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Break Quest

Score: 93%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: TotalGaming.net
Developer: Nurium Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Break Quest is an audio/visual experience just as much as it is a gameplay experience. It is a 2D game done right. The look is sharp and motion is fluid, which is especially important in regards to control. Each level in the game is full of color and contains boundless effects. All of this comes together to convey a sense of style that teeters on the line between kiddy and downright cool.

The music and sound effects in Break Quest create one of the most immersive experiences I have ever come across. The style is reminiscent of games like Rez, where the background music is fed and enhanced by the sound effects that the player creates simply by playing the game.


Gameplay:

Break Quest is what Breakout should have been. Taking an old idea and turning it into something new and fun again is a daunting task, but those who have brought us Break Quest found the right formula to resurrect a classic without tainting its good name.

The first of a hundred levels will bring many players down memory lane, as it looks like the game of old we know as Breakout. In Breakout, players moved a paddle from left to right on the bottom of the screen, bouncing a ball around to hit and destroy bricks. The same gist applies here, but after a few minutes of playing you will notice some distinct differences that really separate Break Quest from BreakOut, other than the sharp new look.

First on the list of additions are the power-ups. There are dozens of power-ups that fall from destroyed blocks that can either help or harm you. They vary widely, from changing the shape of your paddle to changing the shape of the ball, to destructive weapons that can clear loads of blocks at a time. The power-ups give the game a dynamic touch and make playing it each time worth the trip back.

Secondly are the levels. There are 100 levels in all, and after the first one, youíll begin to see just how creative some people can get with old ideas. The developers have not simply changed the shapes of the blocks; each level has its own parameters, physics, and demanding style of play. The themes vary as much as the gameplay, and many other old games are revisited in Break Quest, adding to the nostalgic feel of it all.

In order to change the parameters of a level, you must first beat it in Quest mode. Once that is complete, you can alter the difficulty, power-ups, speed, etc. and play it all over again in Arcade mode. This feature is a saving grace, as it adds a great amount of replay value to Break Quest. The one thing lacking though is any trace of a Multiplayer mode. As creative as the developers got with this game, it is surprising that there isnít any kind of two player battle system.


Difficulty:

Break Quest isnít all that difficult of a game to play. The theory is simple: keep your ball from hitting the bottom of the screen while trying to deflect it towards the blocks on the top of the screen. There are very few levels in Quest mode that really tax the playerís skill, but once unlocked, a level can be tweaked a great deal in Arcade mode, giving players the power to increase or decrease the difficulty to find the right spot for them.

Game Mechanics:

Break Questís controls could not be more simple. You move your paddle left and right at the bottom of the screen via the mouse or arrow keys and try to deflect the ball back into the blocks. Unlike Breakout, your paddle now starts off as a curve instead of a flat board. Different power-ups can change the shape and size of your paddle, but the angles that your ball will ricochet at are now much easier to predict and control.

There is also a handy new feature that allows you to affect the gravity acting on the ball. By pressing the right mouse button, you can increase the gravity on the ball, causing it to arc. This feature gives you a new level of control and not only makes the game more fun, but helps expedite your victory when you have only a couple of hard to reach blocks left in a level.

Apart from most of Break Quest being slightly too easy and the lack of a Multiplayer mode, the rest of the game is flawless. Plenty of levels, lots of replay value, a broad appeal, and a cheap and simple way of obtaining the game through Stardockís online distribution system make Break Quest a title that everyone should look into.


-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

Minimum System Requirements:



300 MHZ Intel or AMD Processor, Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 7.0 or newer, Direct3D compatible video chipset
 

Test System:



2.4GHz Processor, 1GB RAM, 256 MB Video Card, 160GB Hard Drive, Windows XP Pro

Microsoft Xbox Darkwatch Microsoft Xbox 187 Ride or Die

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated