Beautiful Bricks Instruction Manual Cover

Contents

  1. Welcome
  2. About
  3. Story
  4. How to Play
  5. Controlling the Paddleship C32
  6. More on Controls
  7. Ways to Control the Ball
  8. Brick Types
  9. Collectables
  10. Ball Types
  11. Hazards
  12. Sectors
  13. Hints and Tips
  14. Lives, Credits and Quick Saving
  15. Versus Modes
  16. Special Modes
  17. Game Options
  18. Achievements and Highscores
  19. Credits and Thank Yous
  20. Apendix A: Beautiful Bricks Main Game Scoring

Welcome

First of all, I would like to thank you for not only being interested in Beautiful Bricks but also for taking the time to read the manual. If you are anything like me, you love Breakout style games. Their design is unique. However, throughout my gaming life, I have only been able to find a few titles that seemed worth playing for an extended time. Even the ‘classics’ have problems. The original Breakout, for example, gives great control if you have a paddle controller but needs real endurance to complete a level. Arkanoid has great atmosphere and the idea of power ups was awesome. It is probably the single best evolution of the genre but the level design can be just too cruel.

In general, I always thought there were two main issues with the gameplay of such games:


1) The tedium that happens when there is only one brick left to hit and you feel as if you don’t have much control over the ball, so you just continue hitting the ball and hope it hits the target.

2) The pacing of the game can be very slow. Breaking bricks on its own can get tiresome especially if the level was designed to look aesthetically pleasing rather than fun to play.

When I started making Beautiful Bricks, I wanted to offer some solutions. I wanted the player to have more ball control so that it was easier to work the angles of the shots and control the ball’s power. I am also a big fan of pinball and this inspired the way the ball moves in my game. It has ‘gravity’ so the ball ‘falls’ towards the player. This gives it more action so the player can use more strategy. I tried to introduce many creative and new power ups which focus on enhancing the gameplay.

Beautiful Bricks can be mastered and I hope you will take up the challenge!

However, not all Breakout games are ‘bad’. Some worth mentioning are; PowBall (DOS), Bananaoid (DOS), Aquanoid (DOS) and Krakout (C64). Modern games include Strikey Sisters (Steam) Shatter (Steam), Wizorb (Steam) and Alphabounce (3DS). I still have a soft spot for Arkanoid and particularly like the Super Nintendo version.

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About

Beautiful Bricks contemporises the brick breaker game and kicks it into overdrive. It is a restoration of an arcade great with modern upgrades: physic-based ball behavior, more paddle control, up to 4 simultaneous players, boss battles, achievements, unlockable secrets and 30 innovative power ups. All this is presented in a consistent retro ‘8-bit’ aesthetic.

Features

System Requirements and Trouble Shooting

While Beautiful Bricks will execute on any modern computer that can run a web browser, it still might not be playable. If the frame rate is low and there are graphical glitches, it suggests that the computer isn’t fast enough to run the game. This is usually because of the system’s CPU speed or the system not having a graphics card that supports OpenGL.

If the game is running slowly on your computer, try closing other applications before playing and disabling some of the extra graphic options.

The game makes use of OpenGL graphics acceleration. If OpenGL is not available on your computer, it will try to do the graphics with software rendering which is far more demanding of your computer.

Beautiful Bricks requires at least:

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Story

Humankind has left Earth and started to colonise planets in the wider universe.

You are space miner working for Alphacorp. Alphacorp has recently discovered valuables hidden on the planet Voss. Alphacorp’s mothership is sending you and three other miners (if they decide to join you) onto the planet to explore its deep caves. Once there, your objective is to mine for valuables. You have been warned that hostile life forms have been detected on the planet. The mothership will return to pick you up once dinner is ready. Sorry, that’s an old Alphacorp joke. (Actually, once your mission has been completed!)

Each miner is piloting a Paddleship C32, Alphacorp’s standard space miner. The Paddleship controls mining balls, absorbs power capsules and teleports valuables back to Alphacorp’s headquarters on the planet Vexx. (that’s where you live).

As an incentive, Alphacorp has a proposition for you. If you can mine 2,000,000 Vectrons (the most valuable currency in the universe) worth of valuables, they will give you a huge reward. This will be enough money to retire. So, if you work hard, this could be the last time you’ll ever have to work again. Now that’s inspiring!

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How to Play

A typical level in Beautiful Bricks

A typical level in Beautiful Bricks

Beautiful Bricks is essentially a paddle and ball game. You control a paddle, or a ‘bat’. This is the ‘Paddleship C32’. There is also a ball called a ‘mining ball’. The objective is to hit the ball with the paddle to keep it in play. However, the ball can be lost if you let it fall past the paddle. Each level of the game is filled with colourful bricks. They serve as targets for you to try to hit with the ball. When the ball hits a brick, that brick is broken. The aim of the game is to break all breakable bricks on the screen. Once all the breakable bricks have been destroyed, you'll advance to a new level. You’ll need to complete thirty-two levels to win.

Skullman image

Skullman – a common first guardian for new players.

In addition, there are Guardians in the game. They pose a greater challenge because they need multiple hits to be destroyed. They pose a threat because they can attack the paddles directly. There are 13 unique guardians in the game.

Sometimes, you’ll be keeping multiple balls in play. A player only loses a life when there are no more balls in play. Some bricks can’t be broken by the ball (such as White, Cyan and Black). These unbreakable bricks do not need to be hit to complete the level.

Certain bricks contain valuables such as gemstones or coins which will increase your score. Other bricks contain power up capsules which will change your paddle’s abilities, give extra mining balls or change the state of play around you.

Things in Beautiful Bricks

The Paddleship C32

Mining Ball

Normal Brick

Coin Brick

Unbreakable Brick

Coin collectable

Catch power capsule

You

Mining Ball

Normal Brick

Valuable Brick

Unbreakable Brick

A collectable

A Power Capsule

Heads Up Display

The following image is how a typical game screen of Beautiful Bricks looks.

