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GOALS | RULES | BONUS BRICKS | CONTROLS | SCORING | STRATEGY | DID YOU KNOW? | CREDITS

Game Goals

Remove all the bricks from the wall by hitting them with the ball.

Game Rules

The game starts with a wall composed of 6 different colors of bricks: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Every time you hit a brick with the ball, that brick is removed from the wall.

The ball will bounce off the top and sides of the screen. But if the ball disappears off the bottom of the screen, you will lose a "life". Keep the ball in play using your paddle.

Hitting the ball with the left side of the paddle will cause the ball to angle off to the left, and hitting it with the right side of the paddle will angle the ball off to the right. The further the ball hits from the center of the paddle, the greater the angle.

The speed of the ball is based on which color brick the ball most recently hit. The ball will be slowest right after hitting a purple brick, and fastest right after hitting a red brick.

The wall of bricks will gradually descend. If any brick reaches the line near the bottom of the screen, the game will end. You start the game with 3 "lives"; if you lose your last "life", the game will also end.

If you clear away all the bricks, the game ends successfully, and you receive a time bonus as well as a bonus for any unused "lives".

There are hundreds of different levels in Brickout. Each level has a name, which appears in the upper right corner of the game. Some levels have a cavity with three trapped balls. Release these balls to get multiple balls into play at one time. Some levels even have several such cavities.

Bonus Bricks

Sometimes when you remove a brick, it will turn into a bonus brick, which will descend toward the bottom of the screen. If you touch a falling bonus brick with your paddle, you'll activate its powers.

Some bonus brick have an effect that lasts only for a period of time. The Bonus Bricks legend in the lower right corner of your game screen shows how many seconds remain before a particular Bonus Brick wears off.

Here are all the bonus bricks and their effects:

Wide Paddle - Increases the width of the paddle for a period of 15 seconds.

Slow Ball - Slows the ball speed by one-third for a period of 15 seconds.

Split Ball - Splits the ball into two balls.

Sticky Paddle - For the next 15 seconds, the ball will stick to the paddle instead of bouncing off it. You can then launch the ball wherever you like. Note that Sticky Paddle will not work if you have more than one ball in play.

Extra Life - Adds 1 to your "Lives Left" counter.

Extra Points - Adds 250 points to your score.

Extra Points - Adds 500 points to your score.

Pause Brick Descent - Stops the descent of the brick wall, and the counting down of your time bonus, for 10 seconds.

Pause Brick Descent - Stops the descent of the brick wall, and the counting down of your time bonus, for 20 seconds.

Game Controls

Move the mouse to the left or the right to move your paddle. You can also use the arrow keys to move your paddle to the left or right.

Click your left mouse button, or press the spacebar, to launch a ball. New balls will always launch at an angle toward the right; balls captured using the Sticky Paddle power-up will launch at various angles, depending on where along the paddle the ball was captured. If you do not launch a ball manually (with the mouse button or the spacebar), it will be launched automatically after 3 seconds.

Game Scoring

The total value of the bricks in the wall is 5,000 points. Red bricks give you twice as many points as purple bricks, with the other colors spread out in value between those two extremes.

Your base score can also be supplemented by catching certain Bonus Bricks, which can give you a point bonus of 250 or 500 points.

In addition, there is a time bonus. The Time Bonus starts the level at 2500 points and begins counting down. The current amount of the Time Bonus can be seen on the right side of the playing area. When you remove the last brick, the remaining Time Bonus is added to your score.

Finally, there is a bonus of 250 points for each "life" left.

Note that you will not receive either bonus if your game ends unsuccessfully (by losing your last ball, or by letting a brick reach the line near the bottom of the screen).

Game Strategy

Try to carve out a hole in the wall of bricks, and then sneak the ball through the hole to the space between the wall and the top of the screen. Since the red bricks, with their fast rebound, are usually at the top of the wall, this will clear out more bricks more quickly. Also, as long as the ball is bouncing between the wall and the top of the screen, you don't have to worry about losing the ball.

Watch for those glancing blows off the corner of a brick that can suddenly change the direction of the ball.

Note the value of a lost ball and the value of a falling Bonus Brick. Losing a "life" costs you 250 points, so it might be worth going after a 500-point Bonus Brick, even if it meant losing your ball to get it. But in most cases, you shouldn't go after a Bonus Brick if it might make you lose your ball.

The Wide Paddle Bonus Brick is not only good because it makes it harder to lose a ball - it also makes it easier to catch falling Bonus Bricks! Similarly, the Sticky Paddle Bonus Brick makes it easier to catch other Bonus Bricks, since you can catch the ball, then catch the Bonus Brick, then release the ball.

The ball speed increases as the game goes on. You may actually want to avoid the Slow Ball Bonus Brick, especially early in a game when the ball speed is still fairly slow. Slowing the ball down in that case will lengthen the game and reduce your Time Bonus.

Note that the 10- and 20-Second Bonus Bricks have a double benefit. In addition to stopping the descent of the wall, they also freeze the decreasing Time Bonus counter for that period of time.

Don't try to catch a 10-Second Bonus Brick when you have more than a 10 second pause remaining from a previous 20-Second Bonus Brick - the pause will immediately get set to 10 seconds, so you'll actually lose time.

Toward the beginning of the game, when the wall of bricks is very high, you can get the most bricks per second by keeping the ball between the bricks and the top of the screen. But later in the level, when the wall of bricks is getting close to the bottom of the screen, you can get the most bricks per second by keeping the ball between the bricks and your paddle.

Be ready for the sudden increase in ball speed when the ball hits a red or an orange brick.

When you have multiple balls in play, focus on one of them to make sure it stays in play at all costs, and only go after the other ball or balls when that one is safe. It's easy to try to go after all the balls and, in the confusion of the moment, lose all of them.

When you have a level with the three trapped balls, try to release them from the top rather than the bottom. This will keep the multiple balls in play longer.

You will often want to hit the ball off the extreme left and extreme right sides of the paddle, in order to get the proper angle on the ball. But remember that this is a very dangerous maneuver, because if you're slightly off, you'll miss and lose the ball.

When you have the Wide Paddle, be aware that the paddle will instantly shrink when that Bonus Brick wears off. Try to avoid using the ends of the paddle, as they might disappear just before the ball gets there!

You can clear the bricks faster by removing two or more bricks during each paddle-to-bricks-to-paddle round trip. Look for places where bricks form a corner; hitting the ball into such a corner will often remove two or more bricks.

Did You Know?

  • The first bricks were created by the Egyptians, over 6,000 years ago, carving them from sun-baked deposits of clay. The first intentionally kiln-baked bricks were made by the Mesopotamians.
  • Early masonry used mud for mortar. Bricklaying took a huge leap forward when the Romans discovered the advantages of using cement-based mortar, and allowed them to build their huge roads, walls, and aqueducts, some of which are still around today. The Pantheon in Rome, built in the 2nd century, has a brick dome with a span of 142 feet - a span not exceeded in building construction until the introduction of structural steel in the early 19th century.
  • Reddish-brown bricks get their color from the presence of iron oxide (in other words, rust) in the clay the brick was made from. Yellowish bricks, on the other hand, get their color from the presence of carbonate of lime (that is, chalk) in the clay.
  • The most common type of automated brick making uses a device with the wonderful name of Stiff-Mud Machine.
  • Wrecking balls, swung from cranes to demolish masonry buildings, can weigh as much as 13,500 pounds!

Credits

The following people contributed to the creation of Brickout: Peter Calabria, Shawn Campbell, Tanya Feldman, Matt Ferrell, Anatoly Kleyman, Brian Mahoney, Steve Meretzky.

Rocket Fuel