After passing the 60th car, players will have experienced all of what Brick Race has to offer. Brick Race for the New 3DS is an oddity that can lose its appeal after just a few minutes; even that may be generous in terms of the amount of time anyone would want to spend playing the game. The title, "Brick Race", is a literal translation of what the game entails. Your car, made of eight bricks, races against brick cars of different colours.
The game couldn't be simpler. Set on a grid with old school aesthetics reminiscent of Tetris, gameplay involves moving your car left or right via the directional pad. Movement feels like Tetris as well, with the ability to move one space at a time with every press. The game is played solely on the 3DS' touch screen but doesn't actually utilize any touch controls, other than the strange decision to start the game using the touch capabilities. There is nothing but a visual of the game's name and how-to-play instructions on the top screen. The menu appears at the end of every game, but the only option is to play - difficulty levels cannot be adjusted, and all games restart at level 1.
In Brick Race, racing means dodging other brick cars that appear on the track. They seemingly fall much like Tetris blocks (tetrominoes) do, or to a degree this title mimics racing games seen on console of the late 1970s. Of course, hitting the other cars will result in a game over screen, so it would be ill-advised to try to fit them into one another - it's tempting as that would make a far more interesting game.
In this game of dodging, ten points are awarded for each car passed; these points stack and count towards your total, while the difficulty increases. The speed counter is also shown with all of these stats appearing on the side of the game screen. As expected, it all begins with manageable, slow speeds; cars drift by slowly, with enough time and space to casually dodge them. As more cars are passed and scores increase, opponent cars appear more frequently and rapidly. Quick fingers and reactions are required to pass these, and this is where the game continues to fall apart.
As the difficulty increases, there's only so much players can do to avoid the cars. The speed, unsurprisingly, becomes too much to handle and, eventually, no matter how quick the reflexes, Brick Race will win. When players reach Level 4, that's when things start to get crazy and faster. It's possible to get to higher levels but the journey doesn't last much further. Sadly, that's as far as the excitement goes. It's a series of dodges that becomes near impossible. The quick bursts of play, along with knowledge that being defeated by the game will come swiftly, means that there's not much that this game does to compel anyone to play for very long. There's nothing engaging about it.
The gameplay is too simple and lacks a clever mechanic to be fun. There's no real goal other than trying to beat your own high score. Even if a player significantly beats a previous high score, it never feels as though it's a personal achievement or rewarding experience. This lack of a compelling gameplay hook means it absolutely fails at being a time waster game, too.
The music, for the record, is just one long track that tries to match the game's aesthetics.
Games like Pong, Tetris and Pole Position, for example, are definitions of simple but fun experiences. They prove that basic games can be satisfying and entertaining. Unfortunately, that's not the case with Brick Race, which strangely is exclusive to New 3DS (like due to its support for more development tools than the original system). There's nothing about it that is exciting. There's no encouragement to keep playing. There's no real skill involved. Some annoying music and dodging brick cars? That's all there is to it, and it's just not worth a block of time.