Krypton Egg in Review – The Ultimate Breakout?

kryptonegg4First developed for the Atari in 1990, Krypton Egg has survived obscurity for almost 20 years  by being arguably one of the best breakout clones out there. If looks alone could kill, the game could very well have been rejected by the App Store. Thankfully, Krypton Egg more than makes up for its cosmetic deficiencies with solid and engaging gameplay and a whack load of crazy fun power ups.

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I thought I was playing a breakout game...

At the surface, Krypton Egg seems to be your typical and basic breakout clone. Move your paddle left and right, bounce the ball off it and eliminate all the bricks on screen. However upon playing the game, it is evident that there’s more than meets the eye. Sure enough, just as you’re getting comfortable with the same old brick and ball routine, enemies emerge from a hatch and attempt to deflect and even destroy your paddle. As if this weren’t enough,  you’re soon taken to a Boss like level where you battle with a huge alien (R-Type anyone?). When was the last time you played a breakout game where it felt like a space shooter? Never?

kryptonegg1Enemies aside, the 30 available power ups in Krypton Egg really make for a hectic and fun gaming experience. You have your power ups that fire projectiles to destroy bricks, a sticky paddle, boosters that all you to fly all over the level, 3 trailing paddles that give you more coverage and even one where your paddle goes into an auto mode and plays the game for you. Crazy stuff! My favorite upgrade is one that makes your ball(s) larger and larger. After a few size increases, it feels like you’re playing Breakout with a bowling ball. Of course, there are also power downs (shorten paddle, move inversely, destroys paddle…) that will throw a wrench to your brick smashing.

Controls wise, you are given the choice of moving your paddle by touch or via tilt. At first, I exclusively played the game with the touch setting, sliding my fingers left and right. However, I began giving the tilt controls a chance and have never looked back since. Once I got used to titling my paddle around, I found Krypton even more engaging and challenging. It also helps that there are four tilt sensitivity levels, so you’re more than likely to find one that works to your liking.

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Blue power up pills make for a longer paddle. And they say size doesn't matter...yeah right!

While the graphics may seemingly be Krypton Egg’s weakest link, gamers who long for the 16-bit era will love how the visuals remained faithful to the original port. They may not be much to look at, but I for one think it is not entirely a bad thing. Gamers (especially the younger generation) will be reminded that even video games from way back can still be lots of fun.

From a music standpoint, I actually found Krypton Egg’s soundtrack highly enjoyable. It fits in perfectly with the whole retro feel of the game. The music never got stale and it almost felt like I was listening to a best of remix tape of video game music from the 80s and early 90s. Very cool.

I do wish though that the game saves your progress midway through a level. Currently, leaving the game to make some calls or whatever it is you need to do will mean starting a stage all over. While this may not be an issue with other breakout games, levels in Krypton Egg with heaps of reinforced bricks and lots of unbreakable obstacles can take up to 15 minutes to finish (especially if you vital power ups pass you by). I also found the icons for power ups rather obscure (the small low-res graphics make it hard to see what they stand for). Even with several hours under my belt, I still don’t have a clue what several of them do.

Krypton Egg is certainly one of the best and most fun breakout game I have played to date. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well this is one dog that already had plenty of tricks up its sleeve.  If you enjoy Arkanoid and Breakout type games, Krypton Egg will be right up your alley.

Now available for $1.99

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App Summary
Title:Krypton Egg (v1.0)Developer:DotEmu (Published by Chillingo)
Price:$1.99App Size:1.5 mb
  • Plenty of power ups
  • Great soundtrack
  • Flying enemies makes a breakout/space shooter experience
  • Responsive tilt controls
  • Levels with lots of reinforced bricks can take quite sometime to finish
  • Action a bit too chaotic at times
  • No auto save midway through a level when leaving the game

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