Sep 2, 2011
You may not realize it, but pandas have a long-standing feud with ninjas. These two factions have been locked in an epic battle on the Android Market for some time now, and their war has raged onto the battlefield of Ninja Breakout Premium.
You may have already guessed by the name, but Ninja Breakout Premium borrows its gameplay mechanics from the arcade classic Breakout. You use a paddle carried by a sumo-panda to bounce smaller pandas up at the block-ninjas. Don’t be fooled – this game isn’t just a rehash of a game you’ve played a thousand times before. Ninja Breakout Premium sets itself apart in a few significant ways.
The levels don’t contain nearly as many blocks as Breakout (or other similar games for that matter) did, but those blocks are made out of different materials. Some of them only take one shot to break, some take multiple shots, and some can’t be broken with a normal panda (ball), which brings us to the other major difference between Ninja Breakout Premium and Breakout – power ups and power downs.
As you break blocks, various power ups and power downs will drop. Each item effects the paddle or the ball in a different way. For example, one power up lights the ball on fire, giving it a wider area of effect, while another makes the paddle smaller. The effects of the various items can be stacked, which can lead to some crazy scenarios like two flaming balls zipping around the screen.
There’s just one shortcoming in this otherwise enjoyable game – the controls. After dying, or when using a power up that makes the ball stick to the paddle, you have to tap the ball to launch it. That means you have to take your finger off of the panda under the paddle, tap the ball, and then put your finger back on the panda so you can both move and see the paddle at the same time. At face value that doesn’t sound so bad, but when you’re moving your finger to the panda, if you put it just a hair to the left or right of where you started, the panda (paddle and all) will jump to the left or right. When you’re aiming at a low hanging block, these paddle jumps can very easily cost you a life.
The control issues can be extremely frustrating, but they don’t come up often enough to detract from the overall enjoyment of Ninja Breakout Premium. It’s a fun game that will keep you coming back for more.