This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Big-Named Games & Inspirational Apps. Additional details may be found in the original article.
We only half understand iPod and iPhone game designers’ obsession with Breakout. Yes, it’s a classic arcade game.
Yes, Steve Jobs worked on it way back when as an employee of Atari. And yes, a version of it was hidden in early iPods as an example of the device’s gaming potential, then formally added as a game to subsequent versions of the device. But seriously, does the world really need another Breakout game?
Apart from Taito’s Arkanoid, which we think did a great job of evolving the formula, we might have said no, but we actually enjoyed playing Break Classic ($3) by Bootant.
It is unashamedly Breakout in a classic form—you have a stick-shaped paddle at the bottom of a well, reflecting back a ball to smash bricks at the top of the screen—but the combination of translucent 3-D blocks, frequent multi-balls, and interesting, changing backgrounds and patterns keep the game interesting from level to level. At least in the version we played, you can’t get lasers, paddle-wideners, or other power ups a la Arkanoid and Apple’s similar iPod follow-up Vortex, but items drop down from the blocks for bonus points, providing an incentive to move away from the obvious trajectory of each incoming ball.
What we really liked about Break Classic was the $3 price. As a visually improved update of a very old game, Break Classic doesn’t seem like it’s worth $5 or $10, but this waypoint seemed fair to us—enough to compensate the developer for his effort but not a ransom.