So I will add a couple of new things that I have learned about Brickbreaker, and I offer a warm welcome and a hearty thank you to anyone who is stopping by in search of something useful, or at least something new, on Brickbreaker. Check out the rest of the blog, leave a comment somewhere (even one that tells me I have my head up my fundamental orifice) and stop by again.
So, Brickbreaker Addict, here are a few new things I have learned lately. Keep your eye on the main prize, and make conscious choices about which pill to take depending on the situation you are in:
- Keep your eye on the main prize. The first two times through the 34 levels, points don't matter, LIFE matters. Don't risk a LIFE by racing over to grab some bonus pill that is not a LIFE. Don't get distracted by multiple pills falling and lose track of where the ball is.
- If you are in one of the levels where a horizontal row of silver bricks marches relentlessly towards you, and you have CATCH on your paddle, it will often be worth dodging a LIFE pill just to keep all your current lives. Remember that LIFE pills erase your LASER and your CATCH paddles. If the silver bricks are coming down you can lose multiple lives, making the original trade of CATCH for a new LIFE a bad one.
- If you have MULTI balls in play and a BOMB or a CATCH comes along, decide quickly whether you want to be down to just one ball, because that is what you will get if you collect one or both of those new pills. I lost a life because I was on the wrong side of the screen collecting a CATCH and waiting for a ball to hit my paddle, and the ball I was about to play simply vanished.
- Learn which bricks on which levels always contain pills. Level one only ever has two pills, for instance, and they are always in the same places. It bugs me greatly if the last pill on a level had a LIFE in it and I could not collect it. In the higher levels, manage the ball so that you have time to react, avoiding a FLIP or a WRAP but going after something useful. Level 14 is the best example of this, because the two bricks at the bottom right always contain pills. Steer the ball away after hitting the first brick so that you can decide what to do with the pill. If you like it (CATCH for example) try to keep from hitting the second brick for a while.
- Some games there are lots of LIFE pills, other games not very many. You can tell by the time you complete Level 3. Use the games when there are not many LIFE pills to practice other things, for instance going out of your way to collect FLIP or WRAP and figuring out how to survive with them if for some reason you are forced to collect one during an important game. I want to win every time, and so this is hard advice for me to practise, but I will still preach it...
- Brickbreaker has occasional random acts where a ball slips through the edge of a row of silver bricks towards your paddle, and out of play, or where a ball takes a weird bounce off the frame, or when despite your best efforts the paddle does not bounce the ball fairly. Be prepared. The randomness rarely works to your advantage.
- SLOW and LONG can be your friends when the game speeds up, but if you keep the ball in play then eventually the game will slow down again. At this point it may be worth accepting a GUN or LASER or CATCH pill to reset your paddle, giving up on LONG in favor of knocking out some silver bricks or dealing with a bunch of red bricks. But be careful. If the ball is nearing the edge of LONG and your pill resets you to one of the other paddles of regular length, the ball can go right past where the LONG end used to be.
- If you get past Level 16 with more than a couple of lives left, congratulations. But there is still plenty of trouble ahead, and many levels do not offer any sort of pills, including the all-important LIFE pill that you will need to replenish lost lives. For me, basic success means getting past Level 16 and into the second half of the game; that is like a bronze medal. Silver is getting through Level 8 the second time around, because Level 8 drops very quickly the second time through and never offers any pills to compensate if you lose a LIFE. Gold is getting through Level 16 the second time around. Platinum was completing an entire second round, which means overcoming the incredible speed that some levels throw at you right from the start. After the second round everything slows down again. I am now at 175,000 points and 55 lives, having gone around about 11 times, with no end in sight.
- Keep your thumb dry. Play where light conditions are in your favor, including no reflection off the ceiling. Take a break in the middle of your level not between levels (more on this in other postings about Brickbreaker on this blog).
- No matter how much you like Brickbreaker, you should occasionally set it aside and try to collect a real life, not a Brickbreaker LIFE...
- It may be surprising to some Brickbreaker addicts, but a Blackberry also includes a phone, email device, calendar, photo album, MP3 player, GPS, browser, camera and other neat things. Especially if your employer has provided you with your Blackberry, consider devoting more time to using these other tools than to mastering Brickbreaker. 2009 is not the year to steal time from those who buy your groceries.