A budget 2D platformer that actually packs a punch? Well I never! I had low expectations for Blitz Breaker going in. It’s priced at just £2.09 on PC and has a very narrow screen view but I was utterly wrong. I found myself thoroughly enjoying this little game that could. Precision platform lovers looking for a succinct but enjoyable challenge should definitely take a look.
You control a character who dashes up, down, left and right. When they dash they’ll continue until they hit something or get killed. It’s similar to a slider puzzle in terms of controls but the nuance is in the detail. Levels are made up of timed dashes and knowing when to launch. This is because when you hit a wall, you can dash again, and when you hit a wall their a recoil backwards. This means you’ll need to time your dash during that recoil backwards to avoid spikes and other laser traps everywhere. It takes about ten minutes to click and then I was off and away enjoying myself.
There are also times where you’ll be stationary and here you have a very pathetic little jump but what that also does is clear you of rows of spikes. Levels take this into account by running conveyor belts in places that you need to land on, stay still and then launch at the right time. You need to be quick as levels are timed and against a death clock. The number left when you reach your goal adds to your score and being quick enough can gift you stars as the ultimate prize. Some levels also have collectables but I often found them too tricky to get hold of and return to the exit in time!
There is one quirk Blitz Breaker has that I do think will annoy some and that’s its playable screen area. It looks like a playing pane for a shoot em up arcade game not a platformer. I’m not a fan of this in platforming games and it led to the only downside of the game for me. Levels are multi screens long and it led to cheap deaths as you fly off one screen to arrive landing in spikes you couldn’t possibly know existed. Was it a deal breaker? Not at all. It will irk some though. On the flipside, I did really enjoy the boss battles. They pop up every 20-ish levels (there’s 101 total) and felt well thought out and challenging.
Whilst it is relatively short and can be cleared in two hours, Blitz Breaker is competitively priced to account for that. The gameplay feels responsive, fun, fluid and easy to understand. The levels are challenging without being silly and the time limit means you can’t hang around either. This is one those hidden gems in the budget titles of PC and PlayStation achievement and trophy hoarding that deserves some level and attention. You can actually get the platinum trophy after World 2 but I couldn’t put it down until I’d broke it into submission. I wanted to see the ending even if I didn’t need to for the bling and that says a whole lot in this era of gaming. Give it a whirl, you won’t be upset.
Review copy provided by publisher.
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