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PlayStation Vita  header logo

BreakQuest Extra Evolution

For: PS Vita   Also on: PSP

Getting jiggly with it

Product: BreakQuest Extra Evolution | Developer: Beatshapers | Publisher: Beatshapers | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Action, Arcade, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
BreakQuest Extra Evolution PS Vita, thumbnail 1
I like BreakQuest Extra Evolution. It's a bit weird, it's a bit inventive, and it's a bit Breakout. It takes the fundamentals of the ball, bat, and barricade formula and adds a few new twists.

Sadly, there are a few issues with its premise that – while absolutely fascinating in principle – make for a slightly frustrating experience in practice.

Breaking out

You already know the basics of this game. You have objects to break at the top of the screen, and to do this you bounce a ball off a controllable paddle at the bottom.

If you can't keep the ball from leaving the lower area of the playfield then you'll lose a life, and when things speed up or if the ball is approaching at an odd angle this can happen often. Happily, there's a neat power-up that allows you to build a wall beneath you.

Power-ups (and power-downs) are plentiful in BreakQuest Extra Evolution. Your bat is almost never in its default state - you're constantly changing your form to a larger or smaller version, constantly being given access to projectile attacks to fire at the blocks.

The art-style is an early PC game collage of stretched textures, lurid Windows 95-like repeating patterns, and dirty pixels. It's smooth, too, the flow of action never troubled by the complex physics model in play.

But, as Hamlet said, there's the rub. Shakespeare was of course referring to the capacity of guilt to deny you a restful night's sleep, but I'm talking about BreakQuest's jiggly physics.

Breaking apart

The screen is littered with objects to bounce the ball off: angular things that ping the ball off in random directions, spurting geysers of pixels that push the ball upwards unexpectedly, and pendulums that are knocked about by your actions and add further chaos to the bizarre landscapes you play upon.

It's cool, interesting, unique, and a complete pain in the arse. Quite often you'll be down to your last life, with just a few obstacles left to clear, when the ball will suddenly collide with a random outcrop of vicious geometry and plummet off the screen, dumping you back at square one.

It makes for a more challenging title, sure, but it's challenge based around supernaturally fast reactions rather than accuracy. If you're a traditionalist when it comes to Breakout then this will drive you absolutely spare.

BreakQuest Extra Evolution comes recommended, but with the caveat that the quirky look and quirkier physics won't appeal to people looking for the next substantial evolution of Breakout.

Still, if a substantial departure is what you're after you should go grab it from the PlayStation Store now.
BreakQuest Extra Evolution
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 22 November 2012
Strange, obtuse, and a little unfair, BreakQuest Extra Evolution is a more artistic take on the typical game of Breakout
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