Friday, 21 November 2014

App Review No. 71 break.BEAT

Strong Points:
Great re-imagining of a tried and tested concept
Nice music which changes depending on how well you play
Backround changes depending on how well you play
Game unlocks more rules, tips and power-ups as you progress
Good range of power-ups
Retro style

Weak Points:
Graphics are a bit fuzzy - especially the blocks
Pacing is a bit odd - slow at parts and then really fast
The blocks don't have many visual clues about what power-ups they will give
Can get repetitive
Some bugs - ball gets stuck going horizontal
Closes as soon as you lock your phone, go onto notification centre, multi-tasking or control centre

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: 27th November, 2014

Controls: slide finger across screen to move paddle

This game takes the concept of Brick Breaker and re-imagines it with a rather interesting concept. You still fire a ball at blocks to break them so as to gain points, increase your multiplier and gain power-ups but you can also destroy the blocks with your paddle. You do this so as to get different power-ups to if you just destroy the blocks with your ball and so as to keep your multiplier.

If your ball falls off the screen, you lose the game (you only have one life) but if a block goes off the screen (they slowly move down the screen, speeding up as your multiplier increases) then your multiplier ends, adding a frantic element to the game, as you try to catch the blocks your ball doesn't destroy while trying to keep your ball up as well.

Each block has a different power-up depending on whether or not you or your ball touches it. These include:
Green Block: does nothing special if your ball hits it but slows the ball down, temporarily, if your paddle hits it.
Red Block: does nothing special if your ball hits it but speeds the ball up, temporarily, if your paddle hits it.
Blue Block: freezes all the blocks on the screen if your ball hits it but creates lasers on the paddle, temporarily, if your paddle hits it.
Yellow Block: destroy the yellow block with your ball to create more balls or catch it to create obstacles which can be bounced
Purple Block: erases all blocks on the stage (doesn't add to your score) if your ball touches it but if your paddle touches it it creates a plasma ball which can be used to destroy the blocks.
Dark Block: destroy this block to create a vortex which holds your ball and any obstacles etc. in place for a limited time but if your paddles touches it be ready... *transmission cuts out*

Some of these blocks have visual cues - the blue block has icy light coming off it showing the ability to freeze - however some seem to be random - yellow creates a plasma ball because... #YOLO? And some just seem to be odd choices. Red should be slow down and green should be speed up (like traffic lights) really. 

The music, backround and pace of the game changes depending on your multiplier. The higher your multiplier is, the faster and more layers the music has and the more objects the backround has. The game also speeds up quite a lot. However once you die (or lose your multiplier), the pace goes back to the beginning, making it a bit annoying and repetitive having to slog through the first bit to get to a more frantic and fun pace.

Musically, this game is amazing, with it dynamically changing every time you hit something and with a great retro feeling which suits this type of game really well.

Bugs next and while there aren't many, they are quite major. The ball can sometimes get stuck going horizontally until a block hits it which can get a bit annoying. Also if you pause the game in any way (lock your phone, go on multitasking, notification centre or control centre) the app crashes which is very annoying (thankfully the app loads up quickly).

Conclusion: overall break.BEAT is a great little game to play on a bus journey etc. but also has surprising depth with more updates promised.

Rating: 82%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.  


  1. So... What does the Dark Block do if a paddle hits it?