Sep 19, 2011
The classic ball & paddle game sure has come a long way since Tennis for Two, evolving into Pong and other games such as Breakout and Arkanoid. As those games pass ever further into history, new games crop up that take the classic gameplay and add new features. Just simply breaking blocks is no longer enough to make a game interesting. As Block Breaker 3 Unlimited reveals, sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks.
More like Arkanoid than Breakout, Block Breaker 3 Unlimited has you breaking blocks arranged in patterns while enemy creatures float about the stage, grabbing the ball and firing it back at you. Meanwhile, certain blocks drop power-ups that can either help, or hurt, your efforts to break all of the blocks. So far, none of that is new. However, as you play through each level, the game begins to take on more of its own identity.
One thing that makes Block Breaker 3 Unlimited unique is that each level is arranged in multiple spaces connected by tubes. When you’ve met a certain condition in one space, a gate opens to give the ball access to a tube which pulls it into another space. Suddenly, you have new creatures to battle, more blocks to break and more power-ups to catch. But the challenge also increases as you still have the same, limited number of lives.
As a timer counts down, you’re helpless to go back and pick off the blocks you missed in previous areas. From there on out, you have no choice but to continue on as you try to survive while striving towards a 3-star rating at the end of each level. You’re also looking to take as many balls with you to raise a score multiplier, either by catching a “triple ball” power-up or by locking balls in holding slots and getting to the end. All of this is setting you up for another unique feature: boss fights.
The levels are arranged in groups called “locations.” For example, the first location is a “club” setting with a very Lady Gaga-esque character (complete with background music which, much to my chagrin, sounds like a take on one of Lady Gaga’s “hits”) who taunts you and belittles you when you fail to pass a level. Defeat her boss, earn a special new perk and move on to the next location. However, the game still isn’t over, even after you’ve defeated all of the bosses.
There are multiple modes of play, secret levels and a level generator. Of course, there’s a social aspect with links to post achievements on Facebook. In addition, there are perks you can purchase to help you in the game — although, my one major gripe is that the perk system doesn’t seem to make much sense. I tried adding new perks, but it never seemed to work for me.
As you can see, in Block Breaker 3 Unlimited, the classic ball and paddle game has been given a serious upgrade with plenty of glitz and glamor for a solid experience, despite one flawed perks system.