bricks_logo.gif - 4.3 K
by Al Giovetti
Price: $40
Genre: strategy (brick building simulation for kids and adults)
Release: September, 1996
Publisher: Gryphon Software
Phone: 800-795-0981 or 619-536-8815
Requirements: Color Macintosh with 13" monitor, 4 MB RAM, System 7.1 (System 7.5 recommended for scripting functions), 2X CD ROM drive

My son is a lego maniac. He comes from a long line of lego maniacs. There are a lot of lego maniacs out there just waiting for this title. bricks_kid.gif - 33.1 K

Remember those little bricks you used to play with as a child, the ones with the little bumps on them that held them together. You could build anything out of them and then play with it. Well Gryphon Bricks has brought those same blocks to the computer.

You can virtually do anything with these bricks. There are a fill eighteen sets for bricks ranging from the basics including the doors and windows needed to produce buildings. The game comes with over 300 shapes to use and play with.

A neat advantage, is the ability to color blocks any way you wish from a palette of 12 colors. Unfortunately, there are no patterns, such as different types of camouflage used by hunters and armed forces the world over. Custom colors will have to be the next enhancement add on to the bricks.

If your system uses the System 7.5 operating system, you will have access to Apple’s Script Editor, and be able to create simple scripts. The scripts allow you to make simple stop time movies by moving pieces and saving where they were something like the motion capture work seen in "Clash of the Titans" or the Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" on a smaller scale. You can also animate the bricks into automatically building figures from scratch or using the bricks to make Quick Time movies.

Also on the disk you will find KidBricks which is for children between the ages of five to ten years of age. KidBricks and Bricks use the same file format and software engine, but the kid interface is easier to use with a single modular window, versus the adult pull down menus. The tear-off brick palettes are seen on the left and right side of the screen in the adult version, but are not available to the kids. bricks_adult.gif - 30.5 K

Construction occurs in the overhead oblique or orthogonal view. But you can, thankfully, view the construction from a multitude of views which include miniature top, front, and side views of projects along the sides of the main window.

The program needs a zoom feature, and a real time rotation in true three dimensional space, since the program is really a two dimensional program simulating three dimensions. The hot keys need to be dispersed more evenly over the keyboard. There are many keys and not even half are used so why have one key with many functions, it is just confusing.

Another problem is that while this is fun and will substitute for the real thing when all you have is a computer. I still find playing with the actual bricks more fulfilling. There is nothing quite like holding the bricks in your hand, or remember the time you ran across the floor and destroyed a construct of another child or sibling or even your own construction. Some of the fun is the ability to build and destroy over an over again.

MacUser, October, 1996, pg. 63, 4/5, (80%).
Kathy Tafel, MacAddict pg. 65
Cynthia A. Sorrels, Games Domain Review
The Toy Book, August, 1996, pg. 14.
Business Week, August 5, 1996, pg. 84 F. MacAddict, pg. 27