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Break Bricks - Ball's Quest

App review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Break Bricks - Ball's Quest App Poster Image
Super simple arcade game for all ages just isn't fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game uses simple touch controls, but it's so easy that it's not fun.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Players earn in-game currency by playing or watching video ads. There are also static ads in the middle of the screen when you finish a round, on both the top and bottom of the screen when you spin the wheel to earn free prizes, and sometimes on the bottom of the screen when you play. The game runs random video ads when navigating the menus and between rounds. Players can watch video ads to unlock different skins for the balls. Players can also earn in-game credits by playing or watching ads, and that credit can be used to buy new balls... which you can also get by watching ads. An ad-free version is available for sale.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Break Bricks -- Ball's Quest is an arcade game for iOS and Android devices. Moving a paddle back and forth, you have to hit a ball so it hits the bricks stacked on the top of the screen. While this has no objectionable content, it's a bit greedy. Players can earn in-game credits by playing or watching ads, and this credit is used to buy new balls...which you can also get by watching ads. Video ads also run at random times between rounds or when you're navigating different pages of the menu. There are even static ads in the middle between rounds, in both the top and bottom when you're spinning the prize wheel, and often along the bottom while you play. Not surprisingly, there's an ad-free version for the low, low price of $2.99. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

Like other arcade games where you use a paddle to hit a ball towards some bricks you'd like to break, BREAK BRICKS - BALL'S QUEST doesn't have a story. You have no idea why you're trying to destroy all these bricks, nor why you'd chose to use a burger or a tennis ball to do so. You just have to move a paddle to keep your balls in the air and hurtling towards those bricks until all the bricks are gone and you can move on to the next round.

Is it any good?

By going overboard, this attempt to do something different with a classic arcade game just ends up making it so easy that it's not fun. In Break Bricks -- Ball's Quest, you have to move a paddle back and forth so you can hit a ball towards some colored bricks, which disappear when struck. Some of these bricks will even magically produce power-ups that, when hit with your paddle, cause many more balls to go flying around the screen. The problem here is that, unless you intentionally avoid the power-ups, you'll soon have so many balls flying around the screen that you won't have to move the paddle to make sure one or two or thirty-seven of the balls don't get past you. Instead, the other hundred and four balls bouncing around will take out all of the bricks without your help.

The simplicity of play here is even more disappointing when you realize someone spent hours devising brick layouts that, without so many balls flying around, would've challenged your paddle-moving skills. Add in a rather aggressive advertising policy that runs video ads when you lose, win, or just go from one page of the menu to the next, and you'll understand why Break Bricks - Ball's Quest is structurally unsound for fun past one or two levels.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about advertising. Do all the ads in Break Bricks -- Ball's Quest make it less fun for you? Do you think the designers included so many ads that you'll buy the ad-free version?

  • Do the random skins that you can buy for Break Bricks -- Ball's Quest seem like a good use of money, especially when they only make the ball look like a different color? Why do you think people would actually consider spending money on this game instead of other games?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
  • Price: free with microtransactions and ads
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: May 3, 2019
  • Category: Arcade Games
  • Size: 68.10 MB
  • Publisher: Bin Dong
  • Version: 1.2.8
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.0.3 and up

For kids who love arcade games

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