ABRISS Review: Let’s Wreck This Joint

Build them up, only to knock them back down again. No, it's not a motivational speech - in ABRISS you get to create (briefly) AND destroy.

It’s so much easier to destroy than to create, yet ABRISS lets you have your cake and eat it by building functional structures that teardown others in the most destructive, cinematic way. Man, that was satisfying. Stack ’em back up, and let’s do it again; this time, we need to add a few rotational items.

There’s no plot other than to destroy an already existing building. The minimum requirement includes illuminated critical points, but ideally, you want to take out everything, securing a 100% completion rate with no remaining blocks. In the early levels, that’s doable, but as the game progresses, so too do the challenges.

Initially, you’ll be stacking up blocks on top of one another, letting gravity do its thing and topple into the target building. Placed in the right location, the structure will collapse, hopefully taking everything with it. Before you can get settled with this approach, a new piece is introduced – such as connector blocks, rotating parts that swing on command, lasers and bombs. How you effectively implement these rely on your creativity.

ABRISS Review - Laser
Laser. Source: Steam

ABRISS Review (PC)

ABRISS’ early levels give an animated hint on how to place a new block, but you can place them however you see fit, as there isn’t just one way to achieve a goal. There are hints on some stages, such as the Trebuchet level, but even then, you can’t perfectly mirror the proposed solution. For me, that’s one of the game’s biggest draws: freedom.

But let us not miss the biggest draw: destruction. Watching a structure obliterate in slow motion, dragging the foundations into an architectural abyss, is superb. ABRISS is visually visceral; gritty filters complement the industrial/dystopian settings, and the pixel confetti is the money shot. I couldn’t perfect replays very well for some reason, but a built-in GIF renderer is worth its weight in gold for tinkering and bragging rights.

In my experience, physics-based games tend to be comical, such as Gang Beasts or Human Fall Flat. Mathmatical-themed titles tend to be lesser-known indies – something this shares in common as it’s pretty serious and unforgiving. Ok, the second one is dramatic, but there’s more than a fair share of frustration with Randwerk’s game when formulating a plan, such as making an oversized hammer to smash through a block.

ABRISS Review - A bridge to far
A bridge to far. Source: Steam

A Chip Off The Ol’ Block

Individual components can be freely placed, but as ABRISS relies upon gravity, if you don’t pay attention to block placement or use the appropriate connectors, your make-do demolition structure will topple with zero effect. Expect a lot of trial and error where you’ll stack up your components only to find they don’t work well together, or you’re missing a connector, and everything has to be undone. 

Rotating and removing items is possible, but this can only be done with the last block. In other words, if you need to undo the first block, you must remove all the others you selected afterwards. Besides a campaign mode, there’s a sandbox option and an endless mode. As stated, you can record GIFs, which are far from a gimmick and genuinely look good, as do the photo options, where you can add filters, remove the UI, and relive the mayhem in glorious, high-resolution visuals. 


Physics-based games are often short-lived, boasting a cool, entertaining mechanic that soon gets monotonous. Though ABRISS isn’t without some mild irritation through its trial-and-error approach, it’s immensely satisfying to tear shit down in some of the most interesting and creative methods I’ve seen in a game. Recommended.

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