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iPhone “Breakout” Clones - A Look at the Competition

2009 March 31
by Robin Rath

As far as game genres go, Radial 50 is an arcade action game that falls into the “breakout” clone classification. We’re putting some interesting spins on the gameplay that will present some new challenges for the player, but when it comes down to it all Breakout style games are focused on providing an enjoyable experience involving eliminating blocks with a ball, so let’s take a quick look at some of the other games out there.

BallZup ($2.99, lite version)
Ballzup is one of the more simple Breakout titles available, but that is one if its charms. Gameplay is consistent and this title, unlike many others, allows you to catch objects that are released from the targets as they are destroyed.

Block Breaker 2 Deluxe ($0.99)
While clearly a great deal of work went into this title, I think they missed the mark on what players are looking for in a Breakout game on the iPhone, most notably it takes about 30 seconds to actually start playing (or at least feels like it). Once actually in the game, the experience is well done and one of the more complex in terms of animations and graphics…I just wish I could jump in and start playing faster.

Superball 2
Superball 2 is a nice Breakout title, smooth graphics and good use of powerups and multipliers. It also features a tilt mode that lets you control the paddle using the accelerometer. I haven’t yet got the hang of this and don’t feel like you have as much control using this method, but its still fun and a welcome addition.

Astro Tilt
This is the first game in this list that falls under what I will term the “iPhone Breakout Style”. It seems like a number of games feature a nearly identical gameplay experience on the iPhone – large and therefore a limited number of bricks per level.  With that being said, the gameplay isn’t bad in this title, I do however wonder what the inspiration was for the teddy bear and puppy faces on the blocks.

Galaxy Impact Ignite II
Another “iPhone” style Breakout title with average gameplay, but mixes it up a little bit by allowing you to move the paddle up and down within a defined area.

Blocks Touch
Blocks Touch gets the award for most-outside-of-the-box Breakout title. While a bit hard to explain, you are basically maneuvering a ball around a 3D column in space. While the experience is interesting at first, the novelty wears off quickly in my opinion and doesn’t make for a good lasting experience.

Blocks Classic
Blocks Classic is the “Classic” version of Blocks Touch described above and better title even though it’s much more simplistic. Blocks Classic uses the multi-ball feature often and quite well, delivering an enjoyable and often fast-paced Breakout experience.

3D Brick Breaker Revolution ($2.99, lite version)
3D Brick Breaker Revolution is another 3D Breakout experiences on the iPhone, but is a more traditional experience than Blocks Touch. This title is an all around solid Breakout experiences, and brings in a few new elements, such as multi-level boards and unique powerups.

Space Buster ($1.99, lite version)
Spacebuster stays true to the original Breakout more than any other title on this list. It features a fast and challenging gameplay and bonus items that fall from the eliminated blocks. It just wish they would have chose something different than cupcakes to drop from the sky, looks a bit odd against the space background!

Meteor ($0.99, lite version)
Meteor is one of my favorite Breakout titles on the iPhone. It features fast gameplay, smooth graphics, and a great variance in gameplay among levels. The shape of the paddle gives you the feeling of better control over the ball as well, which is a plus for players looking to move through levels quickly and score the most points possible.

Krypton Egg ($0.99, lite version)
While Meteor is one of my favorites, Krypton Egg IS  my favorite Breakout game on the iPhone. Krypton Egg could be best labeled as an “intense” Breakout experience, due to the sheer number of objects moving on the screen at any given time.  Krypton Egg is a port from old Atari Classic, and still a great game.

Super Breakout ($1.99)
Being a title released by Atari, I would have expected a lot more from Super Breakout. The interface is comical and the gameplay is average at best. There are also some different powerups, for example one in which you control the ball itself with the accelerometer, but these differences are overshadowed by the poor presentation. My vote for worst title on the list.
A majority of the titles on this list feature a free lite version, so I encourage you to go and and try a few out.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 April 21
    Jameson permalink

    I picked up Superball 2 and thought it was alright. They recently upgraded to Superball 3, which is pretty fantastic - a huge upgrade to the original.

    I’m looking forward to Radial 50. The gameplay shots look amazing.

  2. 2009 April 26

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  3. 2009 April 26
    Robin Rath permalink

    You have to click on the actual RSS link (the orange icon). You can also click on the rss link at the end of the URL bar if you are using firefox.

  4. 2009 July 21
    LnddMiles permalink

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
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  5. 2009 July 22

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