On Screen Display

Beautiful Bricks HUD
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Controlling the Paddleship C32

Your Paddleship can be controlled by the keyboard, gamepad or a mouse. All control devices can be tweaked and remapped within the options menu.

Default keyboard controls

Action

Player 1

Player 2

Player 3

Player 4

Move Left

Left Arrow

A

J

Numpad 4

Move Right

Right Arrow

D

L

Numpad 6

Hard Hit / Action 1

Up Arrow

W

I

Numpad 8

Soft Hit / Action 2

Down Arrow

S

K

Numpad 5

Start / Continue

1

2

3

4

Dash Left

Double Tap Left Arrow

Double Tap A

Double Tap J

Double Tap Numpad 4

Dash Right

Double Tap Right Arrow

Double Tap D

Double Tap L

Double Tap Numpad 6

Jump

Double Tap Up Arrow

Double Tap W

Double Tap I

Double Tap Numpad 8


Beautiful Bricks Pro Tip : To make sure the gamepad gets detected by the game, it is recommended that you have your gamepads plugged in before you launch the game.

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More on Controls

There are a few extra tweaks and control options. Using the keyboard or a gamepad with a D-pad is recommended.

Changing Control Method: ‘Slick’ or ‘Stiff’

For the keyboard and gamepad controllers there are two control methods: ‘slick’ or ‘stiff’. This setting changes how the paddle feels when it is controlled. ‘Stiff’ is the default setting which is tighter while ‘slick’ gives the paddle more inertia (a more ‘slidey’ feeling). To change the control type, pause the game and edit the ‘control mode’ option.

Using the Mouse

By default, the mouse control is disabled. This is because the mouse controlling style gives an unfair advantage. However, mouse control is implemented in the game to mimic the traditional ‘paddle control’ style from older games in this genre.

To enable the mouse control, select OPTIONS from the main menu, then select REDEFEINE CONTROLS then MOUSE CONTROLS and finally toggle MOUSE ENABLED.

Only one player can be nominated for mouse control. The mouse control will override the keyboard or gamepad controls during the game for that player.

Left click will do a Hard Hit / Action 1.
Holding down middle click / Scroll Wheel will allow the paddle to dash.
Right click will do a Soft Hit / Action 2.

Mouse buttons cannot be redefined, nor can the sensitivity of the mouse be changed. If the mouse sensitivity is not right for you, you can change the general mouse sensitivity settings in your operating system.

To start or pause a game, left click on the ‘start’ button in the top right corner which appears when the mouse is enabled.

To make selections in the menus, simply click on the option text in the menu.
To change a player’s team in versus mode, click on their team logo.
To cancel out your player in the main menu, click on your paddle.

Changing Mouse Control Method; ‘Simple’ or ‘Pro’

The mouse control can be set up in two different ways; ‘simple’ or ‘pro’.

Simple is the default setting which gives the mouse to paddle a ratio of 1:1. Where the mouse is, the paddle is. This makes the most sense to a beginner player as the mouse performs as expected. However, this control style does not replicate how the paddle movement ‘feels’ when playing with a keyboard or gamepad.

The ‘pro’ control method is an attempt to give the mouse control a similar movement to the keyboard or gamepad. Instead of the mouse and paddle being locked to a 1:1 movement, the paddle ‘follows’ the mouse. If the mouse moves too quickly, the paddle takes time to ‘catch up’.

Remapping Keyboard or Gamepad Controls

The keyboard and gamepad controls can be re-mapped by selecting REDEFINE CONTROLS from the OPTIONS MENU. If you have made a mistake, you can restore the controls to default.

Mapping Extra Buttons to a GamePad

Each command given to the paddle can be mapped to its own button. For example: if your gamepad has enough buttons you can have dash left, dash right, hard hit, soft hit, action 1, action 2 each mapped to its own button.

Using Analog Sticks From the Gamepad

Analog controls are supported in Beautiful Bricks. The left analog stick will focus on left and right movement while the right analog stick will focus on how hard the ball is hit. Analog controls provide more accuracy.

Enabling and Disabling Jump

Paddleship jumping is an advanced technique that allows the player to make the Paddleship jump by double tapping the Hard Hit / Action 1. Whilst jumping a paddle can break bricks or dodge obstacles.

Jumping can be enabled or disabled within the gameplay settings within the options menu.

Enabling and Disabling Dash

Dashing is an advanced technique used in the game to dash your paddle left or right. To make your paddle dash, double tap left or right. While dashing, you are guaranteed to strike bricks that you hit and are invulnerable for a short time. You can dodge projectiles this way.

While dashing can be useful, some players find the dash feature annoying. Dash can be disabled within the control options.

What is ‘Reassign Gamepads’?

By default, the first gamepad you plug into your computer will be assigned to player 1. The second will be player 2 and so on. By choosing to reassign the gamepads, you can change which gamepad plugged into the computer controls which player. This can easily become confusing and it is recommended that you know what you are intending to do before you adjust this setting.

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Ways to Control the Ball

Your paddle is designed for ultimate control over the ball. There are two main mechanics used for this: the angle and the power.

Ways to control the ball

How to work the angles

Hitting it to the left

Hitting it in the middle

Hitting on the right edge

The angle of the ball’s trajectory can be changed depending on where the ball collides with the paddle. If the ball collides at the paddle’s centre, it will bounce straight up. If the ball lands on the left side of the paddle’s centre, it will veer left. If the ball lands on the right side of the paddle’s centre it will veer right. Hitting the ball at the paddle’s edges creates the most extreme angle.

Changing the power of the ball

How hard you can hit the ball

Soft Hit

Normal Hit

Hard Hit

Holding down the soft hit button when a ball collides with the paddle will achieve a ‘soft hit’. A ‘soft hit’ results the smallest bounce but is makes it easier to juggle the ball and set up shots.

Holding down the hard hit button will achieve a ‘hard hit’. A ‘hard hit’ means that the ball will be launched at maximum power.


Not holding down any button will achieve a ‘normal hit’, something in-between these two extremes.

