Developer: Keeple

Price: $2.99
Version: 1.2
App Reviewed on: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Paddle games have a certain sense of allure due to their basic nature. Pong and Brick Breaker style games were among the first widespread video games, and even though they are simplistic, I find it hard to resist their charm. I guess it’s just one of my primal instinctive needs as a gamer; if I see a paddle with projectiles coming at it, then I have to deflect them. The Developer, Keeple, takes that primal need and transforms it into an intense multiplayer brawl.

In Paddle Battle you are tasked with destroying your opponent’s ship by deflecting balls, firing missiles, and all sorts of other insanity. The game is strictly a multiplayer affair (2 player to be exact), but it excels in this department. Basically, each player sits on one side of the iPad and controls a paddle that hovers over the side of a ship (your base). At the start of a match you are each given a ball and the ability to shoot basic missiles at each other, but a belt of asteroids rests in the middle of the playing field. As you break through the asteroid belt you collect little capsules filled with goodies (power-ups), and that is where the true fun begins. Before long you will be using droids to repair your damaged hull, and firing kamikaze chickens across the screen. The game is easy enough for anyone to enjoy, but true experts in the genre will certainly have an edge.

The graphics are simple but crisp, and all the animations are fluid. I didn’t experience any slow down or wonky physics even during the most hectic matches. I especially enjoyed the soundtrack. The music is repetitive, but the techno space vibe just works for this game. For the most part, I enjoyed the Paddle Battle experience, but I did have trouble keeping the iPad “wobble-free” during matches due to the frantic nature of the game (imagine two people trying to write on the same sheet of paper at the same time). An online multiplayer mode would’ve really added a lot to the package as a whole, but even without it the game still manages to entertain (just make sure you have friends).

Paddle Battle has elements from such classics as Asteroids, Pong, and Breakout/Arkanoid, but it manages to stay fresh with hilarious power-ups and solid gameplay. It is a great action oriented muliplayer gem with enough style to separate it from other games in the genre. I would’ve liked to see some type of A.I. opponent or a score attack mode for some single player action, but even without it the game still shines. If you want to showcase your iPad’s multitouch capabilities, or you if you’re a fan of paddle games then this one is worth a look. Paddle Battle offers a satisfying multiplayer experience; just be sure not to toss your iPad off the table in the midst of the action.

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

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