Play This Devious Browser Game That Makes Pop-up Windows Infuriating in a Whole New Way

Despite being 43 years old, Breakout still manages to be an addictive game, challenging your reflexes as much as the latest first-person shooters do. A browser-based game called Brickception manages to make the game even harder with a pop-up window that you’ll quickly find immensely annoying—even though it’s not serving up any ads.


The game still uses the same tried and true Breakout mechanics: you use a paddle to bounce a ball up into a grid of blocks and proceed to do your best to ensure that ball never falls below the bottom of the screen. But with Brickception, your paddle is a tiny pop-up window with another game of Breakout playing inside it. As you move the window across your screen, the tiny paddle inside the pop-up moves too, so you’ll need to keep your eyes on both balls at the same time and make split-second decisions on how to keep them both in the air.

Created by Preet Shihn, it doesn’t take long for the game to go from a fun way to procrastinate to a reminder of why we invented pop-up blockers in the first place. Pro tip: you’ll greatly increase your odds of winning on a giant monitor with lots of resolution. Even better, get yourself one of those displays that can rotate into a portrait position, making it much easier to quickly drag that pop-up window to the bottom of your screen for quick last-minute ball saves. Did we just find an easy way to justify dropping $5,000 on Apple’s new Pro Display XDR?

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It’s noteworthy that Breakout was the first uniquely computer game. Previous efforts, like Pong for example, were computerized versions of analog human games. The original hardware-based prototype was built by Steve Wozniak with some help from Steve Jobs. Woz’s experience with Breakout strongly influenced his design of the Apple II.