I am sure many of you are familiar with the title Arkanoid. For those of you who aren’t, it is a basic arcade game where the object is to clear the screen of bricks with a paddle and bouncing ball. It was one of the first games I ever played in the arcade as a child and quickly realized that although anyone can play it, few will master it. Most fans of the genre will simply play it over and over again. Then there are those, like the developers at codefreeze, who like it so much that they decided to recreate the classic game and make it their own.
Right off the bat you’ll notice that visually, the game is superb. The graphics are rich and full of color. Taking the basic “brick breaking” format, codefreeze tweaked everything as far they could. Not satisfied with just simple rectangle color blocks, they’ve designed numerous shapes sporting a variety of textures and color combinations that just makes the game incredibly eye-catching. Even your paddle gets a complete make over and now looks a spaceship/hover pad.
Playing the game is simple: tap the screen to release your ball and guide your paddle left and right by swiping across your screen. As I mentioned before, while the controls and gameplay are easy, mastering them is the real trick. There are various bonuses that drop if you hit special blocks, which will in turn affect gameplay in numerous ways. With over 20 different types of power-ups and power-downs (some can even kill you), you’ll have to be careful which you go for.
Playing Jet Ball can get really intense. Blocks are placed all over the screen in various positions and formations, sometimes almost right above your paddle. Figuring out what to hit first or where to aim a rebound is where you can get hooked for hours. I’ve easily spent a a chunk of my evenings just sitting on the couch playing Jet Ball, trying to make it to the next level. As far as levels go, you are given 65 to start with and they’re all broken up into packs. You basically have to beat one pack to unlock the next. More are on the way from the developers, but 65 is plenty to start out with. On top of all this, you also have the benefit of OpenFeint being included, which gives players a laundry list of challenges/achievements to look forward to.
My only real issue is that it took me a second or two to figure out that I had to tap the screen to initially release the ball. It would be nice to have a simple “tap to start” on the screen for first time players. As well, having some documentation/help page explaining what all the power-ups (and downs) do exactly would have been a “bonus”.
Overall I would say that codefreeze did a great job with Jet Ball. They’ve created an amazing brick-breaking game that is laced with its own style and flare. With its stunning graphics and addictive gameplay, Jet Ball is an easy ‘grab’ that I would have to recommend to all Arkanoid fans and arcade games in general. And for those who prefer to try before they buy, check out their free “lite” version (10 levels included). I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
|Reviewed Ver:||1.4||Min OS Req:||2.2.1|
|Price:||$1.99||App Size:||9.3 MB|
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