Beautiful Bricks Pro Tip : Knowing when to use which type of hit is the key to success. A ‘normal hit’ is often better than a ‘hard hit’ as it will give you more time before you have to hit the ball again. Use only ‘hard hit’ when necessary. A ‘soft hit’ is good for aiming or getting out of tight situations.

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Brick Types

There are many different types of bricks. They can be divided into five different categories: ‘glass’, ‘normal’, ‘valuable’, ‘unbreakable’ and ‘special’.

Glass Bricks

Glass Brick
Glass Brick

Coin Glass Brick
Coin Glass Brick

Drops a gold coin after impact

Ruby Glass Brick
Ruby Glass Brick

Drops a ruby after impact

Glass Bricks: weak bricks that any ball will pass through. These are always safe for your paddle to touch. Your paddle will simply break the glass.

Special Glass Bricks are the Coin Glass Brick and the rare Ruby Glass Brick.

Normal Bricks

Red Brick
Red Brick

Blue Brick
Blue Brick

Green Brick
Green Brick

Silver Brick
Sliver Brick

2 hits to break

gold Brick
Gold Brick

3 hits to break

Titanium Brick
Titanium Brick

5 hits to break

Normal Bricks: these bricks may contain power capsules which if caught by a paddle rewards the player with a power up.

Some of these bricks require more than one hit before they break. Not all of them will contain a power capsule but the more difficult they are to break, the more likely they contain a power capsule.

Valuable Bricks

Coin Brick
Coin Brick

Drops a gold coin

Ruby Brick
Ruby Brick

Drops a ruby

Shapphire Brick
Sapphire Brick

Drops a sapphire

Emerald Brick
Emerald Brick

Drops an emerald

Diamond Brick
Diamond Brick

Drops a diamond

Black Diamond Brick
Black Diamond Brick

Drops a black diamond

Valuable Bricks: these contain valuables which increase your score. Valuable Bricks are named after the valuable they contain.

Unbreakable Bricks

White Brick
White Brick

Black Brick
Black Brick

Unpredictable ricochet

Soft Brick
Cyan (soft) Brick

Soft ricochet

White Brick
Brown Brick

Resistant to explosions

Coin Box Brick
Coinbox Brick

Contains gold coins

Unbreakable Bricks can only be destroyed by explosions, except for the totally indestructible Brown Brick

Special Bricks

Bomb Brick
Bomb Brick

Explodes on contact

Switch Brick
Switch Brick

Temporarily becomes inactive

Teleport Brick
Teleport Brick

Teleports the ball to a random location

Motor Brick
Motor Brick

Starts and stops all brick movement

Hyper Brick
Hyper Brick

Always drops a power capsule

Life Brick
Life Brick

Drops an extra life

Fire Brick
Fire Brick

Breaks in a blaze of destructive fire

Trick Brick
Trick Brick

Falls down towards paddle

Fragment Brick
Fragment Brick

Breaks into stun bullets

Shrapnel Brick
Shrapnel Brick

Breaks into deadly bullets

Stun Brick
Stun Brick

Fires stun bullets at paddles

Bullet Brick
Bullet Brick

Fires bullets at paddles

Missle Brick
Missile Brick

Fires a seeking missile at paddles

Blue Warp Brick
Blue Warp Brick

Warps the ball to either a Green or Red Warp Brick

Red Warp Brick
Red Warp Brick

Warps the ball to the Blue Warp Brick

Green Warp Brick
Green Warp Brick

One way portal from Blue Warp Bricks

Special Bricks. These bricks are all unique in their behavior when hit by the ball.

Beautiful Bricks Pro Tip : Perform a brick strike! When a brick is heading towards you, it breaks if you are moving fast from the side and collide with it. This technique is called: A 'brick strike’.


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Collectables

In Beautiful Bricks there are various items which can be collected by the paddle. These collectables can be divided into three categories: valuables, power up capsules and miscellaneous.

Collection is simple. Have your paddle touch the item as it falls towards the bottom of the playfield.

Valuables

Valuables

Copper Coin
Copper Coin

25 points

Silver Coin
Silver Coin

100 points

Gold Coin
Gold Coin

300 points

Ruby Gem
Ruby

1,000 points

Sapphire Gem
Sapphire

5,000 points

Emerald Gem
Emerald

12,500 points

Diamond Gem
Diamond

20,000 points

Black Diamond Gem
Black Diamond

30,000 points

Valuables greatly increase your score. They also add to your grand total earnings when, at the of the game, you reach the mothership.

Grand Total Earnings

Grand Total Earnings is the net worth of all the valuables that have been gathered from every single game of Beautiful Bricks that has been successfully completed by each Paddleship.

When a game is completed, the mothership returns to pick up all the all Paddleships. Once all the Paddleships are on board, the valuables collected during the game will be evaluated and added to the grand total earnings. The grand total earnings are the total amount of Vectrons that have been made from all the excavations on the planet Voss. Once 2 million Vectrons have been earnt, a special reward is unlocked and you’ll be able to retire!


A Valuable has a different value in Vectrons from its in game score value. Here is a list of the current market value of Valuables in Vectrons.

Market value of Valuables

Collectable

Value

Copper Coin

25 Vectrons

Silver Coin

75 Vectrons

Gold Coin

200 Vectrons

Ruby

400 Vectrons

Sapphire

1,000 Vectrons

Emerald

2,500 Vectrons

Diamond

10,000 Vectrons

Black Diamond

20,000 Vectrons

As a bonus, completing the game on Medium, Hard or Extreme difficulty will increase the market value of the valuables collected.

Power Capsules

Power capsules can change the game. Upon contact with a power capsule, the Paddleship can absorb its power. The power capsule can change the paddle, the environment of the game, the lives of the player etc... This depends on the type of power capsule determined by its colour and letter. Some power capsules are more common than others.


