Brick breakers have been a staple of gaming since the early days, and the formula hasn't really changed since. You're presented with a wall of colourful bricks and it's up to you to guide a ball into each one, destroying them until the level is clear. But what happens when a developer decides that isn't enough?
Shatter originally launched in 2009, but now the mobile update from earlier this year is coming to consoles as Shatter Remastered Deluxe. Just like the original, it's not content with giving you a normal brick-breaking experience.
There are a number of game modes: time attack, boss rush, and endless. Many even feature co-op, but let's focus on the 70+ level story mode. Things start normally enough with classic style Breakout levels, but as you progress, the types of bricks you encounter rapidly increase. Some multiply when hit, some are immune to lasers, and others rapidly change the direction your ball is travelling in. The list goes on and on.
Additionally, the actual shapes of levels begin to change too; some have rounded fields of play that hearken back to games like Tempest, while others still have horizontal orientations. These changes of pace are most welcome, even if once you're about halfway through the story, it feels like the same few level types keep getting recycled. But ultimately the game provides a genuinely refreshing approach to the genre. Nowhere is this more evident than in boss fight. These encounters require unique approaches, and the use of one of the game's most interesting features: suck and blow.
Your machine has the ability to“suck tiles and objects in the world in towards you, as well as blow them away. It's an interesting feature for a brick breaker, and it breeds sheer chaos. If you get hit by the bricks you draw in, you lose control of your paddle for a few seconds, and if you aren’t careful wielding your power, you can essentially draw the entire map in at you all at once. It's total lunacy, and it’s brilliant.
All of these unique ideas being presented with updated graphics, performance, and music provide one of the best brick-breaking experiences we've ever had. Between a surprising amount of content and the willingness to try new things and be creative, if you like brick-breakers, this is not one to miss.