Developer: Taito
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Arkanoid was part of an era. The late 80s saw a nation brimming with arcades as home consoles were slowly but surely overtaking their mall food court counterparts. Taito initially released Arkanoid in 1986. The title was Taito’s take on a genre launched by Atari’s Breakout during the 70s. Since 1986, Arkanoid has seen ports on practically every platform ever available, and it’s done so with success.

Arkanoid was released for the iPhone and iPod Touch last year, but now it’s available on the iPad. Fair warning: this is a port of the previous version. But, one saving grace is that it’s being sold for the exact same price on both platforms. For those on the fence about a version, the iPad’s take is gorgeous and large.

Taito’s done a marvelous job here by releasing a classic with outstanding graphics, quality sound and gameplay that’s addictive as it’s always been — yes, even compared to when you had it running on your TI-83+ in middle school. Math class was amazing.

The original formula has been retained: use your paddle to break bricks, collect power-ups and fight solid bosses. The first hang-up comes from the control scheme, however. The title does not take advantage of the potential tilt controls, and players are left to moving the paddle by sliding a slider with their fingertip. This works just fine until you’ve gone on an Arkanoid HD bender. This is a fault of the platform, not the title, but your finger gets a little too warm and damp and the paddle starts sticking in place. Right before you take on the massive boss on level 33, your finger decides it doesn’t want to slide as gracefully as it once did. It would have been nice to see some tilt functionality tossed onto the pile here. Better yet, an option to do either/or.

Arkanoid HD is a wonderful rendition of its birthright. Both the retro and contemporary backgrounds look great, the on screen effects are solid and the soundtrack is fantastic (especially during multiplayer). The menus are a bit clunky as swiping spins options around in a circle. The selection is far from fluid and you’ll sometimes wind up diving into modes you had no intention of visiting.

This retro revisit is well worth its price of admission. Players will be able to play around 100 different levels across a standard story and two extra stories. Two players will also be able to play from opposing sides of the iPad as Arkanoid becomes a crazy version of Breakout Pong with power-ups and enemies. And, finally, who can forget the return of the ridiculous storyline? Yes, everything is intact.

Taito has done well for fans old and new.

Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, Reviews

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