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Block Breaker Deluxe 2

For: Mobile

Ball, bat and blocks together in glorious harmony

Product: Block Breaker Deluxe 2 | Developer: Gameloft | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Mobile | Genre: Arcade, Casual | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 393KB | Version: Europe
Block Breaker Deluxe 2 Mobile, thumbnail 1
Block Breaker is one of the crowning achievement in mobile gaming, despite the theme of the game being over 30 years old. It's reached even loftier levels of acclaim in our eyes since being converted to N-Gage and iPod (a mildly interesting fact regarding the iPod conversion – the original Atari coin-op, Breakout, was designed by Apple founder Steve Wozniak in just four days). Now however we're presented with a 'deluxe' mobile sequel. Can such previous dizzying heights be topped, we wonder?

In fact, it seems they can. It beggars belief that a game almost as old as this reviewer can still crank out such high review scores with every new re-engineering of the same, basic concept. Devised as a single player version of Pong, this latest addition to the prolific bat, ball and wall genre is still, fundamentally, a simple case of hitting bricks with a ball deflected by a horizontally-moving paddle stuck to the bottom of the screen.

But it's also so much more. The immense variety of brick layouts, add-ons and upgrades make each level feel different, and provide an extraordinarily dynamic experience.

The main divergence in this particularly version is the formation of the bricks which, again, is nothing new. And yet the intricate level of background design by Gameloft expertly lifts Block Breaker Deluxe 2 out of the ordinary.

Alongside the expected rows of standard bricks and bonus bricks (that rain down power-ups and add-ons), there are a host of alternate reactions to the bouncing ball. Some bricks take several hits to finally disintegrate, while others are indestructible, or swing from the top of the screen when hit to cause chain reactions among the bricks they ram into.

Later levels feature complex, moving arrangements that bring the ball dangerously close to the bottom of the screen as it gathers momentum, and even hide a teleporter at the centre of the brick-based fortress.

These intuitive level designs demand a significant degree of strategy and dexterity from the player that belies the inherent simplicity of the genre. And regardless of the magnetic paddles, missiles, flaming multi-balls, transporters, machine guns, shields and the other superb modifications – strip all these brilliant functions permeating Block Breaker Deluxe 2 away - and you've still got a terrifically addictive game.

What's perhaps most bafflingly about this enthralling gameplay is that comprises of nothing more than manoeuvring a small platform underneath a bouncing ball that breaks blocks at the top of the screen as it hits them. Miss the ball, and you lose a life. That's not changed for 30 years, but the glistening, metallic sheen and musical electronica that coat Gameloft's deluxe sequel make it a joy to behold.

A huge number of levels, and the random level generator that can be unlocked, mean there's no shortage of gaming to be had here. To go into each and every brilliant tweak that's been made to the raw, Breakout mechanics of Block Breaker Deluxe 2 would take far too many words and still not entirely convey the addictive gameplay.

And it'd waste precious minutes that you could spend playing the game.
Block Breaker Deluxe 2
Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer | 23 April 2008
Bat and ball breakout at its best, Block Breaker Deluxe 2 comes highly recommended
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