Setup & Timing
Getting around in Nervous Brickdown is as easy as any game I've reviewed on this site so far. "Multi" is right on the main menu. Opening credits are almost non-existant and the download time is respectably short (around 30 seconds).
Menus & Navigation
Menu options are displayed in large print and are easy to read. The size of the text makes tapping on it extremely simple. Everything in the menus work exactly as they're supposed to.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Nervous Brickdown's multiplayer mode is a simple game with a basic drag mechanic. Drag the paddle left and right so that it's bounces the ball back up (when the ball's color matches your paddle's color. The programming of the touch screen is extremely accurate. It's so accurate, in fact, that if you're off the paddle at all when you are grabbing it to drag it, you can miss and not grab the paddle at all, meaning that you can't drag it around. Sometimes it even seems that being a single pixel off can cause this to happen. Is this a bad thing? Only if you want your video games so easy there's no challenge to them. Learning accuracy is part of learning the game. It's not easy, but that's part of the challenge. Besides, if you're aim's that bad, just grab the middle of the paddle. It would've been nice if the game had difficulty setting options (before or after download, it wouldn't matter).
Category Score: 12.5 / 15
Nervous Brickdown provides some nice, mood-setting music and sound effects. The sound effects are much more useful than the music in that they tell you what the ball's doind, but both set the tone and it's more helpful to have the sound on that off. The look of the game is two dimensional with a 3D look to some of the elements. The game is, however, a little light in features when it comes to the multiplayer experience. The main game (which is not reviewed here) is full of unique, innovative, fun features and variations... most of which are missing in the multiplayer experience. Yes, the curved paddle sets it apart from other Breakout clones like Break 'Em All, but other abilities like affecting the board via the microphone or drawing your paddle or moving vertically are missing.
Category Score: 10.5 / 15
Nervous Brickdown - especially the Single-Card Download multiplayer portion - is, at it's heart, a clone of the game Breakout. In fact, the package makes that joke right on the back cover. Move a paddle to hit a ball to knock down bricks. In a move of pure innovation, the developers of Nervous Brickdown not only threw in multiplayer (Single-Card Download multiplayer!), but they made it Co-op play! Co-op as a Single-Card Download feature is quite rare. Only about 1/4 of Nintendo DS games have Single-Card Download and only about 1/6 of those games have Co-op Play. For those of you doing math at home, that's 1/24.
Overall, I enjoyed Nervous Brickdown (and not just because it might just have one of the best video game titles of all time). Crisp, clean gameplay and successful co-op that adds flavor to an already-established game formula. Why then, you may ask, isn't the score higher? It's not because there's anything wrong with what IS there; it's because of what ISN'T there. Why are none of the other unique innovations present? Why isn't there a downloadable demo? Why isn't there any options like difficulty settings or a choice of colors? The only nitpick I have regarding included options is the two-step on-screen instructions. Their inclusion? Genius. Their location? Bad. Why is it before the download? Why not wait until after the download and put it on both players' screens? Yes, it's expected that the host would tell their partner how to play, but still... why not? That is, however, a very minor gripe. Nervous Brickdown is an excellent puzzle game and I know I'll be playing it again.
Allow players to select a difficulty setting, affecting speed and grab-able boundry around the paddle.
Include various different modes (from the different worlds) so that guests can get a sample of the game's other features.
Add a Single-Card Download demo for single player play as an alternate download.
Move the on-screen instructions step to BOTH systems AFTER the download.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 84 / 100 (a.k.a. 42/50)
Other information available:
If you'd like to contact this website:
to return to the DSSingleCard.com Nervous Brickdown profile.
to return to the DSSingleCard.com main page.