Game

Breakout may have hit the 21st century, but it’s gone greyscale

Brick-breaker games have a long history in video games. At the beginning, they basically provided players with a way to play Pong by themselves, like a computerized version of hitting a tennis ball against a wall. The premise is extremely familiar: a tiny ball hurtles around the screen destroying the bricks, while you’re task is to keep it from dropping off the bottom. Once all the bricks are destroyed you advance or if you run out of lives you’ve got to start again.

We've come a long way from the arcade machines of yore

We’ve come a long way from the arcade machines of yore

Grey Cubes (we’ll follow the developers lead and use the British spelling) doesn’t break much from tradition, but it does try to bring something new to the genre – you’ll notice straight away that the game has upgraded its visuals with some 3D shading.

It starts out simply enough with just a few blocks to destroy

It starts out simply enough with just a few blocks to destroy

As you play, the bricks move and react to every hit from the glowing ball. This can cause strange bounces and frantic scrambles to keep your orb in play. Controlling the bat is simple enough and requires you to simply slide your finger along the bottom of the screen. However, in some levels, moving the bat also moves the view of the playing field enhancing the gameplay from the familiar approach.

Try not to lose all your lives or you'll be hit with a hefty points penalty

Try not to lose all your lives or you’ll be hit with a hefty points penalty

On top of this the game contains power-ups that will either help or hinder your cause. They are released by destroying blocks that float down towards the bottom of the screen. Trying to catch or avoid them can put your ball in jeopardy but it’s usually worth it. You also get a magnet power that charges up over time and forces the ball to head for any remaining blocks. This is very handy and can often help you get rid of those last few bricks before you get frustrated.

Use the magnet power to get rid of the final few bricks

Use the magnet power to get rid of the final few bricks

Once you have destroyed all blocks then you move on to the next level. Currently Grey Cubes has 60 levels to get through, and you have just five lives in which to do this. If you do lose them all, you can trade 20,000 of your hard-earned point for five new ones. If you’re aiming for a top score then this could be a killer blow. If you don’t have the points to trade then it’s game over and you’ll have to start from level one.

It's possible to play in landscape mode but it's a bit more difficult to control

It’s possible to play in landscape mode but it’s a bit more difficult to control

Thankfully, each of the levels is slightly different from the last and offers enough of a challenge. It’s unlikely you’ll complete all 60 levels in one sitting but it’s great to tackle a level or two at a time. In fact, our only complaint is that it’s all a bit grey (unsurprisingly), which does make the game feel a bit cold. Of course, this doesn’t affect the overall quality of the game, which is instantly playable and outrageously addictive.

Price: $1.99/£1.49
Version: 1.0.1
Size: 51.0 MB
Developer: Bulkypix

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Grey Cubes Review: Brick-breaking fun inside your iPhone
New life breathed into an old concept: loads of new ideas, simple gameplay, and a "just-one-more-go" addictiveness.
For
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Varied levels keep it interesting
Against
  • It's all a bit too grey
  • Some levels feel designed to make you fail
4.0Overall Score