Break 'Em All
has three gameplay modes that will test your skills in various ways. With the exception of Survival mode, each one also uses the game's power up system. Unlike the aforementioned Magic Ball
, Break 'Em All
doesn't drop power ups on you as you break blocks. Instead, you choose the power ups that you want to be available to you before you start the mode. You are given five choices that define which moves you will use. For instance, you can choose to have your paddle bounce the ball back in the same direction it came from or you can catch the ball and re-launch it at your leisure. Another choice involves putting a barrier along the paddle's track that will bounce the ball back (for up to three hits) or putting out a second stationary paddle. While you might want to choose the safer option (the barrier), using the second paddle will net you more points. As you play through the game, the points you acquire fill up meters. When the first meter is filled, you can execute the first power up (slow down or speed up your ball) and that empties your bar. Or you can let it build up and eventually use your second power up, and so on.
The two modes that use this system are Tokoton and Quest. Tokoton looks and feels a lot like your classic Block Ball game. It's just you and the blocks and you can't advance until you've cleared the board. There are two modes within this one, Standard and Random. If you choose Standard, you will go through a series of 50 preset and increasingly complex levels, whereas if you choose Random, you will play to your heart's content against up to 3,000,000 randomly generated levels. In this mode, you are trying to evolve into the Supreme Being. There is a picture depicting your current evolutionary status as well as your level, points and other stats on the top screen. The mode starts you off with a picture of an amoeba and changes every time you evolve.
Quest mode is has a more distinct progression to it. The game is broken up into a series of worlds. Each world consists of three levels and a boss battle and has some theme or introduces some new mechanic (like the aforementioned water or switch blocks). Instead of forcing you to clear all of the blocks in order to move on to the next board, you just have to get the ball through a hole on the top of the screen. You can move to the next level with all, none or just some of the blocks cleared. The boss battles involve some "animal" that moves around the screen and requires some tricky bouncing in order to hit some target on the boss. Unlike the previously mentioned mode, you have an unlimited number of continues and can play until you get frustrated or beat the mode. Quest mode also supports a multiplayer game where you and some friends play simultaneously in order to see who can get the highest score.
Survival mode is a little different. Instead of controlling a ball in order to destroy blocks, the tables get turned around and you control a block trying to dodge and knock back balls. Basically, you use the stylus to move around a cluster of blocks and you are trying to prevent the flying and bouncing balls from tapping at the ones towards the center of your open-ended cluster. The longer you last, the more blocks build up around your precious heart block. There are four different configurations that play to your individual style. One is protective on the top, one on the sides while another starts off venerable but grows to be the most protective if you last long enough. This mode supports eight player games where you and your friends see who can last the longest.