Blowfish Meets Meteor in Review: A Brick Breaker, And So Much More
The brick breaker genre has never been a particular favorite of mine, but just like with most other styles of game play, if a certain offering is well designed I can definitely be entertained. Such is the case with Blowfish Meets Meteor, which would have caught my attention with the name alone. Smart level design, power ups that serve a purpose rather than just being bombarded at you and a wacky atmosphere make this one of the best brick breakers I’ve played. The main down side is that some levels can be frustratingly challenging, even to the point where I couldn’t earn a single gem in the three gem rating scheme.
You play a loving father who must rescue his mermaid daughters after a catastrophic incident resulted in all of them getting captured. Surely that won’t take long, you think. Apparently this guy has a lot of kids. Anyway, the kids have been imprisoned in cells made out of bricks, so you have to use your trusty meteor fragments along with a sizeable clam shell to bust them out from their captivity. Oh, and did I mention the manatee and oversized piranha? If I haven’t done a good enough job of making it evident yet, this game is not the norm when it comes to atmosphere for a brick breaker game. And that’s just one of its charms.
The basic mechanics are that of a brick breaker: move the dad back and forth so that he can keep the meteor fragments bouncing up towards the top of the screen. And yes, there are some bricks up there to break. Sometimes, though, there might be just as many sticks of dynamite as there are bricks. In other cases you might find giant piranha or schools of smaller fish providing obstacles to your ultimate goal, which is clearing a path so that each of the trapped mermaids can get free and swim to the dome at the bottom of the screen. You also have to protect the dome from any falling objects because one hit is grace, but two hits means you start the level over. On some levels you might get a power up such as a sticky paddle or a temporary shield, but this is more the exception than the rule and is determined by what you must accomplish in the level. What really makes this game shine is that levels were extremely well thought out, and it never once feels like a traditional brick breaker in terms of boring rows of bricks.
The world appears to be divided into at least 5 areas, and so far each has been comprised of 9 subordinate levels and one boss level. In most cases you just have to rescue the daughters (and occasionally beat a boss) in order to progress to the next level. To earn gems, however, you are judged on several criteria like damage sustained and number of bricks broken. This will get you the red and / or green gems, but you must complete a specific task to earn the blue gem. Out of the 18 levels I’ve completed so far I’ve only managed to acquire all three gems on three of them, and in a couple of cases I didn’t even get one gem right off the bat. This is my main gripe – I personally feel the goals are often too difficult to achieve, especially early on in the game. Blowfish Meets Meteor is integrated with Game Center where you can find 60 different leaderboards, so those that like to climb ranks should be extremely happy. There are also 11 achievements, many of which suffer the same difficulty curve as the gem based goals.
The graphics are great, with well designed and animated characters atop nicely detailed backgrounds. A couple of the levels have a cool sunset silhouette type look as well. I could easily picture this being a Cartoon Network offering from a visual perspective. The sound effects are pretty decent, though the grating cry of the mermaids when the dome is shattered or they get eaten by a piranha almost makes you not feel sorry for them. The music is quite nice and does a good job of setting a peaceful mood despite the “dire” circumstances.
While I’m no more of a brick breaker junkie than I was before playing Blowfish Meets Meteor, I definitely like this game. The level design is far superior to most of its peers, and I love the fact that the main goal is to rescue the mermaids, not to remove every brick from the screen. The visuals are colorful, the music is good and the overall atmosphere is fun. Some of the goals are discouragingly tough, but fans of the genre and those that normally shy away should both find something to like here.
|Title:||Blowfish Meets Meteor||Developer:||Sky Tyrannosaur, LLC|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.06||Min OS Req:||6.0|
|Price:||$2.99||App Size:||93.1 MB|