Every Atari 7800 Game Reviewed
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5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom

Funkmaster V Reviews

7800 Rank: Not Ranked

Genre: Puzzle (Brick Buster)

Awards: None
You Wanna Talk About Some Crazy Brix? These Guys Just Defecated Themselves While Speaking in Tongues Pros: Easy Mode Allows For Long Gameplay Innings/ Many Varied & Colorful Levels
Cons: Lack of Music and Power-Ups Contribute to Stripped Down Atmosphere
I'm Just Bustin' Bricks Ova' Here

Overview: When Bob Decrescenzo popped on the Atari 7800 scene in the early 2000's, it was obvious that he loved Pac Man style games. His monkier was Pac man Plus after all, and noone knew what the hell a "Bob Decrescenzo" was until like 2016. His series of excellent hacks presented in the legendary package
"Pac Man Collection" cemented his fame and identity, but what I didn't realize until our interview in 2020 was that one of his favorite games was Arkanoid. If you are unaware, Arkanoid is probably the best version of a brick bustin' puzzle game that ever existed. So... it makes sense that Bob's first all-original release, 2011's "Crazy Brix" feels like the missing link between the almost zen-like Super Breakout and the rock n roll circus that is Arkanoid.

Graphics: The most fun aspect of Crazy Brix is the anticipation of what "Crazy" level is the next one to pop up in our mission to break all of space's masonry. Bob sometimes arranges the bricks to make some pretty ubiquitous designs, but he often surprises us with levels designed around interesting things like: Combat's tanks, the Atari Fuji, or imagery from Adventure. I'm not sure why we hate these bricks, but dammit all, we do. Destroyed bricks disintegrate when they disappear, the ball is round, the paddle is interesting and detailed and every level has some sort of color scheme that I can dig. Before the level begins, the bricks have a quick, glimmering sheen. Sheen is a word Americans should use more.

Sound: The audio in this game tends to match Super Breakout pretty closely. The lower the bricks are on the screen, the lower the pitch of tone signifying the bricks removal from the game. The higher the brick is on the screen............ well, you guessed it: the higher the pitch. This game is quiet on the music side, so turn Freedom Rock up on the old stereo while Crazy Brix in use.

Gameplay: If you don't know what "Brick Bustin' Puzzle Games" are, I don't know why you are on this site, but I will explain it to you. Us humans hate these effing bricks, see? and boom... we want them outta here. What weapons of mass destruction are at our finger tips? A ball and paddle, of course. We spend the entire game deflecting the ball at different angles off of our paddle into the horde of bricks. After we destroy all of the bricks on a level, we are treated to a new layout on the next board. What makes Crazy Brix so CRAZZZYYYY is the fact that we start off with two balls... just like a human boy. What happens to our balls after that is ultimately up to us. While both balls are in play, we score double points... both in the game and in life. If we should lose a ball, it seems like we score alot less.... both in the game and in life. Holy sh*t... I thnk Crazy Brix is a metaphor for testicular safety. The fun factor of the game is almost doubled when two balls are in play. As with many games of this ilk, trying to destroy that hard to reach group of bricks with one ball can be tantalizing and slow. If you have access to double the weaponry, end games feel more like an assualt, rather than a chore.

Originality: Unlike many Pac Man Plus games, there's not a plethora of modes in this title, but thank goodness Bob included Easy mode. Easy mode is very slow, and a noob like myself can liesurely play this game and see all of the super cool levels that are in the package fairly easily. For more advanced players, Normal and Hard modes can take up your time and erode your self esteem... but for me and mine, we choose to serve the EASY mode. Some levels include double paddles which can introduce nice gameplay wrinkles like double hits. Difficulty switches can also switch controls from Joysticks (which have pretty smooth control) to 2600 paddle controllers (not included with the purchase of this website).

Value: This is a rare Pac Man Plus title in the fact you can play this game on Easy for a long time without possessing much skill. I sometimes feel like Bob is such a good video game player that he forgets about the rest of us... but here, he does not. My only huge complaint with the title is that a couple of the levels were probably great ideas on paper, but in execution, they turned out to be not fun at all to play. There is a zig zag level around level 10-12 that is excruciating to get through... watching a ball bounce all the way up a maze of corridors, hit one brick, and spend 10 seconds coming back to you... OMG kill me now. Poorly desgined levels are the exception, not the rule, although I think the first level, albeit OK enough, gives off a bad first impression because of the awkwardness of it. I wish Bob would have led off with board 2, 3, or 4 instead.

Overall: Compared to the Atari 7800's Jinks, and the 2600's Breakout, Super Breakout and Off the Wall, Crazy Brix is a heavy hitting stud. Devoid of power ups, magic, stupid characters, dumb storylines and loud techno jams, I feel like this game is the spiritual big brother of Super Breakout. It's simple, but not too simple, it's fast, but not too fast. This game may not feel "CrAzY", but it definietly has Brix, and when you spell jazzz wrong, you get bonus points from my ghetto azz. See? I love mispelling shiz. Crazy Brix is an easy recommendation and you are crazy if you don't seek it out for your homebrew collection.

Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Atari Age for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.