Just Browsing: Bricked-force...

Platforms: PC

I had not considered this until recently: recommendation is a word that can be used to both usher people to do something but also implore anyone to stay away. Just Browsing was meant to be a simple tool for anyone interested in cheap, quick and casual browser based games to find something enjoyable to waste some spare time on. However, in the light of receiving a mission to play a certain game (see below) from a PR contact, I feel it is my duty to, for the first time ever, implore you reader not to touch this. At least not yet.
Once I’ve got that out of my system, I’ll move onto more relaxed, recognisable, lands and leave you with something you should run away and enjoy...

Brick-Force by EXE Games

What do you get if you cross Minecraft with Call of Duty and give it a ‘freemium’ pricing model? Silly question. The answer is this steaming pile of blocky turd called Brick-Force. On the face of it the idea has potential. Take the intuitive and nauseatingly addictive cube crafting of the bewilderingly popular mining game to create arenas, and then use those levels to battle out with friends and enemies in a first-person shooting match. It should work. Sadly, at present, it simply fails to achieve any of that promise.

My first sign of worry came when the browser playable version of the game failed to load because apparently my Unity player was not up to date. Having not too small a modicum of knowledge of Unity, I knew for a fact that this was not the case. Here this messy story could have come to an end, fortunately for everyone involved I discovered there was a downloadable client, which was promptly installed. Mistake number one. As my machine filled with other unwanted turdware, I began to worry. Still, this valiant warrior ventured onwards and finally got the game to load. Mistake number two.
The music that crashed into my poor eardrums as the menu screen loaded was so monumentally irritating and maniacally repetitive it had to be instantly muted. It was as if someone had taken Nintendo’s already insipid home screen music and poured liquid glucose all over it, leaving one horrible sticky mess. With the music gone, I dived into a game. Mistake number four. I say dived but it was more of a snail’s crawl as I got stuck in lobbies and waiting rooms for days. Having breezed through War and Peace, I looked up to discover a battle had begun. Sweeping my month long stubble aside, I took to the keys and looked forward to shooting some blocky enemies. Mistake number five.

Everything about the gameplay of Brick-Force is abhorrently awful. The moving, the shooting, the turning, the jumping, the running, the climbing, in fact any action at all feels like its stuck in its own quagmire of turd or wildly propelled on invisible explosive jetpacks. It is like they have taken the broken controls of the cult PC gaming classic Blake Stone and downgraded. I lasted five minutes.

Perhaps the building side of things would placate my slowly building wrath towards this smouldering pile of faecal matter... surprise! Actually it is not that bad. In the building mode you are given a block building gun and can fairly efficiently build impressive pixelated battle arenas in mere moments. Friends can even join in and help. It is almost worth experiencing, if it was not for the fact that the purpose of creating the map in the first place would be to play it on that god-awful first person shooter mode. It does at least give you the impression that there is some potential here, if the developers manage to make the other half of the game actually playable.
I should probably also mention that players can spend real money to buy clothes, guns (which makes me wary of a pay-to-win attitude) and other lovely paraphernalia. Don’t.
So... uninstall. Breathe...

After experiencing that blight on the world I needed to calm myself. What better way than a nice simple puzzle game about falling sugar from the most amicable of Belgium game designers: Bart Bonte

Sugar Sugar 2 by Bart Bonte

Ahhh, there’s nothing like watching millions of grains of sugar tumble into cups of tea to calm the nerves. In this wonderfully relaxing casual game you simply draw trails with the mouse to give the sugar slopes to roll down, diverting it into the cups to complete the level. Things get more interesting as various colours of sugar have to go in there matching cups and gravity swings around, but it is never anything to cause anger. If anything it is good to fail as you watch those mesmerising specks dance down the screen. Stress release heaven. Go play.

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