Hyperballoid HD

8.5 Overall Score

Written by on May 19, 2010 in

Remember Breakout?  It was a simple yet addictive game using a paddle to keep a ball bouncing off a brick wall, destroying the digital bricks to earn points and power-ups?  Well the game is back with a vengeance and now the bricks are fighting back.

Hyperballoid HD, published by Alawar Entertainment, is Breakout for the techno generation complete with funky electronic music.  The game can be played in one of two settings:  the Ancient World (Greek, Egyptian, and Viking themed levels) or the Planets space theme.  There are a total of 100 levels to provide a decent amount of variety to the game.  The levels consist of bricks in creative animated formations to fit each theme.  There is an axe swinging into a shield or a ship sailing over the waves in Ancient World levels and a rocket ship for the Planets level.  These formations are also dynamic and move around the screen making brick breaking a bit more challenging.  The physics of the bricks reaction to the ball hitting them is also well done.  The bricks tumble or slide in reaction to the ball hitting them in a believable way.

The HD in the name stands for high definition and the game delivers with beautiful backgrounds and bricks, blocks, gems, and other sparklies abound to tease and tickle your senses.  I will admit that I caught myself a few times intently watching the dynamic animated blocks weave around the screen while the ball I was supposed to keep in play flew past my paddle.

The gameplay is the same as any brick breaking game.  You slide a paddle along the bottom of the screen.  The object of the game is to keep the ball in play and bouncing the ball off of all the bricks until you clear the screen.  You have your choice of three levels of difficulty, although I must admit that I did not notice a clear cut difference between the three.  The game also supports the vibrating feedback available with the DualShock controller.  Along with the bricks there are power ups and gems you can catch with the paddle to earn bonuses.  The power ups include a wider paddle, a full length bumper at the bottom to bounce off of, guns to shoot the bricks, a flame thrower, making the ball larger, turning the ball into an explosive time bomb that will blow up everything it touches after a certain amount of time, and multi-ball action (in the cleanest most innocent sense).  You can also bounce the ball toward glowing green elements that will turn the ball into an acidic green blob that will burn through anything in its path.  If you continue collecting the large green power up globes while one is active you can either extend the current power up or stack the number of power up until there is a crazy amount of balls zigzagging over the screen and blocks breaking with insanely explosive action.   The power up I loved the most, however, was the flaming large blue globe that would allow you to clear the current level and move on to the next level.  The hardest part of any brick breaking game is when there are only a few bricks left.  Those evil bricks seem to taunt you relentlessly as your ball seems to bounce everywhere but against those darn bricks.  Just when I wanted to give up on a level I would see that glorious blue globe and rush to catch it to move onto the next level.

With the power ups there are also deadly evil red globes that will do their best to make your gaming life difficult.  There are also a variety of problems these evil devices can cause.  They will make your paddle smaller, make the ball smaller, speed the ball in play, and the bane of my gaming life… the transparent paddle that basically leaves you paddle-less.  So mean!

I have three wishes for this game to help make it even more enjoyable.  The first focuses around the text in the game.  High definition makes for great visual graphics but, for those of us still struggling with smaller standard definition screens, the HD tag on games seems to mean the text is microscopic in size.  The game has brief instruction pages and in-game hints but they were completely unreadable for me.  I would request a text mode to accommodate us poor saps that limp along in our low tech world.

For my second wish, please create add-on packs to this game.  The two provided in the game are pretty extensive but I would love to see what else Alaware could come up with.

This last request is not something I need personally but something I know many people would love.  There should really be a global high score board that tracks daily and all-time high scores.  This is an arcade style game and the best part is to see your name in the top ten.  This would really enhance the replay value for the game.

For people, like me, that love the simple gameplay of the classic brick breaking game this is a well done and entertaining game that is very addictive.   At the reasonable price of $4.99 USD this game delivers is a solid casual arcade style game that has enough glitz and glamour to earn the HD in the game’s name.

A copy of Hyperballoid HD was provided to The Married Gamers for the purposes of review and evaluation.


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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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