The following is a review by IM Dave Angel, who is joining on the Complete Xbox Team. Abriss: Build to Destroy is available on Xbox Series X|S & PC.


It is said that the definition of madness is repeating the same actions and expecting different results. This is a perfect example of what Abriss delivers with puzzles based around creation of structures and the application of physics to use that structure to destroy your target.

This is the essence of Abriss… A peculiar, yet captivating puzzle game that combines building and destruction. The game lacks a traditional story, although the path which you are lead along is comically referred to as a Campaign mode. This gives the game a great feel for a game to drop into for a couple of rounds, exit and forget it until you next have time on your hands.

Abriss encapsules the laws of physics and chaos in a compact package which is nicely presented on Xbox Series S with no graphical problems, although I dare say this game would run nicely on an Xbox One if it were the developers desire.

Gameplay Overview

  • Simple Premise: In Abriss, your task is straightforward: build structures using limited construction items and strategically place red glowing orbs within them. When you hit play, physics takes over and your creation falls onto your target, destroying it and the orbs.
  • Modes: The game offers three modes:

Campaign: Explore seven different worlds with various stages.

Endless: Focus on high score gathering.

Sandbox: Create and destroy freely.

World Design and Atmosphere

The game’s world is filled with strange lands, brutalist buildings, and alien-like atmospheres. It resembles an Escher painting in some respects, which gives the game a unique style.

Progression and Challenges

Building Blocks: Start with straightforward structures and gradually encounter new items and structures.  As the levels start to topple, you can combine boosters, bombs, heavy ultra blocks, and lasers to find creative solutions to the problems presented to the player.

Puzzle Elements: The challenge lies in figuring out how to destroy everything effectively. Each level has a pass percentage value but getting a shining 100% could be a path to madness.


This is where the cracks in thin veneer that covers Abriss start to show. It appears obvious that the control system was designed for a system with a mouse, as the control system created for the Xbox Controller is one of the most frustrating experiences I have had in nearly 40 years of gaming. The controls are set to allow you to “orbit” your structure as well as look up and down, which is combined with a cursor that indicates the desired block position. Bumper buttons allow rotation, whilst the Left Trigger will remove the last block placed. If you want to remove a specific block, then moving the cursor to it and Press B.

This can be really frustrating, particularly if you have built up your structure, only to remove a block from the base. Luckily, until you press the Go Button (Right Trigger), the blocks remain static, but I found this extremely frustrating for removing errant blocks.

A humble request from an angel to the developers. Please, integrate a magnet lock feature for each face of an object. It will stop the hours of frustration and swearing I had trying to hunt for a pixel to place a block, only for it to go in the wrong place.

Ready, set, restart!

Once the combination of blocks and active mechanisms are in place, you press the Right Bumper to start the reaction.

Here is where madness lies. Put your tinfoil hat on, we’re going in…

If you press go and use all the blocks at your disposal, you will have the option to go back one move, make any changes, then try, try again. However, leave one block unused and the option to go Back to your last move is not available and you HAVE to restart.

I recommend using all your blocks every attempt you make, as you may need to fettle your design several times to get the result you want. Pressing LT will give you the flexibility to try these out.

Now as a former smoker would say, there is always a butt *winces*.

In Computer Science and mathematics, iteration is used to study the affects of an algorithm on a set of test data. Using a set of preset controls, running the same algorithm over the same data will give you the same result.

This hypothesis does not apply to Abriss. You can have the same structure, Press Go, rewind, Press go again and get a different result. This makes iterating on your successes incredibly difficult and makes some propositions impossible to complete.

It is almost as if they took the idea of realistic physics and fed it into a random action generator.  Sorry, you rolled a 1, your bomb will catapult itself sideways into the abyss.

Sum Up 

A flawed gem, there are simply too many variables to allow you to enjoy this game to its best potential. Such a shame.

  • 45%
    CX Score - 45%



  • A beautiful simulation of what the laws of physics can do.
  • A beautifully simplistic interface and graphic style that makes it stand out in the crowd.
  • The feeling of satisfaction when getting 100% on a level is wonderful and gives you drive to move on to the next level.



  • A maddening demonstration of the laws of Chaos applied to the game blocks and your sanity.
  • The control system:  In the name of all that is holy to us, PLEASE fix the control system. I nearly put my controller through a partition wall in frustration.

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