Bunny Bricks logo

Silmarils * £25.99

This rather oddly titled game is based around the old classic Arkanoid, itself a variation on Breakout, but features much better graphics. The twist is that instead of shifting a paddle from side to side to bounce the puck towards the bricks, you control a baseball-playing bunny that clubs a ball around the screen to destroy stacks of bricks.

Bunny the rabbit has an extensive repertoire of moves, including left and right dives and power shots. There's also a variety of special items that float down out of the destroyed bricks - machine guns, multiple bats and power-ups for super smash shots.

The game is very colourful, especially the well-drawn backgrounds. The animation is good and the cartoon style works well. It's all very addictive, much like most games of this genre, and the sound makes it enjoyable. It's not all that original a concept, but who needs originality when there's this much fun on offer. If you haven't got Arkanoid, or Breakout for that matter, but want something along the same lines. Bunny Bricks is for you.

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Arglosen Amigianern im Jahre 1993 noch eine Breakout-Variante unterjubeln zu wollen, ist schlimm - wenn sie dann noch so unspielbar sind wie diese, ist es ein Kapitalverbrechen!

Offenbar waren sich die Programmierer der frevelhaften Tat sehr wohl bewußt, warum sonst hätten sie ein unverdächtiges Karnickel (mein Name ist Hase...) im Baseballdress zum Hauptdarsteller erkoren und die Uralt-Idee mit einer selten dämlichen Story vernebelt? Um seine Freundin aus den Klauen des grausamen Stammes Bongo zu befreien, soll das Langohr 30 Level lang Mauern abtragen...

Neu an diesem Aufguß ist allenfalls das Baseball-Drumherum inklusive animiertem Schweinchen-Schiedsrichter und einem Marienkäfer-Pitcher, der den Ball ins Spiel bringt. Ansonsten werden halt mal wieder Steine abgetragen, hinter denen sich gelegentlich Kugeln mit den altbekannten Extras (Superschläger, Zeitlupe, Zusatzball, Bonuspunkte usw.) verstecken.

Soweit so schlecht, aber es kommt noch schlimmer: Anstatt des gewohnten Paddles steuert man hier Bunny mit seinem Baseballschläger am unteren Spielfeldrand entlang, was das Treffen eines Balls zum schieren Lotteriegewinn werden läßt. Die Steuerung als unfair zu bezeichnen, wäre die Untertreibung des Jahres, denn das hektische Gezappel des Sprites ist schlicht und ergreifend katastrophal!

Um das Maß voll zu machen, wird man von krächzender Musik, einfallslosen Jingles und faden FX in den Wahnsinn getrieben - wie gut, daß die öde Comic-Grafik in Budgetqualität den Spieler bald in einen gnädigen Schlaff sinken läßt. Kurz und sehr schlecht: Mit Bunny Bricks hat Silmarils gleich zu Jahresbeginn eine solche Gurke vorgelegt, daß der Rest eigentlich nur noch besser werden kann... (ms)

Bunny Bricks logo

Let's get this straight. There's this rabbit and his girlfriend's missing and he's going to get her back by playing baseball.

Don;t you just love Breakout? That classic bat and ball game of yesteryear that inspired a whole generation of 8-bit owners to write their own crappy BASIC versions. It's also inspired a few software houses to offer their own interpretations with varying success.

The most famous of them came in the form of Arkanoid and Arkanoid 2 - Revenge of Doh, which transferred the pile of blocks to outer space and threw in all kinds of space artifacts: lasers, bombs - you know the sort of thing.

And now French softie Silmarils offers us Bunny Bricks, described as a cross between Breakout and a baseball game.

The control method is just too fiddly

You play Bunny and, armed with only a baseball bat (and few collectable extras), you have to clear away loads of screens full of loads of blocks. It isn't easy, partly because of the tricky control method. You often end up diving to the ground when you'd really prefer to be swinging the bat.

The bat has such a wide reach and the ball stays within strike distance for such a long time that a simple tactic soon emerges. Just stand in the centre of the screen, constantly swinging your bat, and only make a move when it becomes clear the ball isn't going to reach you unless you do (about one time in ten).

There are, of course, circumstances in which you need to hit the ball from a different place, to get it through a particular space for instance, but by and large the standing tactic is the best. Try to run ambitiously around the screen and you'll end up flipping at the air a lot.

Anything else? Not really. You can only move left to right along the bottom of the screen, you have three different ways to hit the ball, there's some sort of plot involving your bunny girlfriend being kidnapped (that's original) and you'll learn more from eyeing up our guide to the first few screens.

It seems that the best way to give you an idea of what Bunny Bricks is like is to offer up shots of some of the screens, together with a it of tactical analysis. So here are the first twelve screens in all their 'glory'. Enjoy...

