The Brick Game is a dedicated handheld game console popular in the the early 1990s. Introduced in China, it was originally intended as a clone variant of the original Tetris that dates back to 1984-1985 in the former Soviet Union which is developed by Russian programmer Alexey Pazhitnov for the Soviet ELEKTRONIKA-60 home computer system.
Description[edit | edit source]
In general, the Brick Game is a traditional LCD electronic game, that displays games in 10 x 20 grid screen, the same grid size used in Tetris. The games are usually arranged within alphabetical letters, with each letter corresponds with different games. Each game has its own variations by selecting the number below the letter. The difficulty level and speed of each game can be adjusted by pressing the left or right D-pad.
Popularity[edit | edit source]
Brick Game was popular after a few years following the success of Tetris and similar puzzle video games in the late 1980s. It still manufactured in China and it is often considered as a low-cost toy that can be easily found on dollar stores or toy stores.
Even though the handheld gaming industry was popularized by Nintendo's Game Boy in the early-1990s, the Brick Game remained as a popular electronic game as an affordable alternative that is readily available in the market.
Today, the Brick Game has become significantly rarer in electronic stores and mostly superseded by handheld NES clone consoles. However, it is still iconic as a collector item among retro-gaming enthusiasts.
Games[edit | edit source]
Common games[edit | edit source]
- Multiple variants of Tetris. This one come in many different variations, ranging from normal Tetris pieces to complex variations featuring unusual pieces and even pieces that could shoot. To avoid possible copyright infringement of the original Tetris, this game is simply named "Brick Game" on the console's packaging or user manual.
- A car racing game in which the player switches between left and right lanes to avoid other cars passing through. The player loses if the car hits one of them. For an added difficulty, the game's speed gradually increase everytime the player levels up.
- A multi-directional shooter game in a similar vein to Battle City. The player controls a tank (or spaceship) to shoot enemies in the screen until a certain number has achieved, with each level often feature "boss battle" in the end.
- A vertical shooter game where randomly-generated rows of blocks gradualy descending down the screen, and the player must shoot them before they reach the bottom. The player loses if all blocks reached the bottom.
- Another shooting game in which the player shoot single blocks from below (or above if inverted) to form a complete 10-block line to clear them, akin to the objective of Tetris.
Uncommon games[edit | edit source]
These can only be found on certain models:
- An adaptation of the arcade game Frogger. The player controls a flashing dot and has to cross the rows without touching any moving tiles throughout the level. In some models the game is called "Frog Across River", further referencing its origin.
- A Breakout or Pong inspired game.
- A vertical shooter based on Galaxian. A formation of "enemy" blocks appear at the top of the screen, and they will "attack" one by one, attempting to hit the player. The player must eliminate the entire formation without getting hit by falling blocks.
- A classic "snake" game, often with gimmicks added.
- A matching game consisting of three different shaped blocks appear at the top and bottom of the screen. The upper blocks will descend down and the player must match the lower blocks with its upper counterpart.
- A whack-a-mole style game in which the player must use the fire and directional buttons to hit one of the four corresponding targets on the screen. The player loses if either he/she presses the wrong button, or taking too long to press. In some models this game is known as "Ghost Hunter".
- Another racing game, but the car can move freely across the screen instead of just moving in left and right lanes. Also, the player avoids walls instead of other passing cars.
- A dice game. The player selects between "small number", "large number" or "three fives" and proceeds to roll three dices. An extra point is gained when the rolled number of dice corresponds correctly with the selected option.
- A scrolling shooter that appears to be a modified version of the aforementioned racing game. The player controls the car and shoot obstacles or enemies.
Variants[edit | edit source]
Chinese[edit | edit source]
The Chinese/Asian Brick Game is the most common variant found worldwide. It is notable for using two AA batteries and comes in many different sizes and shapes, ranging from a small "keychain" model to a large, unique models that resemble an old mobile phone or a game controller.
Russian[edit | edit source]
The Russian variant of the Brick Game can be found across Russia, Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. This model usually has only standard shape; the regular rectangular shape with some sort of curved part in the middle, separating the buttons and the LCD. Unlike Asian variants, the Russian version usually uses three batteries instead of two (both AA and AAA type), and known for its loud sound.