Your BlackBerry’s Brick Breaker help menu will tell you a little about the different capsules available in the game, but here’s a more thorough review. Each capsule has special properties — some are helpful, while others hurt your cause. Sometimes certain capsules will be helpful on one level but unhelpful on another.
Make sure you understand the properties of each capsule, and don’t grab any capsule unless you’re confident it will improve your position.
The capsules are always hidden in the same bricks, though the type of capsule hidden in the brick changes. When we walk through each level, I’ll show you where the capsules are located. For now here’s a brief overview of each capsule’s properties.
Life – Gives you an extra life.
Since getting a high score is all about survival, you almost always want to grab a Life capsule.
The Life capsule takes away other capsule power-ups, so there are some situation where you’ll want to avoid the Life. I’ll discuss these in the BrickBreaker level walkthroughs.
Multi – Puts four balls in play.
You’ll find this capsule is VERY useful when the ball speed is fast, because remember: the transition to a slow ball speed occurs after the balls bounce off any surface around 50 times. With four balls in play, this transition happens four times faster!
Note: on the first pass through the 34 levels, the ball starts out slow initially, and it’s usually best to avoid the Multi capsule at that moment, because putting four balls in play will only hasten the transition from slow to fast.
Another nice thing about the Multi is if you already have the Laser, Gun or Long capsule, the Multi won’t take away those power-ups. The Multi does take away the Catch power-up though. And one downside of the Multi capsule is with four balls in play, the pace can be frenetic; you need to remain focused on keeping at least one ball in play.
Catch – Enables you to catch and hold the ball. After catching the ball, you can alter the angle at which the ball is shot.
When the ball is trapped on your paddle, use the trackball to determine the angle, and the space bar to launch the ball. If you’ve caught the ball, you can hold it on your paddle for several seconds. This can be helpful if some capsules are falling and you want to let them drop a bit closer before putting the ball back in play.
If you’ve previously grabbed a Multi and there are still multiple balls in play, the Catch capsule will take you down to a single ball again.
Laser – Gives you unlimited lasers that can damage regular bricks. It takes two hits with a laser to damage a brick.
Use the space bar to fire your lasers. I recommend you only fire the Laser when your ball is heading upward; if the ball is heading downward, just worry about keeping it in play. Sometimes you can get so caught up in lasering bricks that you let an easy ball drop into the drink.
You can dislodge a capsule from a brick — without destroying the brick — by hitting it with a single laser shot.
The Laser is especially powerful on Levels 1 – 12, which feature plenty of exposed breakable bricks. On Levels 13 – 34, unbreakable bricks often get in your way, making the Laser much less helpful, and oftentimes completely useless.
Gun – Gives you three bullets that immediately destroy any brick. The gun is the only weapon that can destroy the unbreakable bricks, and in some situations this is immensely helpful, especially in the later levels.
Use the space bar to launch your bullets. You can only launch one bullet at a time, so if one bullet is in flight, wait until it hits a brick or hits the ceiling before trying to fire another.
As with the Laser, I recommend you only fire the Gun while your ball is heading upward, to avoid accidentally losing a life.
Long – Makes your paddle longer. This makes it easier to catch errant balls.
While the Long capsule is usually very helpful, it can sometimes impede your control in the corners.
Slow – Temporarily slows down the ball and halts the bricks from descending. After a certain number of bounces, the ball will switch to a fast speed, and the bricks will resume their descent.
If the ball is moving quickly, this capsule can be very helpful. However, if the ball is already moving slowly then you should avoid the Slow capsule, because it will not make the ball any slower, and after the effect wears off the ball will start moving fast, even if you’ve already made it through the “fast portion” of the level.
Bomb – Turns the ball into a bomb that destroys the next brick it comes into contact with, while also damaging adjacent bricks.
When the bomb goes off, the screen shakes violently. Since this can be very distracting and sometimes causes me to lose a Life, I often avoid picking up the Bomb capsule.
Wrap – Allows you to move the capsule beyond the edge of the screen.
I usually avoid this capsule, because I like having the paddle stop at the edges of the screen. I find with the Wrap, it becomes too easy to overshoot the wall and come out on the other side, often making me miss a ball that’s headed for the corner.
Flip – This changes the direction of your paddle.
Grabbing any other capsule except Wrap will revert your paddle to its original orientation.
Try to avoid this capsule at all costs. If you end up with a Flip capsule anyway, try to keep your paddle moving constantly even while the ball is bouncing around at the top of the level; this will help you remember that the controls are backwards, until you can grab another capsule and revert the paddle orientation back to the original settings.