BreakQuest: Extra Evolution (PS Minis)

BreakQuest: Extra Evolution is a brick-busting paddle and ball game that dares to think outside the ‘blocks.’ Similar to classics like BreakOut and Arkanoid, move your paddle left and right on the bottom of the screen, ricocheting a ball to hit all the breakable objects in the level. Catch falling power-ups (and avoid power-downs), that fall when you break certain objects or take a long time in a stage. If you let the ball fall to the bottom of the screen, you’ll lose a life. Lose all balls and it’s Game Over.

There are more than 100 levels in the game. Each one has a different visual style and objects to break. And you won’t just be breaking bricks. You’ll be bashing flowers, knobs, spheres, and other shapes. While it is a creative take on a classic, the problem with that is sometimes it’s hard to tell what you can and can’t hit, and when the level will be over. Ball physics also feel a bit wonky; you’ll never know where it’ll rebound when it hits certain objects. Sometimes it’ll bounce off seemingly invisible things, too. Oh that tiny bubble that you thought was part of the background? Yeah, your ball just bounced off of that.

There are tons of power-ups and power-downs, but the game doesn’t tell you what they all do. You can look at the in-game manual to find out by pressing the PS button, but it’s up to you to remember what they do while playing. These pickups can change the shape of your paddle or ball, give you shooting ability, extend your length, and much more. While block breaking enthusiasts may appreciate the creativity behind this take on a classic, I can’t help but think that it feels like someone’s college project. Still, as a PS Minis title that you can download on your PS3, PSP, or Vita, I guess it’s not too bad.

Kid Factor:

Reading skill is helpful for the instructions, but the basic gameplay is pretty easy to figure out just by playing. Some young gamers may get frustrated, impatient, or bored with the high difficulty and simplistic gameplay, though. BreakQuest: Extra Evolution is rated E for Everyone.

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