Indie Game Brain Breaker Is Better Than Tetris

I’m not the biggest Tetris fan. Okay, I’m not a Tetris fan at all. And while I’m not one to make the sexist argument of “Tetris is for girls,” I will argue that Tetris is for casual gamers. Nothing about that game appeals to me. I can certainly understand why so many people love it, but there’s just not enough to keep me engaged for more than five minutes.

Recently, a browser-based game was developed in the same vein, adding something new to the standard Tetris formula: substance. Brain Breaker takes the gameplay and mechanics of Tetris and wrinkles the formula, making it (at least by my estimation) a much more enjoyable game.

Brain Breaker consists of three stages. At the start of each level, a series of red blocks are pre-placed on the screen. Like in regular Tetris, players must form complete horizontal rows to clear the screen. Doing so lowers the HP of a man seen in a window on the left side. Players must continuously clear blocks to cause damage to the man, lowering his health to zero.

The first level is fairly simple, but the next two get much more difficult and blocks move at a faster velocity. Occasionally, a syringe will drop, and placing it on a block will turn all of the ones below it red, filling any holes in the vertical row. This adds a minor yet enjoyable element to the game, and watching rows build, clear, and deal damage is extremely rewarding.

If you consider yourself a fan of Tetris, you’ll probably get a kick out of Brain Breaker’s offbeat theme and style. If you don’t enjoy the classic, then Brain Breaker might be a welcome alternative. As previously mentioned, I don’t care for Tetris at all, but I’ve found myself coming back to this variation.

Give Brain Breaker a try and see if you like it. It’s at least worth checking out for its cool music and crazy concept. The site is written completely in Japanese, but all you need to know is that you move blocks using WASD controls and rotate them using the G and H keys.