Never ever play the game One More Brick. Once you start it can be difficult to stop. I first played this game back in early 2016, and continue to play it to this day. I’ve played it so much that I believe it’s become my #1 most played video game of all time. How did this happen? How did a little phone game get its claws so deep into me?
The gameplay is very simple. Each round a row of blocks with numbers on them descend from top of the screen. Along the bottom you control a robot who flings balls upwards. Each time a ball hits a block, it subtracts from the number. Once a block’s number hits 0, it disappears. Balls also gather power ups, and occasionally fall into hazards along the way. Your goal is to keep clearing blocks to keep them from reaching the floor, when they do, its game over.
Everything is turn based. You use your finger to drag a line that aims your shot, then release to launch a volley of balls. Balls bounce off every surface they encounter, ticking away at blocks and hitting power ups. Once each ball lands on the floor, a new row of blocks appears, putting you back at aiming.
Because the game is turn based, it only requires your attention during the initial shot line up. This lets the game be played in just about any situation. It’s easy to whip out your phone, and line up a shot while waiting in line at the grocery, during down time at work, or on the toilet. I find it most fun as something to do with my hands while watching YouTube or Netflix.
Besides ease of access, what makes it so addictive? One More Brick is one of those rare “easy to learn, hard to master” types of games. The basics are easy to pick up. You start off launching volleys as single file lasers at individual blocks. Then, after playing a few thousand rounds, you learn how bank shots to maximize bounces, collect power ups, and dodging hazards. Multiple play throughs reward you with increased skills, and higher scores.
Lastly, in addition to power ups and hazards, new rows may also bring stars with them. These don’t do anything immediately when collected, instead are stored between rounds to be spent on upgrades. These include balls that supercharge powerups, move quicker, or become immune to hazards (by far the best upgrade). Upgrades let you experience the game in new ways, preventing it from becoming stale.
In addition to the various single upgrades, there is also an option to craft your own custom balls. These let you to stack up to 3 previously unlocked upgrades. While they are super high cost, they are extremely powerful. With regular play I believe it took me a couple months to craft my first 3-power ball. While that’s a super long time to be playing a phone game, I probably would be playing the game anyways. High cost upgrades reward long term continued play, while still providing new twists on gameplay.
If you value your time and sanity, avoid this game. “Easy to learn, hard to master” gameplay, low attention requirements, ease of access, and persistent rewards all add up to an extremely addictive experience. Despite my guilt over its addictiveness, I still think it’s a lot of fun.