Power Capsules

Attractor Capsule
Attractor Pad

Allows the paddle to repel or attract balls

Barrier Capsule
Barrier

Creates a force field and catches any missed balls

Super Barrier Capsule
Super Barrier

Creates a force field which stops balls and valuables

Catch Capsule
Catch Pad

Allows the paddle to catch the ball and launch it on demand

Clone Capsule
Clone Pad

Allows the paddle to create stationary clones of itself

Drop Bomb Capsule
Drop Bomb

Launches an array of bombs from above to break any bricks below

Extra Ball Capsule
Extra Ball

Gives the paddle an extra mining ball

Fire Pad Capsule
Fire Pad

Allows the paddle to fire bullets

Flame Pad Capsule
Flame Pad

Allows the paddle to fire flame shots

Gold Ball Capsule
Gold Ball

A special ball that creates more valuables

Heat Ball Capsule
Heat Ball

A special ball that leaks destructive magma

Ice Pad Capsule
Ice Pad

Allows the paddle to be able to freeze balls

Jet Pad Capsule
Jet Pad

Allows the paddle to be able to fly

Spark Ball Capsule
Spark Ball

A special ball that emits electricity

Long Pad Capsule
Long Pad

Increases the paddle’s width

Multi Ball Capsule
Multi Ball

Unleashes 2 - 5 balls into the playfield

Magnet Capsule
Magnet

Adds a magnet onto the paddle that attracts all valuables

Wreck'N Ball Capsule
Wreck’n Ball

Creates a Wreck’n Ball destroying all in its path

Operative Capsule
Operative

Creates an AI controlled paddle to assist

Points Capsule
Points Drop

Causes valuables to rain down

Power Points Capsule
Power Drop

Causes Power Capsules to rain down

Warp Pad Capsule
Warp Pad

Allows paddle to teleport and wrap around

Return Ball Capsule
Return Ball

A special ball that boomrangs

Slow Capsule
Slow

Slows down the game

Tiny Capsule
Tiny Pad

Decreases the paddle’s width

Ultra Ball Capsule
Ultra Ball

A special ball that breaks and passes through any breakable brick

Valet Capsule
Valet

Equips the paddle with two assisting side arms

Warp Level Capsule
Warp

Skips the current level and proceeds to the next

bomb Ball Capsule
Bomb Ball

A special ball which explodes on contact

Yellow Splash Capsule
Yellow Splash

Turns all breakable bricks into Coin Glass Bricks

Zen Capsule
Zen

Briefly gives the paddle invulnerability

Extra Life Capsule
Extra Life

Gives the player an extra life

Triple Up Capsule
Triple Up

Gives the player three extra lives

Magic Ball Capsule
Magic Ball

A special ball which can teleport

Nuke Capsule
Nuke

Allows the paddle to fire a nuke missle!

Duplicate Capsule
Duplicate

Creates a copy of every collectable and ball

Beautiful Bricks Pro Tip : Try to remember what each power capsule does. This can be very useful.


Stacking Power Ups

Many of the power ups in Beautiful Bricks can be ‘stacked’, causing multiple effects. However, some power up effects will cancel out other effects.

As a general rule, your paddle can only be enhanced with one upgrade at a time. For example, you cannot possess catch and fire at the same time. In this example, the last power up collected will override the previous one.

However, some paddle upgrades can be stacked. The size of your paddle, normal, long or tiny will not cancel other upgraded abilities. For example, it is possible, to be have a long paddle that is able to catch. It is also possible to have a tiny paddle with Jet abilities. However, the size of the paddle may affect the enhancement of the paddle. For example, a tiny paddle with fire will give you more ammunition. A catch paddle which is long will be able to hold more balls. Experiment with combinations to find out which will give you the best advantage!

Enhanced Paddles

By collecting certain power capsules, your Paddleship can be upgraded to have special abilities. Use soft hit or hard hit buttons to perform these specialties. If you are using a gamepad, you can separate these extra actions to their own button bindings.

It is also possible to downgrade your paddle by collecting a power capsule that contains the same power up that has already enhanced your Paddleship. For example, collecting ice when your paddle is already an Ice type will result in your paddle being downgraded to Normal type.

Paddle Type


Power
Up

Ability


Normal
Hit

Soft Hit
Action 2

Hard Hit
Action 1

Normal Pad
Normal

None

None

Normal hit

Lightly taps the ball

Hits the ball
harder

Catch Pad
Catch

Catch Power Capsule

Can catch the ball and release at will

Catches the ball

Lightly launches the ball

Launches the ball further

Fire Pad
Fire

Fire Power Capsule

Able to fire bullets to break bricks

Normal hit

Adjusts the bullet’s trajectory

Fires bullets

Jet Pad
Jet

Jet Power Capsule

Gives the paddle flight

Normal hit

Apply air breaks

Accelerate

Warp Pad
Warp

Warp Pad Capsule

Allows the paddle to warp to the nearest ball or collectable

Normal hit

Warp to nearest ball

Hits the ball
harder

Attractor Pad
Attractor

Attractor Power Capsule

Allows the paddle to attract or repel balls

Normal hit

Attracts balls towards the paddle

Repels balls from the paddle

Clone Pad
Clone

Clone Power Capsule

Allows the paddle to create clones

Normal hit

Creates a clone

Hits the ball
harder

Flame Pad
Flame

Flame Power Capsule

Able to fire flame bullets

Normal hit

Adjusts the bullet’s trajectory

Fires flame bullet

Long Pad
Long

Long Power Capsule

Extends the paddle

Normal hit

Lightly taps the ball

Hits the ball
harder

Tiny Pad
Tiny

Tiny

Reduces the size of paddle

Normal hit

Lightly taps the ball

Hits the ball
harder

Other Collectables

Other Collectables

Fire Ruby Gem
Fire Ruby

???

Heart
Heart

???

Pearl Gem
Pearl

???

Beautiful Bricks Pro Tip : Although two or more paddles cannot collect the same power up capsule, multiple paddles can collect the same valuable so always go for valuables.


