Overall Score 80%
It's true what fashion gurus are telling us - the retro look is in. Brickman is an excellent example. I've rapidly grown tired of all the 3D "run around with a gun" shooting games that seem to be all that modern consoles have to offer and I get the impression that I'm not the only one.
Brickman is a 2D platformer with all the classic elements of ladders, enemies and so on. You have to paint all the bricks on the level (by walking over them) and avoid the various obstacles out to stop you. These start with the annoying bugs (squish them!) and include fires, ghosts, one-way blocks, dripping tar, and pigeons that, er, ruin your paintwork. New items appear as levels advance.
Many modern games have reams of commands that require half the manual to explain them, not to mention an extra pair of hands. Brickman has... six buttons. The arrow keys move, spacebar hurls brushes and Z makes you jump. Anyone with merely two hands and a brain will get the hang of the controls in a minute. And once you're in, a game can last a long time. Brickman is generous with extra lives.
The graphics and sound are both retro. The graphics are blocky and high contrast, the pixels huge. The sound consists entirely of bleeps and bloops. I love them both! Indeed, they are deceptively retro - the smooth scrolling and fast pace reveal a lot of care has gone into the graphics, and these days it is more complicated to create such simple sounds than to sample or purchase ready made 'proper' sound effects!
Brickman is an excellent game. Anyone old enough to remember how games used to be will love the nostalgia. Younger players may find it a culture shock, but it is easy to get into and difficult to leave. And, with a level designer thrown in, there's no reason for the fun to stop.
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