Sep 4, 2010


My first experience with Arkanoid came on the Atari ST. It was the evolution of breakout. Instead of just hitting a ball against a field of blocks the blocks now came in colorful patterns and some dropped power-ups. Then there is the addition of those pesky aliens flying around... and if they get too low that can really present a danger. The power-ups were pretty neat ranging from enlarged paddles to laser cannons (my personal favorite). And the smooth mouse control was perfect for the game.

Now it's over 20 years later and Arkanoid makes the jump to my Android mobile phone. How well does it make the leap? Well, first there's the control issue. This game was made for the paddle or potentiometer type controller found on the original arcade game and a mouse was an acceptable substitute. The touch screen could be a reasonable substitute if they had found a better way to implement the 'fire' button which is used with several power-ups. This is done by swiping up the screen. If you have a real trackball then perhaps this is better although I'm not sure what they do for fire in that case not being in possession of such a device, but this is just 'adequate'. It takes something away from the game without totally ruining the experience. The paddle moves reasonably smoothly when swiping on the screen, but even that has its glitches.

The graphics are arcade perfect. Does that sound good? It's not. It appears they took the arcade game and made a pixel by pixel port as only a small portion of your Android's screen is used for game play (as seen in the screen shot). What were they thinking? Rotate the phone sideways and... same thing. Sound seems pretty much on target.

qrcodeAndroid extras? None. This is a straight up attempt at a port... and, aside from the control issues, it's quite accurate. I'm just not sure we necessarily want a copy of something that's 20 years old. Skill levels? Updated or, at least, enlarged graphics would have been nice... make that necessary. Perhaps some better instructions on playing as I initially though that I was forced to read the whole intro text until getting into the game and realizing I could press 'fire' (aka swipe up) to skip it. And a $4.99 price tag seems steep for this... there are other, better, options in the Android market. 3/5 stars for game that is almost a spot on port to its detriment.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review. I'll be looking for the alternatives.