I used to start out reviews of Arkanoid style games with something along the lines of “I’m not a real fan of this genre, but…”. The more I play this type of game on mobile devices, however, the more I realize that it can actually be quite entertaining, provided it brings something a bit different to the table. Welcome to the world of Anodia. You can’t get much different from your average brick breaker than to make a brick breaker with no bricks! Unique level designs and a couple of interesting power ups set this Arkanoid clone above the rest, including Arkanoid itself.
So by now you know the story. There are objects on the playing field that you must destroy using a ball and paddle. In most brick breaker games the objects are bricks, hence the descriptor. The first thing that’s so cool about Anodia is that the objects in this game are anything but bricks. There main level pack that comes with the game has 144 levels, and within the pack there are multiple themes. You start out with light, and as you might imagine, all the levels are somehow related to illumination. Whether that entails burning torches or floating neon circles, well that just depends on which level you’re playing.
Every level I’ve played had required multiple hits to clear each object. Cool item number two is that quite often once you’ve struck an object it actually ends up moving around. In the case of the neon circles they could float around the entire screen, and you could even hit them with your paddle to knock them back towards the balls. There’s only one other game of this genre that I remember having that much flexibility with the board itself.
This game has all the standard power ups such as sticky paddle, guns, and multiple balls, as well as all the bummers like smaller paddle and wacky gravity. However, the next cool feature is the gravity field power up. I’m not sure how often you can invoke it or what you are penalized for using it, but basically it creates a temporary vortex that attracts the balls to a central spot. Only one object left on a level? Place a gravity field on that object! The other nifty power up is the helper paddle which while active will always be sure that a ball gets hit back into the playing field, and it won’t pick up any power ups, good or bad.
Control is quite simple. You either drag with your finger or tilt the screen to move the paddle back and forth. Guns fire on their own, so the only other thing you have to worry about is launching the ball initially or when you have sticky paddle. This is accomplished by double tapping the screen or swiping, neither of which are quite as responsive as they could be.
Visually this game is a treat. Not so much for anything individual, because the background are actually kind of boring and the objects, while often neat, are not “wow”. It’s more about how everything works together, whether it’s particle effects from a ball hitting an object, or the after effects of an object falling apart, or something simple like lighting changes due to your ball striking a particular object on the screen. The overall presentation is extremely slick.
Unfortunately, the audio isn’t nearly as impressive. The sound effects are pretty standard for this sort of game, though sometimes the sound the ball makes when hitting an object changes if the ball is in fireball or steel mode, which is a nice touch. Sadly there is no music except for during the menus, which really makes me wonder why they needed a music level slider in the help options. This wouldn’t be such a big deal except on those levels where you have those last few objects that you can’t seem to get rid of, the lack of background music is quite noticeable.
Every time I think I’ve seen the best with this game, I get to a new level and go “wow”. That’s the definitive sign that someone knows how to design a game. If this keeps up all the way through level 144 I’ll be a rather happy man. Even if you’re tired of the genre or never really got into it in the first place, I’d suggest giving Anodia a try. As for me, I just need to figure out which game in the “permanent” section of my device is getting the boot to make way for this one.
|Reviewed Ver:||1.1||Min OS Req:||3.1.3|
|Price:||$1.99||App Size:||12.6 MB|