This game offers several unique takes of the classic Breakout formula

User Rating: 8 | Nervous Brickdown DS
There has been many different names for the simple old game of whacking a ball with your paddle to destroy bricks. Be it Breakout, Arkanoid, or Woodypop; the game has been done to death. Do we really need another one? Well, if its like Nervous Brickdown we do! This game offers several unique takes of the classic formula, and adds a bit of touchscreen involvement with the player dragging the paddle along the screen.
'Pow' stages are vaguely similar to the retro game but with modern graphics. Power-ups can be found in some blocks.
'Paper' stages make you hit blotches of ink and paint. Some of this paint will start to drip down the screen, and if it touches the bottom, you will lose a life. Since it has a paper theme, the game makes you draw your paddle. You are restricted in the size but you can make a curved or lopsided paddle if you wish which can be useful when you only have 1 target left which is positioned to the side of the screen.
Next is a 'Ghost' themed area where you can blow into the mic to get rid of the ghosts. The level scrolls upwards too and you have to guide your paddle through multiple paths and obstacles. This can can come down to luck, for example; if you choose the right path and the ball comes back down the left one.
The 'Water' area sees you as a submarine deflecting a ball to destroy cliffs or tilt platforms with stick-men on them, which you then must catch and send them up to safety. Meanwhile, sharks occasionally swim on the bottom screen which you can prod a few times to kill. Sometimes the game is so bizarre it just makes no logical sense. But its just full of charm which makes you smile.
'Speed' has basic wireframe graphics and the ball is more like a laser which ploughs straight through multiple blocks and moves at a rapid speed.
'Switch' stages have blue or yellow blocks. Once the ball hits a block, it changes to that colour. You can only hit the ball if you change the colour of your paddle by tapping the switches. Stages like this make you think and sometimes require quick reactions and lots of concentration.
'Shoot' plays similar to those retro spaceship scrolling shooters where enemies come down and fill the screen with bullets which you must dodge. Only here, there are less enemies and the screen doesn't scroll. You have a lot more freedom to move and must use the ball to collect objects whilst dodging all the bullets.
'Curve' is crazy golf themed and each course has the top screen on an slope. Although visually, it doesn't look like a slope, the physics show you that it is. On these levels you have to hit the ball more aggressively and place direction on it.
'Retro' is extremely challenging since you usually have to control 2 paddles and watch 2 balls on the lower screen, whilst keeping an eye on your character on the top screen and tell him when to jump. Usually there will only be a hole or two and the level loops indefinitely, but it still poses a large mental challenge to multi-task. It almost feels like its Nervous Brickdown's attempt at a Brain Training game.
Because of the games weird and wacky nature, you usually have to practice the levels a few times to understand how the level plays out. This is probably the games only real weakness. You can debate that the gameplay is simplistic, but Nervous Brickdown maximises the fun, and is not short of charm. Once you complete the game, 5 levels are added per area, and 'Shuffle' mode is added where the levels are chosen randomly from all the different stages, which is a nice idea and helps to add lastability.