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iPhone  header logo

Brick People

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Pile ‘em high

Product: Brick People | Publisher: Sega | Format: iPhone | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.62
Brick People iPhone, thumbnail 1
Brick People gets you to stack up rectangular Lego-style blocks against the clock. Why? So the titular tribe can clamber upwards and access the fruity goods that are just out of their reach.

It's adapted from a Japanese quasi-AR arcade game released by Sega in 2009 that requires players to physically stack foam bricks against a screen.

For the sake of practicality, you’re not supposed to do the same with the iOS version, instead using the touchscreen to drag and drop the bricks from the side of the screen into the play area.

Cute until you Puke

Brick People creates a good first impression, with bright, gaudy graphics and a jolly soundtrack that’s brimming with exuberance.

The little brick people are rather cute as well - they lope and hop across the screen of their own accord, much like the Lemmings of yesteryear.

There are three different categories of brick person, each with their own attributes such as jumping height, speed, and climbing ability. You can’t select them individually - all you can do is benevolently herd them towards their sustenance.

Complete a stage and a brick person hovers into extreme close-up, his eyes scrunched up in delight, his brick-shaped conk just begging to be honked. A chorus of pre-schoolers (at least, that’s what they sound like) cheers you on, and the charm offensive continues apace.

Block against the clock

The game does throw in a couple of challenges. For one thing, when stacking the bricks you need to be careful that you don’t obscure the fruity items from view, or the little folk (and by extension you) can’t get at them.

For another, if you accidentally create a cell of bricks they can get trapped inside, and that means there’s one less person to gobble up the goods.

This is important because you’re working against the clock, counting down from 150 seconds. And the clock doesn’t get reset at the end of each round, either. It carries over to the next round, so an effective strategy to minimise time-sinks and maximise your gains is of the essence.

A respite of sorts is on offer from another brick person, this one with horns on his head, who between rounds will command you to stack bricks within a template, and to do it within a set time. Achieve this and you’ll have bonus seconds added onto the clock for the next round.

Where’s the checkpoint, Charlie?

Alas, if there’s a shortcoming, it’s that the game has a pretty limited replay value. There are only twenty stages or so. Beyond a few variations in play – collect specific numbers of items, or collect them in a specific order – it gets too repetitive too quickly.

One feature that should liven it up a bit is the multiplayer mode, where you can play against a friend wirelessly or together on the same device. Younger folk will find this boisterous fun, but the gamers will soon find themselves shuffling with boredom.

Also, and this is rather baffling, but there doesn’t seem to be a checkpoint feature in the game. As in, you start at the beginning every time you play.

The logic behind this is head-scratching - you’re expected to complete the whole game in one go, but you only need to visit the same stage so many times before you've completely mastered it, voiding it of interest.

It's not that Brick People is a bad game - far from it. But this title is aimed at a rather narrow demographic who favour cuteness over longevity, so it lacks the cross-generational appeal of a bona-fide classic.
Brick People
Reviewer photo
Bulent Yusuf | 6 October 2011
Brick People is high on repetition and noisy spectacle, low on meaningful depth or addictive elements. Kids will embrace it, but it’s a shame the gameplay isn’t as sticky as the product design. Instead of being a brick flung through the church window of mediocrity, it’s just another brick in the wall
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