Are games from the past golden oldies or just dusty relics that should be consigned to the backrooms of our memories? Enough gamers think they’re the former to have made retro gaming huge on mobile. With Arkanoid Evolution, EA hopes to appeal to both retro lovers and retro cynics by taking a classic formula and nudging it into the present with some new features.
You control a baton that has to deflect a roving ball into bricks at the top of the screen in order to destroy them. Once they’re all gone, you’ve completed the level. Simple as.
However, it’s easy to let the ball slip off the bottom of the screen if you haven’t got your wits about you, which will lose you a life. Then there’s the additional issue that the levels aren’t designed to go easy on you. They’re full of awkward arrangements of bricks, including ones that can’t be destroyed, let alone the other obstacles that mess with your balls speed and trajectory.
To work in your favour, there are power ups you can collect. The baton you start off with lets you get a couple of different types of these- including one that splits the ball in play off into multiple balls.
As you complete planets – the 55 levels are split off into five different planets – you unlock extra batons, each with their own sets of power-ups, which float down the screen after having bashed certain bricks. This is how the main Mission mode unravels. You have to complete the four satellite planet sets of levels before you can venture into the final one- the Celestial Abyss.
Although each of the planets has a slightly different look, the levels all play out in a similar brick-breaking fashion, populated with equally similar obstacles. While the planetary structure is a breath of fresh air compared with Arkanoid’s original tight, linear set of levels, there’s not really enough to differentiate the feel of each set to make it a particularly compelling arrangement.
The collision detection isn’t quite as good as we’ve seen in the stars of the genre, Digital Chocolate’s Brick Breaker Revolution and Gameloft’s Block Breaker Deluxe, either. This leads to a feeling that you don’t have quite as much control over the ball as you should do- the physics just aren’t quite advanced enough to be entirely satisfying.
Arkanoid Evolution is a bit of a strange proposition. It has new elements, such as its level structure, that some would see as removing it from the original Arkanoid blueprint. However, it doesn’t advance other areas of the game enough to make its own stand within the genre. As such, it’s overtaken by other games that don’t have a real retro license to lean on.
Arkanoid Evolution info
Publisher: EA Mobile
Website/Demo: EA Mobile’s website
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