The Fire Ruby, Heart and Pearl collectables are not considered ‘valuables’, at least in Alphacorp’s eyes. They are miscellaneous collectables which do have special effects, so special in fact that it is not documented in this manual. You’ll have to discover them for yourself.

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Ball Types

There are many different types of Mining Balls, each with unique qualities. Experiment with them to learn their abilities.

Ball Type

Image

Properties

Normal

Normal Mining Ball

The standard and most common mining ball. No special properties.

Spark

Spark Ball

When a Spark Ball hits a surface, it will emit a random number of sparks that are capable of breaking bricks.

Gold

Gold Ball

When a Gold Ball breaks a valuable brick, it produces double the valuables. Additionally, every time the ball bounces it drops a Copper Coin.

Heat

Heat Ball

Heat Balls drip hot magma which in turn can break bricks. They are effective to lob over bricks to let the lava do the work.

Bomb

Bomb Ball

Bomb Balls are explosive and will explode on contact with a brick. Explosions can break unbreakable bricks.

Bomb Plus

Bomb Plus Ball

Bomb Plus Balls are rare and can explode multiple times before they too are destroyed.

Return

Return Ball

Return Balls can return to owner if a breakable brick is hit from its underside only. If a Return Ball hits an unbreakable brick it will lose its homing capabilities.

Magic

Magic Ball

Magic Balls are the rarest. When missed by a paddle, they can teleport to the top of the playfield.

Wreck’n

Wreck'n Ball

Wreck’n Ball is more than four times the size of any other ball. It can destroy any brick in its path. It only lasts a single level

Volley

Volley Ball

The Volleyball is used in the volleyball mode.

Ultra

Ultra Ball

The Ultra Ball is useful in clearing breakable bricks. It can smash through them without affecting its trajectory. This only lasts for one level.

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Hazards

During your journey inside the caves of Voss, you may encounter various hazards: dangerous bricks that can shoot, fall or explode into fragments: bubbles filled with goodies or danger: roaming abandoned worker drones: huge guardians which must be challenged. These are just a few of the dangers that await you inside the caves.

Dangerous Bricks

Shooting Bricks

Stun Brick
Stun Brick

Shoots bullets which will temporary stun a paddle.


A Stun Brick will be broken after a single hit.

Bullet Brick
Bullet Brick

Shoots deadly bullets which will destroy any paddle it hits.


This brick takes two hits to be broken.

Missle Brick
Missile Brick

Shoots homing missiles which are hard to dodge.


This brick will be broken after a single hit.

These shooting bricks continuously fire at the paddles until broken.

Dangerous Bricks

Frag Brick
Fragment Brick


Breaking this brick will cause it to explode into stun bullets

Shrap Brick
Shrapnel Brick


Breaking this brick will cause it to explode into deadly bullets

Trick Brick
Trick Brick


Hitting this brick will cause it to fall towards the paddle

These bricks become dangerous once they have been hit.


Moving Bricks

Motor Brick

A Motor Brick will start or stop all brick movement

On some levels all the bricks will be moving: up: down: left: right: diagonally. Bricks can move or scroll in two different ways. They can ‘bounce’ from the edge of the screen and head back in the opposite direction or ‘loop’ around to the other side and continue. Sometimes a level has a special brick called a Motor Brick which can toggle brick movement.

Projectiles

There is an assortment of different projectiles which can be fired at the paddles. Some are more destructive than others.

Enemy Bullet Types

Stun Bullet

Enemy Bullet

Fireball

Slime

Missle

Stun Bullets

Yellow and white bullets will paralyse a paddle for a few seconds

Bullets

Red and blue bullets will destroy a paddle with a single shot

Fire

Cannot be stopped. It will burn any paddle

Slime

If a paddle touches a slime, the slime will attach itself and slow the paddle down

Missile

Missiles will seek a paddle and are difficult to avoid

Plasma

Plasma Square

Lazer

Plasma

Grows in size as it travels

Square Plasma

Like Plasma but travels even faster

Laser

Shoots straight and kills on contact


Bubbles

Bubbles

All the different types of Bubbles

Bubbles may occasionally appear when you are playing. They contain objects which are freed when the bubble is popped. To pop a bubble, hit it with a bullet, paddle or a ball. Bubbles can contain collectables such as coins, rubies, extra balls or power capsules but they can also contain dangerous hazards like slime or fire!

Drones

Carrier Animation

A carrier drone’s flight animation

Not often seen, but lurking somewhere in the caves of Voss, are drones. These are a collection of old working robots that were mining the planet for valuables some time ago and are now wandering the caves aimlessly doing their tasks. Discovering one of these drones is rare and will usually yield something good. However, there is a deadly Discharger Drone which had been programmed to seek and destroy.

Drone Types

Image

Name

Info

Reward

Score


Carrier

Carrier Drone

Were used to carry valuables from one place to another

Hitting one will yield a bonus

3,000


Carrier Deluxe

Carrier Drone Deluxe

Were used to carry valuables and were equipped with a gun for defense

Hitting one will yield a bonus

5,000


Brick Layer Drone

Brick Layer Drone

A drone which sustainably creates more bricks

They might produce a useful brick

2,000


Driller Drone

Driller Drone

Were used for mining bricks. Careful as they also attempt to drill paddles too.

They can help you mine for valuables. But beware they might turn on you!

3,000


Green Spirit

Green Spirit

A lost soul that has been trapped in the caves

Hitting it frees the spirit and will yield a bonus

2,000


Blue Spirit

Blue Spirit

A lost soul that shoots deadly bullets

Hitting it frees the spirit and will yield a bonus

3,000


Red Spirit

Red Spirit

A lost soul that can create fire

Hitting it frees the spirit and will yield a bonus

5,000


Yellow Spirit

Yellow Spirit

A lost soul that drops coins

Hitting it frees the spirit and will yield a bonus

0


Scanner Drone

Scanner Drone

A Drone which surveys the area. Its scanner can destroy a paddle.

Hitting it frees the spirit and will yield a bonus

6,500


Scanner Drone

B Drone

A Drone which was used to mine bricks, usually part of a swarm

Hitting it will drop a few valuables.

