Retro Consoles Wiki
Advertisement

Example of a generic Brick Game. This one is from a Russian market.

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[]

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[]

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.

In the United States, a company operating as ProTech sold a variant in 1998 that also had a calculator integrated into the unit, sold as the Pro200. Alongside the unit, was its smaller counterpart, the ProJR. The former had a TV advert, and at one point appeared in a mail-order magazine.

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Today, the Brick Game has become significantly rarer in electronic stores and mostly superseded by handheld NES clone consoles.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[]

Common games[]

The tank game, similar to Battle City.

  • Tank game: Typically featured as the first game on letter-based selection (on letter "A"). The player controls a tank to shoot enemies in the screen until a certain number (often 10 to 25) has achieved, with each level often feature "boss battle" in the end where the player would face off a large tank. Some versions omit the boss level and increases the level instantly after the target number has been achieved. The player's tank can easily be identified with a single block (sometimes flashing) on the back which the enemy tanks don't have. Some version does not distinguish between the player and enemy. If the player loses a life, the enemy counter is often reset.
Tetris clone.

The Tetris clone.


  • Tetromino game: Tetris clone. This game comes in many different variations, ranging from normal Tetris pieces to complex variations featuring pentomino (five-block) pieces, random blocks appearing after time, falling "bombs" that can clear the blocks and even pieces that could shoot or pemetrate through other blocks. To avoid possible copyright infringement of the original Tetris, this game is simply named as the titular "Brick Game" on the console's packaging or user manual.
the car racing game

The car racing game


  • Car racing game: The player switches between lanes to avoid other cars and obstacles passing through. The player loses if the car hits one of them. Some versions have the speed/level increase gradually over time. A less common variant allows the car to freely move instead of switching lanes and the speed automatically set to maximum number (with the option to slow down using the down button). It is typically featured as a first or second game (on either "A" or B" on letter-based selection, and "1" or "2" on older numbered selection).
    • Another variant in which the car moves along a narrow path, and the player have to avoid hitting the side walls.
Vertical shooting game (common variant)

Vertical shooting game (common variant)

A less common variant of the shooting game, unique to a specific rom

A less common variant of the shooting game, unique to a specific rom.


  • Vertical shooting: Randomly-generated rows of blocks will gradually descend down the screen, and the player must shoot them before they reach the bottom. A variant also exists where the player have to shoot randomly generated blocks instead of rows, and have the ability to gain two shooters at the cost of one life. The player loses if any blocks reach the bottom
    • Another shooting game in which the player shoot single blocks to form a complete 10-block line to clear them, akin to the objective of Tetris.
  • An adaptation of the arcade game Frogger. The player controls a flashing dot (the "frog") and has to cross the lines without touching any moving tiles throughout the level. A level is completed when the player successfully crosses the lines 5 or 10 times. In some models the game is called "Frog Across River", further referencing its origin.
  • A Breakout or Pong inspired game. It is often (incorrectly) called "Pinball" or "Crazy Ball" in some models.
  • A Snake game. Usually only appears in models with four directional buttons.

Less common games[]

These can only be found on certain models:

  • A vertical shooter based on Galaga. A formation of enemy blocks appear at the top of the screen, and they will move down the screen, attempting to hit the shooter. The player must eliminate the entire formation without getting hit.
  • 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 less common variant uses Tetris pieces instead of the usual squares.
  • 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. This game is variously known as "Hammer Attack", "Ghost Hunter" or "Alien Darts" in some packaging manuals. On the top of the screen, a symbol is used to represent the correct/wrong button press, usually "X" and "O", or in some version, a smile or frown.
    • Another variant of whack-a-mole where the player has to memorize a pattern shown and repeat the pattern correctly to score points, akin to The Simon Game toy from the 1990's.
  • A dice game. The player selects between "small number" (S), "large number" (L) 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 car racing game. The player controls the car and shoot obstacles or enemies.
  • A "dancing game", with scrolling notes representing the directional keys, where you must hit the directional key to score points, and the music and notes slowly goes faster.
  • A shooting game in which the player shoots blocks to form complete squares to clear them, in similar fashion to the arcade game QUARTH. Similar to the "dancing" game, it only appears in earlier and older versions, and is very rare to find in newer variants.


Variants[]

Chinese[]

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. Bai Bian mainly distributes these under the Super Mouse and Happy Rabbit brands.

Russian[]

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),

Menu variations[]

Early variants simply had an "A" game or "B" game, as they were simply Tetris clones. Later units would implement their own implementation of popular games, therefore needed a proper menu

Version 1[]

This version had a game represented by a number. It was the simplest of the menu system. T

2nd version of the menu syste,

2nd Version of the menu system


Version 2[]

This version features a "G" on top (for "game") , the type of game represented by a letter, and whatever variation there was for that specific game. Later ones had a spinning "G".

3rd version of the menu system. Also note the uncommon "dancing" game, represented by a dancing figure for visuals.

3rd version of the menu system. Also note the uncommon "dancing" game, represented by a dancing figure for visuals.


Version 3[]

This version has an animated preview of the game associated with the letter or number, as well as the variation number. Some ROMs have the menu feature spinning letters. This is the most common version with newer ROMs

A variant of the 3rd version of the menu system. Note the visual on top and the game type on the middle. Tank game represented by 2 tanks.

A version of the third version of the menu system featuring a character that would flap its arms when certain events were triggered. Some have the letters spin. Note the dancing game's visual.

Level, speed and variation selection[]

Earlier Brick Games, which only offer single Tetris clone, usually only offer two variations titled simply as "Game A" and Game B" without level and speed adjustment. Later models, which implemented multiple games, usually offers 10 speeds and levels (represented as 1-10 or 0-9) which can be selected by using left and right buttons. Some variants offer 16 speeds and levels, represented as 0-15. Most Brick Games implement variations on each game, represented by a number on the bottom of the screen in the menu. Depending on the game , variations numbers range from 04 to 99, which alters the gameplay or giving additional elements into the game.

Common alterations include:

  • The Tetris clones feature unusual pieces, including falling "bombs", shooting pieces, and blinking pieces that can "disintegrate" into single blocks upon dropping. In most ROMs, these unique pieces have are often identified by unique sound effects .
  • The tank battle game features a flashing dot which results in an instant loss of life if shot.
  • The car racing game have three lanes instead of two, or inverted upside-down. Some earlier ROMs have the two- and three-lane car racing in separate letters.
  • The shooting game may be inverted upside-down, have two shooters, have falling obstacles, or feature diagonally scrolling targets.
  • In the Breakout-type game, the paddle size may vary, inverted, or have the blocks moving..
  • In the Frogger-type game, the direction of the obstacle movement can be changed.


es:Brick Game 99 in 1 or 123in1


Advertisement