capsule review

Bricks of Camelot

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Perhaps because I grew up with games such as Breakout and Arkanoid, I never get tired of a good brick-bashing challenge. Most recently I’ve been enjoying Macjoy’s Bricks of Camelot, a fun and imaginative variation on the classic brick-bashing theme.

Bricks of Camelot harkens back to the days of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and features a variety of medieval settings. Your job is to smash a field bricks using a paddle and a ball, keeping the rally going as long as possible. Although the game is safe for everyone in the family, gamers ages eight and older will probably get the most out of it.

Hidden within the playfield are objects that will alternately help or hinder your progress. Power-ups, which descend from the bricks you’re whacking away at, may temporarily boost your powers (enlarging your paddle or making it sticky, for example) or offer other help (you can secure the services of an eagle, for example, who will recover gems and drop them from the sky near your paddle). There are also power-downs that will have a negative effect on your gameplay—one makes your paddle shrink, for example, while another speeds up the ball. Hitting the poison will forfeit one of your lives. Fortunately, most of the power-downs are colored in red, so they’re easy to distinguish from the green power-ups.

You’ll also find plenty of opportunities to earn extra points. You can raid treasure chests that are perched atop destructible objects, plunder the king’s armory for weapons (which you can then use to shoot all the remaining bricks), or collect gold and gems as they fall from the sky.

The game offers a total of 120 levels of gameplay, though you’ll have to complete groups of levels (called Level Packs) to unlock new ones. A Level Pack includes eight levels and features a variety of backgrounds, including Castle Camelot, the Dungeons, Sherwood Forest, Abandoned Ruins, and the Tower. You can also choose from multiple levels of difficulty. The game’s settings window lets you adjust sound effects and music volume, bat speed, and ball color, as well as toggle between full screen or windowed mode.

The bottom line

Bricks of Camelot doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does offer an entertaining and challenging take on the brick-bashing genre. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Bricks of Camelot
PROS: 120 levels of gameplay; multiple levels of difficulty.
CONS: Lacks innovation
PRICE: $20
OS X COMPATIBILITY: 10.2 and later

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