The Brick Game was a popular handheld game console in the late 1980s to the early 1990s. It was introduced mid-1980s in China, originally as a clone variant of the original Tetris that dates back to 1984-1985 in the former Soviet Union which is developed by Russian programmer Alexey Pazhitnov for the Soviet ELEKTRONIKA-60 home computer system.
It is essentially a LCD-based Tetris, but usually had a few simple games styled after Tetris block matrixes. The games are usually arranged within alphabetical letters (A-Z), with each letter corresponds with different games. Each game has its own variations by selecting the number below the letter. The difficulty level and speed of each game can be adjusted by pressing the left or right D-pad.
Brick Game was popular after a few years following the success of many Tetris variations in the late 1980s. It still manufactured in China and it is often considered as a low-cost toy that can be easily found on dollar stores or toy stores.
Even though the handheld gaming industry was popularized by Nintendo's Game Boy in the early-1990s, the Brick Game remained as a popular electronic game as an affordable alternative that is readily available in the market.
Today, the Brick Game has become significantly rarer in toy stores and mostly superseded by handheld Famiclone consoles. However, it is still iconic as a collector item among retro-gaming enthusiasts.
Other than the normal Tetris clone, the main inspiration of many Brick Game games usually take inspiration from popular arcade games during the 1980s, which include Breakout, Space Invaders, Galaxian, Road Fighter, Frogger, Battle City, among others. These games were simplified with the use of Tetris squares and tiles.
The Chinese/Asian Brick Game is the most common variant found worldwide. It is notable for using two AA batteries and come in many different sizes and shapes, ranging from a small "keychain" model to a large, expansive model that resemble an old mobile phone or a game controller.
The Russian variant of the Brick Game can be found across Russia, Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics. This model usually has only standard shape; the regular rectangular shape with some sort of curved part in the middle, separating the buttons and the LCD. Unlike Asian variants, the Russian version usually use three batteries instead of two (both AA and AAA type), and known for its loud sound.