Tower-building games are nothing new to gamers who love a good two-minute time waster. From web-based games like Stacker to popular iPhone games like Topple 2, tower games have challenged us to build as high as we can using common shapes before gravity tears our towers down. 99 Bricks breaks from this tradition using a collection of less common shapes known as tetrominoes. You probably know them better as Tetris blocks.
99 Bricks tasks you to build as tall a tower as you can using shapes randomly selected from the seven tetrominoes. A tetromino is a shape made of 4 connecting squares, meaning you'll always have flat surfaces and right angles. When it comes to building towers nothing could be better. You might think that all of these flat surfaces would make the game overly easy, but even towers built on flat surfaces will tilt and tumble if you haven't built with safety in mind.
You'll be given a fairly wide platform to start your construction, as well as the ability to discard shapes you can't find a home for. You won't want to do that too often though. 99 Bricks is more than just a catchy name – it's the number of shapes you'll be able to use when constructing your tower. Your tower can tilt, tumble, and crumble to the ground, but the game doesn't end until you've used all 99 of your shapes.
Much like Tetris, there are a number of different strategies you'll be able to employ when putting the shapes together. Thanks to the inclusion of gravity physics, though, your time-tested and battle-worn Tetris strategies won't always work here. For example, while it's easy to build layer after layer of flat surface, if your bricks aren't interconnected you can expect your tower to crash to the ground sooner rather than later. There's a good deal of trial and error here which should help 99 Bricks appeal to logic-loving gamers that might not otherwise be attracted to tower games. Merging familiar building concepts with a new sense of gravity is bound to keep anyone on their toes.
Once you've mastered the game and managed to use all 99 shapes without losing a one, you'll soon discover the real challenge in 99 Bricks: how high of a tower can you build using only 99 shapes? All of the tricks you've learned to get to that point are simply precursor. To beat your best, you'll need to throw caution to the wind and find a way to get taller without toppling over. It's a little like Jenga. While you might not be pulling blocks from the bottom to put them on top, you're still going to have to build a tower with less structural stability to out-do your old score.
99 Bricks is a great experience for those who like to learn from their mistakes. We found ourselves going back time and time again to develop new tower-building strategies to avoid whatever pitfall we fell victim to previously. The merging of towers and Tetris may sound a little gimmicky, but the gameplay is anything but. It's time for Tetris fans to build their Tower of Babel.