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Magic Orbz

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Sphere and present danger

Product: Magic Orbz | Developer: Creat Studios | Publisher: HeroCraft | Format: iPhone | Genre: Casual | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
Magic Orbz iPhone, thumbnail 1
After debuting on consoles in 2009, bubbly Breakout-clone Magic Orbz has bounced onto mobile with bonus content and, inevitably, new opportunities to spend your money via in-app purchases.

But while the core of the game is entertaining and most of the additions are welcome, you may find yourself yearning for more.

The aim in Magic Orbz is to use a curved paddle to bounce a ball in the direction of destructible objects - though you probably worked that out when you read the term 'Breakout clone'.

You control the paddle using a choice of either teeny tiny on-screen buttons or by dragging. Let the ball slip past you and you lose a life.

So far, so familiar. The twist is that rather than destroying nondescript blocks you're annihilating physics-based scenery.

There are four themed worlds in the game: Pirate, Shark, Shaman, and Tiger. Each contains ten levels stuffed with pirates, jungles, Inca architecture, and ships.

It's really rather satisfying to watch a massive pirate ship or an Inca temple collapsing into nothingness because of a well-placed bounce.

Throw in the bright, colourful presentation and there's no denying the charm of the game.

Cities of gold

Another key feature is the selection of power-ups, which range from machine guns and laser attachments to meteors, lightning, and multi-ball abilities.

And there's also some unhelpful stuff in there, like the Curveball, which sends your ball looping erratically around the screen.

These power-ups become available as you destroy objects, and you can buy them using the in-game currency. Naturally, you can top up this currency with various levels of in-app purchase.

And the same applies to the levels themselves. While the game naturally unlocks stages as you progress, you can also unlock them all with one purchase.

But none of this disguises the fact that Magic Orbz belongs to a tired old sub-genre. Underneath the trimmings, it really is just another Breakout clone, with little else beyond presentational flare to set it apart.

The retro remakes that really work - your Pac-Man Championship Editions and your Space Invaders Infinity Genes - take their source material and refine it obsessively. This one doesn't.

You can have fun with Magic Orbz, but it's exactly the same kind of fun you've had a million times before.

Magic Orbz
Reviewer photo
Lee Bradley  | 17 December 2012
Magic Orbz is a cheerily presented Breakout clone that adds physics-based destruction and some fun power-ups to the mix. But, it's still a Breakout clone
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