Breaking stuff is fun. Itâ€™s something every kid learns before they can walk. Therefore, itâ€™s no surprise that breaking stuff has been a feature of video games their infancy. Breakout introduced the world to the joy of virtual brick breaking and a long line of successors has followed, introducing their own innovations and twists. Now, we have BreakQuest, the game that asks the eternal question, â€œWhy just break bricks when you can break... everything else.â€
Weird geometric shapes, balloon type things, hexagonal tiles and yes, even bricks, are all offered up for you to smash by bouncing one or more balls off of them. You can also launch missiles, shoot a spread gun, lay mines and more depending on which of a bewildering variety of power-ups you collect. The gameplay is powered by a physics engine that models the surface you bounce the balls off, their shape, gravity and god know what else. If that isnâ€™t enough to consider, the shape of your bumper can also change radically, affecting the way the ball bounces in some pretty interesting ways.
The game looks good too. The graphics are all 2D, but nicely done with lots of bright colors and glittering particle effects. As with most of these games the screen will occasionally be littered with so much stuff it is hard to track where the ball is going, but that just adds to the fun. Some of the levels have little nods to other classic games, which is always a treat for us old school gamers.
The sound effects are appropriate for brick breaking, the music is your basic video game techno that has become part of most gamersâ€™ DNA by this point. Itâ€™s all workable, but nothing to write home about. On the other hand, it doesnâ€™t make you want to tear your hair out either, so thatâ€™s a plus.
The rest of the presentation is wacky, in a self-consciously â€œLook how wacky I am!!! OMFG AM I WACKY!!!â€ sort of way. Thereâ€™s some kind of ridiculous story about saving the earth from an evil corporation who wants to enslave us all... Really, does it matter? Does anyone play a brick breaking arcade game because of the story?
This game has some legs with a 100 stages of varied breaking. If this style of game is your thing, this will keep you busy for a while. It also offers a highly customizable arcade mode for those that just canâ€™t get enough breaking. Between the physics based gameplay, variety of things available for breaking, power-ups and the number of levels on hand, this may the pinnacle of the Breakout-style game. Depending on how much you enjoy these kinds of games, the $20 price tag may seem like a bargain or a bit steep, but the website (www.nurium.com) offers a downloadable demo for free if youâ€™re on the fence.