MacBrickout v3.1

MacBrickout v3.1
Leapfrog Software

$15.00 Shareware Fee

Adam: Here we go again!

Mike: It’s been pointed out to me that we seem to have a thing for balls and paddles, what with reviewing Mortal Pongbat last month and MacBrickout this month. (Then again, maybe we have a thing for bricks — witness this month’s review and the Tetris reviews we did a few months ago.) Whatever the case may be, though, this month Adam and I review for you another arcade classic redone on the Macintosh, this time a Breakout-style game by Leapfrog Software.

Adam: MacBrickout is another all-time favorite arcade game, brought to life for the Macintosh. You may be thinking that this game is just another breakout-style clone, but it’s far from that! MacBrickout is the most feature rich breakout style game that I have ever seen.

Mike: For those of you using System 7.5, you can always access a Breakout game with the “secret about box” easter egg, right? Well, although that game may be fun in its own right, and good for a quick fix or a little diversion when you should otherwise be hard at work on some hundred-page project, it’s obviously not meant to be the last word in Mac Breakout games. The true Breakout fan needs a more feature-rich game, and MacBrickout goes a long way in filling that need.

Adam: Learning to play a game is always the hardest part. Not with MacBrickout! Its help system is simple, but very well written. It explains every aspect of the game. From the hardware requirements, to the actual play, and even what each capsule means, nothing is left out! I really benefited from this, since I didn’t have to experiment with the game to figure out what each thing does.

Mike: At first glance the game is your everyday Breakout clone. Your paddle resides at the bottom of the screen, the barriers of blocks that you must smash are at the top. Your little ping-pong ball bounces back and forth, ricocheting off of the blocks after it destroys them. Failure on your part to hit the ball back results in the loss of a life. Naturally, once all your lives are out, the game’s over. (You can also end the game by clearing all of the levels, but I’ve got a long way to go before that happens.)

Adam: The game’s graphics are very eye-pleasing, and the interface is very self-explanatory. The animation of the ball and paddle is very smooth, and it seems to be a very stable, well written game, worthy of the $15.00 shareware fee. The sound system is also superb. The sound effects can be changed between “normal” and “wacky”, and both sets are professionally done. There are sound effects for everything. Hitting the paddle, hitting the blocks, the walls, and even a “ker-plunk” sound when you lose a life. It’s a blast!

Mike: The graphics are simplistic but refined, and the overall look of the game is very professional. The colors are vibrant and pleasing to the eye, too.

The game gives you enough variety to keep you wanting more. For example, some blocks must be hit more than once to be destroyed, and other blocks can’t be destroyed at all. Sometimes you hit a block, and a power-up canister appears which gives you special abilities if you catch it. These include the ability to catch the ball before you send it back, or being able to fly your paddle around the screen both vertically and horizontally. This is one of the most advantageous powers you can have. Other canisters speed up or slow down the ball, and make your paddle wider or narrower. Watch out for that red-colored poison canister!

Adam: The capsules are what makes the game fun. I mean, what good would hitting a ball against some bricks do? We need some fun! That’s exactly what the capsules provide. There are all types. Some expand and shrink your paddle, some allow you free movement of the paddle, some speed up and slow down the ball, there is even one that turns the one ball into 3, which can really benefit you if have a lot of bricks to go. There are also some capsules that make your paddle sticky, or that poison your paddle which makes it basically worthless. You can’t stop the ball from falling when this happens. To free yourself of these capsules, you need to hit a capsule bubble, which falls every so often when you hit another brick. Sounds complicated, but once you get playing, it really isn’t!

Mike: The sound effects are also nice. You can change the sounds using ResEdit, too. There is a high score list, so you can track your best performances. You can also play custom-made Brickout levels, too. Even more options are available for registered users, such as the ability to create custom levels (as opposed to just playing them), and more power-ups, such as the ability to shoot laser beams!

You can download MacBrickout from the Info-Mac hyperarchive ( and America Online by doing a search for “MacBrickout.” The game comes in a 68k only version, but the new version 4.0 is said to support Power Macs. I myself have two Power Macs, and it has run flawlessly on both of them. It has a $15.00 shareware fee, which is totally fair for a game this feature rich. There are many more features included in the registered version, such as the ability to acquire free balls, warp levels, shooting lasers, and a few other surprises.

Mike: Overall, Leapfrog software has a solid winner on its hands. If you’re in need of a good Breakout clone, and want to relive yet another classic mid-80’s arcade sensation, you can’t go wrong with MacBrickout 3.1.

Adam: MacBrickout is a great game. Its sound, graphics, and features make this game stand out from the rest. I would recommend this game to anybody that likes arcade type games, and is looking for a worthwhile download. If you’re going online soon, and planning to go download crazy, make sure to put MacBrickout on your list.

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