MacBrickout Review – Break out of your bubble of boredom by playing this innovative game

On July 24, 2012

App Type: Uncategorized

MacBrickout Review – Break out of your bubble of boredom by playing this innovative game

Our rating:

By: Carson Whitsett

Version #: 2.0

Date Released: 2012-04-20

Developer: Carson Whitsett

Price: Free

User Rating:

The iPhone-optimized MacBrickout takes the familiar core gameplay of Atari’s groundbreaking arcade game Breakout and adds a myriad of interesting twists to it. These consist of special bricks, special balls, and special power-ups, which in the game takes the form of capsules. And the best way to get acquainted with all of these game enhancements is to simply play the game and then play it some more.

At first glance, it may appear as though MacBrickout has nothing much to offer in the way of innovation. But the opposite becomes apparent once you let your first ball leave the paddle.

To control your paddle, you just have to slide your finger across the area of sand under it. That you have to swipe across the sand and not over the paddle itself ensures that you have an unobscured view of the paddle at any point in the game. MacBrickout also provides two paddle control modes to suit your preference: absolute and relative. In absolute mode, the paddle jumps directly above the spot where your finger touches the screen. In relative mode, the paddle moves in accordance with your finger’s lateral movements regardless of whether it’s right above your finger your not.

Apart from paddle positioning, another key control you need to become proficient in is a gesture dubbed “lift-touch.” A lift-touch is done by lifting your finger momentarily and placing it back on the screen. What’s a lift-touch, you ask? A lift-touch can be used to do a lot of things, mainly for activating special balls and capsules for better results in breaking bricks, especially the special ones.

Among the game’s many special balls are bomb balls, radioactive balls, and bubble gum balls. As for the special capsules, they include capsules that lengthen or shorten your paddle, let you catch the ball for a little while, and turn your paddle into a laser-emitting apparatus. There are plenty more kinds of capsules. Heck, there’s even a placebo capsule, which, unsurprisingly, does absolutely nothing. Or does it?

Adding to the miscellany of MacBrickout are the different kinds of bricks to be broken. Some, for example, require more than a single touch of the ball, while some are hidden behind barriers. Some also conceal yummy fruits and veggies. It’s up to you, aided hopefully by useful balls and capsules, to work your way around the more difficult types of bricks. Who knows? Maybe Umphee will even lend a helping hand, or leg, as it were.

Umphee is the caterpillar-like creature that crawls along the sand. He seems nonchalant to your brick-breaking spree, but he’s actually quite friendly. Try dropping a purple ball his way, and wait as he retrieves a treasure chest from the sand. Or try dropping a bomb ball in the sand, and see what happens after he gets blown up by it. These are but a couple of the game’s many unexpected delights, which also include a different brick arrangement and background music for every level, that you get rewarded with as you continually play.

Initially, all levels save for the first one are locked in MacBrickout. You can unlock the rest by beating the current level and moving on to the next, and the unlocking method works in a way that you always have 2 levels to choose from (for instance, if all levels but the first three are locked and you complete levels 1 and 2, then level 4 will unlock and levels 3 and 4 will be available, if you play level 4 next and beat it, then level 5 will unlock and levels 3 and 5 will be available.) Your ultimate goal is to the beat the game completely, level after level until all 27 levels have been conquered. And once you do just that, try scrolling all the way to the bottom of the level selection screen to see the surprise that awaits there.

You can download MacBrickout now in the App Store for free. And if you wish, you can take advantage of the game’s available in-app purchases, which, I should say, are not really necessary but do add to the game’s value in one way or another. These in-app purchases lets you unlock the full version so that you get free balls, bomb balls, lasers, bonus levels, musical bricks and more; unlock all levels so that you don’t need to progress through the levels in their predetermined order; and unlock the Super Umphee Ball 5-pack so that you can blast your way through a particularly tough level.

If you think you’ve seen every variation there is of Breakout, you obviously haven’t broken into MacBrickout.

Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Yes

Learning Curve:Low

Who Is It For:Avid players of Breakout-type games

What I Like:The multilayered innovation that went into developing the game

What I Don't Like:I'm not a fan of the game's typography.

Final Statement:With its assortment of gameplay enhancements, MacBrickout breaks the usual notion of what a Breakout-inspired game could be.

Read the Developer's Notes:
Just 27 levels and the only thing stopping you from getting through all of them and beating the game is YOU! (Well, and those pesky bubbles). Catch falling capsules (Avoid the Red X's!), collect the hidden fruits and veggies, tame the Umphee, discover the secret of the pearl, enjoy the music, fill the treasure chest (!!), master the bonus levels, get a high score, graffiti the sand and STAY ALIVE! Will you be one of those people that gives up after playing just once? Or will you become a MacBrickout master and OWN this game? The only thing stopping you from finding out is, well... You.

Some fun things to try:

- Try juggling 3 balls long enough to earn a juggling achievement
- See if you can blow up the Umphee with the bomb ball
- Don't let any bubbles touch the sand for 3 levels in a row. You'll get a clean sand achievement.
- Hit the Umphee with an orange ball. He will dig down in the sand and fetch you a coin.
- Catch two clear capsules in a row to make the clam appear

If you like MacBrickout show your love. Three modest in-app purchases:
1) Unlock full version (you get free balls, bomb balls, lasers, bonus levels, musical bricks and much more)
2) Unlock all levels (faster than trying to unlock them one by one)
3) Super Umphee Ball 5-pack (great way to blast through a tough level)

Follow on Facebook:

Follow on Twitter:
@MacBrickout and @CarsonWhitsett


"MacBrickout is riddled with originality from the accompanying soundtrack to the level designs, but at the same time offers the familiarity of the classic game." - AppCraver 5/31/2012 (Rating: 9 out of 10)

AppSafari rating: 4.5/5

"Atari’s Breakout will seem like junk once you’ve played MacBrickout." - AppAdvice 5/22/2012

"I find MacBrickout delightfully retro and a pure pleasure to play" - The iPhone App Review (4.5 stars of 5)

"The challenge may be tough but remember when the going gets tough the tough get MacBrickout!" - 6/2012

Some of my favorite user reviews:

"It's like when they remade Tron. Still the fun game you remember from the 80's but a 2011 look and feel. 5 stars!" -Compcaddy

"Whacked out fun, pure and simply my favorite game of all. Even Angry Birds are mad about it..." - R Fields

"MacBrickout is the single best Brekaout [sic] variant I've ever seen - involving not only reflexes but strategy and tactics as well." -green3q

"I find the game terribly addicting and is ideal for someone stuck on the subway for 30 minutes everyday" - Saul S.

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aldrin has written 128 awesome app reviews.