Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third generation)
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Brick-breaker games are classics. We had them on our old flip phones, we played them on those MegaTouch stationary predecessors to the iPad at bars and bowling alleys, and now we can get them on pretty much anything. Arcazoid is a brick-breaker game with a complete overload of power-ups and upgrades. Traditional brick-breaking games turn in their graves when they see how many power-ups players receive in any given level.
Gameplay is like traditional brick-breaking games. The player controls a paddle (with a slider) and trying to break all bricks while keeping the ball in play. But that's the boring part. Let’s focus on the unique elements of the game.
The timer at the top of the screen is important when it comes to gathering crystals. Crystals buy power-ups (on top of the power-ups players already get falling from the bricks). When the timer is near full (green), more crystals are earned. Yellow and red timers mean less crystals. After the timer runs out, the level isn’t over. It just means that the player will earn less crystals to spend in the shop.
The most dangerous thing to keep an eye out for is the angry, moving blocks. These blocks and their angry faces shoot at the player. If the player gets hit, the result is the same as losing all of the balls in a level. The player loses a heart. The player gets three hearts and some power-ups actually add hearts back once they’re lost. But if the player ever loses all three hearts (and then loses again with zero hearts), the game is over. Players can start again where they left off at the level select screen; or they can start over.
The upgrade that turns the paddle into a gun is just unbelievably overpowered (except against iron blocks). Rapidly tapping the action button repeatedly frequently finishes a level in a matter of seconds. But the constant and powerful upgrades are what makes this chaotic brick-breaking unique. So I can deal with a little bit of the balance skewed in favor of the player.
Something else that’s incredibly powerful is the plasma ball. Like most brick-breaker games, this ball passes through everything. While by itself it isn’t a huge deal, when coupled with multi-ball (and multi-ball multiple times) it finishes levels almost instantly.
32 levels are available at the start (with 16 more than can easily be unlocked with 100 crystals and another 16 for 1000 crystals). Five more level sets can be unlocked with in-app purchases or the player can buy the “full” version of the game, Arcazoid Full for $0.99 which includes all of the packs (would cost $5 in in-app purchases in the free version).
I’m not a huge brick-breaker fan, nor have I played many. But Arcazoid is definitely my favorite brick-breaker game.