] and GravBot [Free] type mechanics. Maybe a hint of Bean's Quest [$1.99] too just for good measure? That sounds like a weird mix, but trust me, Brick Roll blends it all together expertly.
In Brick Roll you play as a tiny cube across 24 levels that are made up of blocky island-like platforms. Your cube moves on its own, at a pretty decent clip I might add, and you simply touch the left side of the screen to change which direction he moves and touch the right side of the screen to jump from platform to platform (or off into the nether if you aren't careful).
Surrounding each platform are yellow pellets, all of which must be collected to open the door that lets you exit the level. There are also enemies marching around some of the platforms, and they can be dealt with in a couple of different ways. One way is to jump onto them from another platform, knocking them off and out of your way. The other way is to collect a special flashing pellet, which like the power-pellets in Pac-Man, give you invincibility so you can simply run right into them to knock them off the platforms. If you touch an enemy that is on the same platform you're on while not invincible, you'll lose one of your 3 hearts. Lose all your hearts and the level is failed.
The mechanics are so simple in Brick Roll, but the level designs are excellent and provide quite a challenge. The levels are timed too, so there's some opportunity for Game Center leaderboard bragging rights if you're fast enough. Also, there are secret areas to find, usually offscreen where it looks like you'd otherwise be shooting yourself out into nothingness. The secret areas contain green pellets, which hint that there's something special waiting if you're able to collect them all.
Brick Roll ties its interesting play mechanics together with a cheerful soundtrack and colorful, blocky visuals. It's just a charmer through and through. I'm anxious to keep on plugging away to unlock the rest of the game's levels, but I'm also getting sucked into retrying every level in an effort to get a decent time on the leaderboards. This will be a game I keep coming back to for some time, I think. Toss Brick Roll on your TouchArcade [Free] Watch List and check out the buzz in the forums until it launches in the US later tonight.
International App Store Link: Brick Roll, $1.99 (Universal)
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