Developer: Elevate Entertainment
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Draw Breaker tries to add a new twist to the classic Breakout formula. There are blocks to break at the top of the screen, but the paddle is defined by a line that the player draws. However, the blocks are slowly descending, and the player must take them out in due time before they explode and cost the player a life. Some blocks take multiple hits to explode, while others will shift around when hit, and others have positive effects, like explosions that take out other blocks. Needless to say, those are my favorite blocks in Draw Breaker.

Draw Breaker’s closest stylistic influence may actually be Cut the Rope, believe it or not. The colors, fonts, and overall cartoonish feel show that it’s going for the same vibe. There’s a story about how a mad scientist angry at the world wants to turn everything square, and the player must try to stop them because Huey Lewis was wrong: it isn’t hip to be a square.

The game at least does have an interesting hook to it: taking the Breakout formula and giving the player the ability to draw their own paddle does not make it any easier. If anything, getting some angles gets to be more difficult because it’s possible to draw an angled paddle anywhere on the field, and drawing straight is not easy! The controls work well on both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad for the HD version of the game, as it’s easy to quickly draw lines.

Structurally, Draw Breaker’s weakness is that the episodes take too long. It discourages high score play by having stars collected for all 9 levels in an episode. Breaking this down into smaller chunks would increase the replayability, as just having to do 3 levels at a time, or even just 1 at a time, would help to make things far more manageable than they are right now. I don’t feel compelled to go back to an old episode because there are so many seemingly random factors that come into play with scoring, that getting 3 stars just feels like more effort than it’s really worth. Either this game needs to be solely completion-based, or made to fit the star system in a better way.

Draw Breaker is an interesting concept, one that works well enough, but it could be more compelling with the right structural tweaks. There’s an endless mode that’s promised to be “coming soon” and I think that would be a great addition to keep things interesting.

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

Tagged with: , , , , ,