Bunny Bricks
Things start off quite simple (they don't stay that way for long, though) with this opening screen. There's a fairly ordinary rectangular gaggle of blocks to be knocked away by your bunny batsman. The only trouble will come from the low walls at either side: the ball can bounce off these at some quite unexpected angles.

Bunny Bricks
While the first level gives you a chance to get acquainted with the controls, the second is a real baptism of fire. The only way you can get at those blcoks on the right is by detonating the dynamite, which means clearing the blocks on the left to get at the detonator. And there's all those metal blocks in the way. Very, very nasty.

Bunny Bricks
Things get a little easier after that, with another fairly conventional screen. There is a number of tactically placed metal blocks here to make sure things don't get too easy. Oh, and watch for strange bounces off the wall on the left. The tactic that works best for most screens involves standing your ground wherever possible.

Bunny Bricks
Tricky. Those blocks in the centre are easy enough to clear, but the ones at the sides are hiding behind a very effective barrier of metal blocks. Getting at, and getting rid of, them will to to take a lot of careful swings. There's the added attraction of the ball bouncing off the metal blocks and going where you weren't expecting. Oh dear.

Bunny Bricks
This spelt H20 before we took out the corner of the 'H'. It's as close as any of the beach screens get to taking place in the water. Getting rid of the chemical formula is easy enough, but that's not the end of it. hitting a key opens (or closes) one of the beach huts. Thereá nother block hiding somewhere. The devious little, er, block.

Bunny Bricks
Nothing wrong with these blocks, except the worrying (but not overly scary) bomb motifs on them. Oh, and all those nastily positioned metal blocks, which make getting at the big block collection quite difficult. And that fan on the right does what all giant fans do: it sends the ball off in strange directions, at great speed.

Bunny Bricks
This one's actually not too hard. There's a fairly narrow space you have to direct the ball into, which is made into two very narrow spaces by a mole with spinny, turny hands which makes regular appearances in the middle of it. Once you get the angle right, get under the ball and use a series of Super Strikes to break all the way through.

Bunny Bricks
Nasty. There are two spaces you can play the ball through to reach the blocks, and once you get there you can expect to take out quite a few of the little rectangles. The metal blocks in the centre prevents it from being that easy, as do the metal gates that slide back and forth blocking the gaps. Not difficult, just nasty.

Bunny Bricks
This screen is easy as far as getting rid of the bricks is concerned. There's only a few of them, they're laid out in a convenient manner, with no niggly hazards making life difficult. What does make life difficult is the donkey throwing hamburgers. They kill on contact. So you've got to avoid them. While trying not to avoid the ball. Aaargh.

Bunny Bricks
Hmm, there doesn't seem to by any way to get at those blocks. But that soldier seems to be pointing his gun in the right direction. And there's a key on the right. I wonder what's in the beach hut? (Hints and tips, we got 'em). Once you can get at the blocks, clearing them away is no problem. Apart from... no, find out for yourself.

Bunny Bricks
This isn't all that difficult. There's a big row of blocks you can only get at from one direction, and they're partly obscured by a fence, but this isn't all that difficult. There's a very long and low fence for the ball to rebound off, and lots of precise strikes are necessary to clear a path through all the blocks. But this isn't all that difficult.

Bunny Bricks
Apart from strange things appearing out of the ground, this is a fairly conventional screen. There're lots of blocks to get rid of, but they're all easily accessible. A rare opportunity to clear two separate big groups of blocks. What's the tactic? Try to clear each lot in turn, or just take out blocks randomly. The choice is yours...

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What do you get when you cross a rabbit, a baseball bat, a gorilla and 5000 house bricks? Bunny Bricks of course, the whacked-out release from Silmarils.

I'd like to fill you in on the whole plot, but it's so far-out that you'd think I was off my trolley. The brief version is that you play a rabbit called Bunny, who has to rescue his girl from the clutches of an ape, by taking a baseball bat and knocking his way through 30 screens of bricks. Figured it out yet? Yup, it's another Breakout clone.

Yeah, I know - been there, seen it, done it, etc. But Bunny Bricks does have a few twists on the old item. Instead of just having to line up under the ball, this time you've got give it a crack with the baseball bat. It's hardly revolutionary, but it gives the impression of having greater control (even though in reality you've got less control than in most brick-bashers). All the usual features are here, like indestructible bricks and bonus tokens. Some of the screens have a slight puzzle element too, which usually involves hitting switches in a certain order to gain access to other parts of the screen.

Bunny Bricks is a lot better looking than most Breakout games, thanks to plenty of colourful cartoon backdrops. Unfortunately, whoever laid out the controls, must have been on the same trip who dreamed up the storyline. They're far from instinctive, but you get used to them after a while. There's nothing much to shout about on the sound front, but it's all made that bit more satisfying with a good sample 'crack' as you hit the ball.

However, addictive and humorous as it is, disposable fun like this really belongs in the budget price bracket.