1,000


Discharger Drone

Discharger Drone

Programmed to seek and destroy. If a Discharger Drone finds you, it will attempt to destroy you.

Hitting a Discharger Drone multiple times will destroy it so you’ll then survive. Otherwise…

10,000


Guardians

During the main game, after levels 15 or 32 have been completed, you will confront a guardian (a ‘Boss Battle’). Each guardian has a different play style and attack pattern. You must employ different strategies to defeat them.

Beating a guardian for the first time will earn you an Achievement which will often unlock an extra feature in the game. To be considered a pro player, you must find and beat all the different guardians in the game.

Guardians

Skullman

Shadow Paddle

Suzie Earl Ricky

Psymon

The Dragon

Skullman

Shadow Paddle

The Gribbly Ghosts

Psymon

The Dragon

Red Devil Yellow Devil

Invader Ship

Bugeyes

The Slug Nest

The Twin Devils

Invader Ship

Bugeyes

The Slug Nest

The Generator

The Animator

???

The Generator

The Animator

???


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Sectors

The Planet Voss

The planet Voss

The caves on the planet Voss have been divided into six sectors. Sectors are ‘groups’ of levels which tend to have a similar difficulty level and theme. Each sector has 32 levels and its own environment denoted by its background colour and musical theme. For example, Sector 1 has a green background and tends to contain the easiest levels while Sector 4 has a red background and more fire related bricks.

How Levels are Chosen

Sector Range

Easy Difficulty

Sectors 1 – 2

Medium Difficulty

Sectors 1 – 3

Hard Difficulty

Sectors 2 – 4

Extreme Difficulty

Sectors 3 – 5

Custom game

Any combination

Every playthrough of the main game does not have the same set of levels. When a level is completed, the next level is randomly chosen from the sector range that is defined at the start of the game.

For example, upon completing level 2 on medium difficulty the game will load level 3 form sector 1,2 or 3 as by default the sector range for medium difficulty is Sectors 1 – 3. Playing the main game on easy will give you a Sector range of 1 – 2 so each time a level is completed, the next level will be either from Sector 1 or 2. Having this variety in level choice, makes each playthrough more interesting. The odds of you having the exact same combination of levels as in a previous game is practically impossible.

As an unlockable feature, you’ll be able to define which sectors you wish to explore at the start of the game. This is called ‘redefining the Sector range’.

Sector Types

Sectors

Sector 1

Green Background

Easy

Easiest levels in the game

Sector 2

Blue Background

Easy

Easy levels in the game

Sector 3

Yellow Background

Medium

Lots of valuables in this sector

Sector 4

Red Background

Hard

Watch out for fire bricks and fireballs

Sector 5

Teal Background

Very Hard

Introduction of titanium bricks

Sector 6

Brown Background

Hard

The secret sector. Have you found the warp?

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Hints and Tips

Here is a list of hints and tips which will help you to excel in Beautiful Bricks.

Blocking Bullets

Balls can be used to stop incoming fire. If a ball collides with a stun bullet, normal bullet, a missile, plasma or slime these projectiles will be destroyed. A ball that is resting on the Paddleship can be used as a makeshift shield to block these projectiles.

Jet Paddle and Invulerability

While a paddle is invulnerable (flashing), collisions with bricks cannot hurt the paddle. Use this time to position yourself in a safe place if there are nearby bricks.

One exploit is to use Jet’s fly ability. While you are invulnerable, you’ll be able to smash through many bricks and your paddle will not be knocked back by unbreakable or stronger brick types.

This can be exploited further by the knowledge that when a new level is loaded, all paddles become briefly invulnerable.

Earn Big Points

Earn big points by using bombs to destroy unbreakable bricks. Blowing up a White or Cyan Brick earns you 1,250 points per brick. A Black Brick earns you 2,000 points per brick.

Using explosions on Coinbox Bricks or bricks that contain hidden items exposes their hidden goodies too!

Use Dash

If you double tap a direction or use shoulder triggers on a gamepad, your paddle will dash left or right. While you are dashing, you can dodge bullets and strike bricks or enemies at your side. While you are dashing, you will be momentarily invulnerable, so it is possible to dash through an incoming enemy bullet!

In the OPTIONS you can turn dashing on or off and define it as a new button or control scheme.

Use Jump

If you double tap Hard Hit / Action 1 button. Your paddle will perform a jump and leap into the air. Use jump to help manage the balls on screen, take out a brick or two or collect a powerup.

In the OPTIONS you can turn jumping on or off. It is located within the GAME SETTINGS options.

  A Paddleship jumping

A Paddleship jumping

Strike Attack

Brick Strike

a 'Brick Strike'

Dashing or colliding into a brick at full speed cause it to break. This technique is called as ‘striking’. Bricks, drones, enemies and guardians can be damaged or destroyed by striking.

Paddle Smash

If, during a multiplayer game, another player‘s paddle is destroyed, any remaining players that touch the Paddleship’s wreckage will cause it to split into two pieces and fly upwards wiping out all breakable bricks in its path. This is called a ‘paddle smash’.

Sharing Valuables

During a multiplayer game, the same valuable can be collected by more than one player. For example, if two or more players are standing under a coin, then all players who are touching that coin will collect it and get the bonus. This is unlike power capsules which can only be collected by one player. The game randomly chooses which player will get it if there are more than one who are eligible.

Skill Shot

Occasionally, in the main game, when a new level is loaded, there will be a brick that will be glowing like a rainbow. This is a Skill Shot. If you can break that brick while it is glowing, you’ll receive an extra 5,000 points.

Juggling

If there is a certain shot that you want to make, try a soft hit to line the ball up first. You can also juggle a ball to an area you want or to get out of a tight spot.

Hidden Items in Unbreakable Bricks

Hidden Items

A hidden Diamond

Sometimes an unbreakable brick contains collectables. Try hitting an unbreakable brick and see if anything pops out. When a brick that contains hidden items explodes, its contents will also be released. Try exploding a Coinbox Brick and you’ll get a pleasant surprise.

