Gone are the static "blocks" of old Breakout games and in their place pirate ships, dragons and all sorts of buildings and barrels. Everything is affected by the contact of the ball with some power-ups causing objects to fly across the screen; the wind effect is an excellent example as it literally flings characters and objects from one side to the other. It's chaos.
Magic Ball consistently looks absolutely gorgeous. There may be a lack of variety in scenery and models but what is in there looks gorgeous in high-definition. There are some fantastic water effects along with a great day/night transition effect. The game runs at a fantastic frame rate too; which is an achievement when things get rather "busy".
Breakout games have always been made on their number of power-ups. Magic Ball has tons. Cannons, lasers, magnetic fields; you name it, it's probably in here. Our favourite are the meteor strikes. It's an impressive way of clearing the screen.
The gameplay teeters along to a fitting twinkly soundtrack. It's suitably relevant and while it does get repetitive you can't help but hum along.
There are only 48 levels in here with two themes: medieval and pirates. While each level is as varied as possible they are still on the whole far too familiar and generally you'll have seen everything the game has to offer within the first couple of hours.
At a whopping £7.99 for just a couple of hours of gameplay it becomes really difficult to recommend Magic Ball. It's not that we didn't enjoy our time with the game, it's just that there isn't enough there for the price. An online mode is there to bolster the experience but only if you can find someone to play with. Hint: we couldn't.
At the end of the day no matter how many fancy tricks Magic Ball throws at you, it is just Breakout. If you like Breakout then you'll certainly get some enjoyment from the game but if you expect a little more these days, then perhaps Magic Ball is best avoided.
Magic Ball is much more than a quirky "HD Remix" of the classic Breakout gameplay; it's an exciting physics led experience that is deeply let down by the high price point and lack of levels and variety.