Review: Breakout Invaders (2015) (PC/Steam)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, April 13, 2016 0 comments

Breakout Invaders is an arcade style paddle game that combines ideas from classic games, Break-Out (1976) and Space Invaders (1978) and combines the ideas into a game where you are battling aliens with a ball and paddle.  That's right, you are taking the role of a paddle that must save Earth from legions of invaders from space in  one-hundred balls to the walls levels.  Yep, a very simple concept that can be summed up in a few short words but will it be a tasteful tribute to the past?  Or should they have gone for a game where you are battling blocks with a spaceship instead?  Either way, it'd be very interesting to see how this one turns out.  (Click on "Read More" to read the full review).

The idea of mixing up both styles of games is a very interesting and exciting, it drove me wild into thinking that it is going to freshen up both the shmup and ball and paddle genres.  Sadly, I was left incredibly disappointed due to this game being no more different than the typical ball and paddle game.  The way this game plays is that you have to hit a ball into bricks, the ball bounces off the bricks and will return to the bottom of the screen, you'll then have to get the ball into the right position to knock the ball back up or you'll lose a life.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Every now and then you'll see something new happen with the game, you'll be battling aliens with the ball and paddle, you'll also have levels where you must juggle a certain amount of balls within a time limit.  Battling aliens with the balls wasn't that bad at first, especially the first time you fight them due to being excited from the level emulating the original Space Invaders.  The aliens do fight back with lasers, so you do not want to get caught up in their crossfire.  Sadly, the fun with the gameplay wears out after the first ten levels, reason why is that the gameplay becomes too repetitive to the point of getting incredibly boring.  You'll get so bored that you won't even bother to want to finish the levels about half-way though that said level, this is bad, especially since this game has one-hundred levels and to get bored early on into the game is terrible.

Sadly, boring gameplay isn't the only thing wrong with this game, another problem is the very inconsistent difficulty.  You'd expect this game to start off easy and then get harder as it goes along right?...  Not this game, this game is very inconsistent to where you'll get an easy level one time and then suddenly get an incredibly hard level, followed by a string of more easy levels, then a pattern of easy, hard, easy, hard, hard, easy, easy, and so on, so forth.  When this game gets hard, it gets hard and feels like you are on a final level instead of being on a level that's not.  You'll get one of these hard levels within the first ten stages and it will hurt your chances of wanting to play this game even further as it is not the fun kind of hard. 

You do get power-ups to help you along your journey, with power-ups that'll such as lasers, blue balls growth, and even a power-up that can summon up a meteor storm, power-ups do add some fun to the game.  While fun to use, they do not save the game but they do stop you from turning off the game as soon as you started.  The power-ups are also incredibly unoriginal but they didn't need to be original, these power-ups work well for these kinds of games.  You can also collect money to upgrade your paddle, this is very necessary as it'll give you the power you'll need to get though the harder levels.  Getting the coins and power-ups is incredibly grindy and add that up with the quickly thinning taste of the gameplay,  you must have a lot of patience like I did to get though this game.

I do give this game some credit on trying to mix up the types of fields/play styles you have, you get the standard level type of the paddle sliding horizontally across the bottom of the screen, you'll also get levels where you can move your paddle in a three-sixty degree circle, you even get fields that have pockets of mini-levels in them.  This does sound good but once you have played one of any of these stages, you've played them all and it only makes the game more boring and uninspired to play.  The level designs themselves aren't very inspired and look incredibly generic, it doesn't look any different from all the other generic ball and paddle games for the personal home computer.

Graphics in this game are incredibly mediocre and look obsolete, you won't find much that you'll like about them, they are just boring.  Be careful when opening the game, you'll be blasted with loud distorted sound effects and some okay sounding music.  The loud music does get very bothersome and it will hurt your ears due to a lot of sharp and distorted sounds, play this one with the sound off.  The sound effects are a bit sketchy side as some of them are ripped right from Pac-man (1980), granted the sound effects sounded decent but no idea how they got away with including them into the game past Bandai Namco.

Overall, this game has a very interesting concept, however it falls short on its goal and becomes an incredibly mediocre game that has nothing special to offer.  I do not recommend giving this game a play, there is nothing here that you haven't seen before.  Very disappointing game.

Game: Breakout Invaders
System: PC/Steam
Developer/Publisher: DreamSoft Games
Genre: Ball and Paddle, Shmup
Price: $2.99 (Steam)
Recommended: No


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