Tiny Paddle, Big Points

At first it might seem that the Tiny Pad power up is in fact a downgrade but having a smaller paddle size does have its advantages. While you are tiny, you’ll receive double points every time you score!

Secret Levels

A Secret Level

A secret level


While playing the main game, you may encounter a secret level. A special sound will play, and the background for the level will go grey. Secret levels may happen when the game is choosing a new level. How do you know when they are going to happen? Who knows?

Experiment With Power Ups

Since multiple power ups can be used at the same time. There are some combinations of power ups which have extra special effects. Here are few:

Secret Warps

There are warps hidden in the game. These are diamond in shape with an eye in the centre. The green warp takes you to a random level, the Blue back to your mothership.The to Red or the Black? who knows!


There is a special warp to Sector 6 which may appear at the start of level 10. What makes this warp appear is for you to find out…

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Lives, Credits and Quick Saving

Each player starts with 3 lives. If all balls have been missed, or a paddle has been destroyed, a life is lost. When a player has run out of lives, they are out of the game. If any credits remain, they can join in and continue the game. If not, they must wait till the current game is over.

Extra lives can be obtained by either collecting particular power capsules or every time a paddle reaches 100,000 points consecutively.

Credits

Beautiful Bricks is inspired by traditional coin operated arcade games. Each game starts with 6 ‘credits’. A credit is like a ‘turn’. It lets a player join in the game or continue an existing game, if their previous turn has ended (i.e they have lost all their lives).

An example of how the credit system works: a game starts with 6 credits. Starting a new three player game will cost 3 credits making 3 credits left. If during the game, Player Four opts into the game they use another credit. This leaves two remaining credits to be used as continues.

Defeating a guardian or finding a secret item will give an extra credit.

Quick Saving

Beautiful Bricks has a quicksave feature. The game will store the current level, how many players, their lives, score and valuables obtained. However, to keep your player settings, you’ll need to load the quicksave as the appropriate player. For example, if you were playing as Player Three you’ll need to load up the quicksave as Player Three to restore your score, lives and valuables collected.

Only one game can be quicksaved at a time. When you start a game if a quicksave has been found, you have a choice to load the quicksave or start again from the beginning. Main game and Marathon mode are the only type of games that use the quicksave feature.

A quicksave can only be loaded or discarded. If it is discarded, the quicksave will be deleted.

To quicksave while playing, pause the game and select QUICK SAVE & EXIT GAME.

To load a quicksave, when you start a new game, Beautiful Bricks will ask if you wish to load the quicksave or to start a new game. Information is displayed on the screen as an ‘AstroTicket’ (a parody of a ‘pass out’ ticket which is used in events in real life.)

The AstroTicket lets you know what state the quicksave is in. You can decide whether to load it or start a new game.

Loading a quicksave

quick Save

Pausing the Game

The Pause Screen

The pause menu


While playing the game, pressing the ‘start’ button (or, if you are using the mouse, clicking on the ‘start’ button in the top right corner) will pause the game. Pausing will halt the game and allow for you to have a break. The pause menu offers a few extra choices: CONTINUE: OPTIONS: CONTROL MODE: QUICKSAVE & EXIT GAME.

The pause menu also shows the current player how many collectables they are carrying on their Paddleship. This gives you an indication of what they’ll be bringing back to the homeworld (planet Vexx) when they are picked up by the mothership at the end of the excavation. If the player loses all their lives they will also lose all their collectables!

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Versus Modes

Beautiful Bricks has two versus modes: Volleyball and Competitive. These modes require at least two players. Volleyball is a take on the sport of volleyball while Competitive is a head to head split screen variant of the main game.

Each mode divides players into two teams. Team Alpha on the left and Team Omega on the right. Each team must have at least one member before a game can start. Players can change their team by pressing their left direction on the keyboard, the soft hit button on their gamepad or if, using the mouse controls, by clicking on their team logo in the main menu.

Volleyball Shot

Versus Mode Shot

Volleyball Mode

Competitive Mode

Volleyball Mode

Volleyball mode can be played by 2 – 4 players. Players choose which team they would like to be on. Team Alpha on the left side, Team Omega on the right. Each team must have at least 1 player.

The object of the game is to hit the ball over the net into the other team’s area. If you miss the ball, the other team gains a point. Games are over when a team reaches 5, 10 or 15 points depending on how the game was setup.

Double tapping the hard hit will cause the paddle to leap up to spike the ball.

Hitting a bird with a ball will turn that bird into a ball.

Clouds can affect the gameplay. Rain clouds will drop water which will slow down a paddle. Thunder clouds shoot lightening that will stun a paddle.

Advanced ruleset introduces some extra rules of play. Each side can only touch the ball three times to get it over to the other team. A team only gets a point if they are the team that serve at the start of that rally. If the other team scores while they are not the servers, they ‘win the serve’ instead of a point.

Competitive Mode

Competitive mode pits two teams against each other. The playfield is divided into two. Team Alpha on the left and Team Omega on the right. Each team must be the first to break all their team’s bricks. If you miss the ball or your team isn’t the first to clear all the bricks, then other team scores. The game will make a choice between two levels to load next. The team that lost the round gets to choose the next level by pressing left or right. For every round a team wins, they get a point. Every two points earnt yields a trophy. The first team to earn 3, 5 or 10 trophies (depending on how the game is set up) wins the game.

Brick types in competitive mode

Alpha Brick
Alpha Brick

Strong Alpha Brick
Strong Alpha Brick

Omega Brick
Omega Brick

Strong Omega Brick
Strong Omega Brick


A single hit brick for the Team Alpha


Three hits are taken to break this strong Team Alpha Brick


A single hit brick for Team Omega


Three hits are taken to break this strong Team Omega Brick

If power ups are enabled, there are four special power capsules which affect the other team’s game.

