Brick Rick: Graveyard Shift
Spectrum 128K

Published in Crash #4

Brick Rick: Graveyard Shift

We all know that the nightshift gig has an undeserved reputation of being a bit more laid-back, where production is slow and staff take regular kips. This is why out protagonist, Brick Rick, sought twilight employment - this was the job of a lifetime.

As he sits down for his umpteenth cuppa, something starts to go wrong during this gloomy Halloween night, and foul things come out to play. More terrified of losing his job than of ghouls, Rick must defend the night and make sure the construction site is clear of any monsters, before his boss arrives in the morning.

Armed with an abundant supply of bricks, our no-longer-lazy 'hero' must clobber his way through fifty levels. He's going to earn his wage tonight.

Brick Rick: Graveyard Shift

The game is single-screen arcade action malarky. The premise is simple: avoid contact with the monsters on the platforms and send them back to hell by chucking bricks to stun them, then bounce them while they are still dazed. If you're skilled (or lucky) enough, you can try some combo-stuns by knocking one against their unwitting compatriots. Each level is time-based and when the counter reaches zero, the Grim Reaper appears and starts to make a beeline for you, which makes it all the more difficult. However, some items can aid you in your mission; when you destroy one of the monsters, they may drop coffee cups or dynamite. The former increases your timer, whilst the latter stuns all of the baddies present on the screen for a short duration.

Once each level is clear of danger, the elevator opens to take you up a floor. It gets more difficult as the game progresses, as the monsters also use the lifts and more can appear on the screen. Your journey takes you through five different locations on the site, and there's plenty of spooky horrors to battle.

Gordon King

If you are a fan of Bubble Bobble and its ilk, you will enjoy this. The concept is very similar to Taito's classic arcade game, and it provides a great variety of challenging levels. Even the appearance of the Grim Reaper is reminiscent of Baron von Blubba, who appears when Bub and Bob are too slow to complete a level. The game's main charm lies in its cartoony graphics: wolfmen, Frankenstein's monsters and vampires are but a few of the ghouls that will make you smile rather than fear them. I also like the implementation of the level password, so you don't have to start from the beginning again.

Brick Rick: Graveyard Shift

This takes the sting out of the game's difficulty - it is doable. Is the game repetitive? Yes, but it's what it does within its limitations that make you come back for more.

Paul Davies

Brick Rick has a real arcade quality style to it. Very old school in terms of gameplay and everything else that goes with it - including the incidental music at the end of each level, which is a nice touch. Every level is kind of similar, but the gameplay is good enough to keep you entertained.

This, along with the change in monsters as you progress, helps to keep the game fresh as you go along. Put all these elements together, and you have yourself a tidy little package which will give even the most accomplished Speccy arcade games a run for their money.

Easy to play, easy on the eye and ears plus, you get to throw bricks at monsters - what more do you want in a game?


Control Keys: Q, A, O, P, SPACE.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair.
Graphics: Brilliant cartoon-like sprites. Monochromatic.
Sound: A catchy 128K tune.
General Rating: A tight engine that contains a charming and pure arcade experience.

Paul Davies

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