Power Capsules in Competitive Mode

Blackout Power Capsule

Brick Power Capsule

Slime Power Capsule

Zap Power Capsule

Blackout Capsule

Blackout obstructs the opponent’s vision

Brick Layer Capsule

Brick Layer creates a row of red bricks on the opponent’s screen

Slime Pod Capsule

Slime pod makes slime drop from the top of the rival’s screen

Zapper Capsule

Zapper shoots stun bullets at the opponent

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Special Modes

Beautiful Bricks has special game modes which mixes up the game play. Most of these modes will need to be unlocked by completing various Achievements, usually by defeating guardians in the main game.


Endless Mode

Endless mode

Endless Mode

In this mode, the brick patterns are randomly generated and slowly travel towards the player. This is a survival mode. The ‘levels’ in this mode are based on what kind of bricks are generated. Level 1 will generate simple bricks while level 9 is more tricky and unusual bricks will be generated. After you break a certain number of bricks, you’ll reach the next level. This number is represented on screen as the ‘left’ value. This means you need to break this number of bricks to reach the next level. With each new level, the bricks will travel towards the player quicker.

Occasionally special brick patterns will generate into the playfield in place of random lines of bricks.

If a player misses too many bricks and lets them reach the bottom of the playfield, the game will go into a screen clearing mode. All bricks will stop moving and then one by one explode into a fireball. The player must dodge all these fireballs until there are no more bricks. This serves as a punishment for players who miss bricks.

High scores are saved in this mode. A special Achievement is awarded if you manage to survive up to level 20.

Continues or players ‘opting in’ during this mode are disabled.

Boss Rush Mode

In this mode, players are deployed against all the different guardians in sequence. There are thirteen guardians to defeat to complete this mode. The guardians that appear are the same as those that appear in the main game.

Continues and other players ‘opting in’ during this mode are allowed.


Invader Mode

Invader Screen

Invader Mode

This is a special shooter mode which is about ‘blasting’ invaders. This mode is a distraction from the main game. Here you’ll always be able to fire and keeping balls in play is not a priority. As you blast the invaders, the ‘left’ counter will decrease. Every time the ‘left’ counter reaches zero, a new wave starts. ‘Levels’ in this mode are known as ‘waves’. The wave usually determines which types of invaders will appear during the game.

A special Achievement is awarded if a player can make it to Wave 21.

High scores are saved in this mode. Continues or players ‘opting in’ during this mode are disabled.

There are many types of invaders in this mode.


Invader Score Chart

Name Description < Hits Points

Seeker

Seeks out the player

1

200

Heat Seeker

Emits fire when destroyed

1

300

Ace Ship

Flies from top to bottom

1

150

Crusher

Shoots a deadly bullet when hit

1

300

White Skull Ship

Charges at the player

2

500

Black Skull Ship

Charges at the player

15

2,000

Bomber

Drops bombs onto the player

1

300

Fire Bomber

Drops rows of fire onto the player

3

1,000

Red & Blue Saucer

Shoots stun bullets

1

250

Grey & Green Saucer

Shoots deadly bullets

1

500

Grey Heli

Travels side to side and bounces

1

150

Mini Carrier

Travels from side to side shooting

1

500

Red Heli

Shoots deadly bullets

1

300

Hopper

Jumps across the top of the screen

1

300

Big Hopper

Jumps across the top of the screen

5

1,000

Scanner ship

Hovers along the bottom of the screen

3

1,000

Red UFO ship

Often drops a Power Capsule

1

100

Yellow UFO ship

Explodes into stun bullets

1

200

Green UFO ship

Shoots a stun bullet when hit

1

100

Big Boy

Grey ship which shoots plasma

3

1,500

Laser Ship

Fires deadly lasers

1

500

Carrier

Shoots paddle seeking missiles

2

1,000

Fire Brain Ship

Rains down many fire balls

3

3,000

Blue Laser Ship

Fires deadly lasers

15

2,500

Death Carrier

Shoots paddle seeking missiles

30

4,000

Yellow Chopper

Very durable and fires at the player

60

5,000

Red Laser Ship

Very strong and fires lasers

100

10,000

Marathon Mode

If you want the ultimate endurance game, this mode is for you! Play all 192 main game levels and challenge all guardians in sequence progressing from Sector 1 and ending at level 32 on Sector 6. As this is a much longer game, this mode has its own quicksave feature, so you can continue from a previous quicksave.

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Game Options

Beautiful Bricks has many settings which can be adjusted. Select the OPTIONS from the MAIN MENU to start modifying your game.

Redefine Controls

This option is a sub menu under the OPTIONS menu.

It is possible to remap the keyboard or gamepad controls for each player of the game. Select which controller type to configure keyboard or gamepad. Then select which player’s control to adjust.

Within this menu, use REASSIGN GAMEPADS to change which gamepad controls which player.

To enable and assign the mouse control to a player select MOUSE SETTINGS. If the mouse is moving too slowly or too fast you cannot adjust the sensitivity within the game. Instead, you’ll have to edit your operating system’s mouse settings.

Your control settings will be saved once you exit this mode.

Sfx Volume

The overall volume of the sound effects can be adjusted. 10 is default, 0 is off and 20 is the maximum.

Music Volume

The overall volume of the music can be also be adjusted where 5 is default, 0 is off and 20 is the maximum.

Music Mode

The music in Beautiful Bricks can be played in two different ways: dynamic and shuffle mode.

Dynamic mode is the default so that the music is chosen based on which part of the game is being played. Music in dynamic mode will continue to loop until the game reaches a part where the music is cued to be changed.

Shuffle plays music randomly, one new track after another. The off setting entirely mutes the music.

Display Settings

Display settings deal with how the game is displayed on the screen. This creates a submenu within the OPTIONS menu that is dedicated to these settings.

Data Settings

Beautiful Bricks’ high scores, game settings and achievements are automatically saved. If, however, you wish to reset any of this data is can be done within the DATA SETTINGS sub menu which is in the OPTIONS MENU.

Gameplay Options

How do you want to play? These gameplay options can be tweaked for the player’s preference.