The beauty of Radon Blast is that it brings such a simple twist on the Breakout genre of gaming that it feels both innovative and familiar at the same time. Whilst its console versions fail to build much on its mobile roots, retro and early arcade gamers will absolutely get a kick out of it.
Radon Blast sees you play as a bat, smashing coloured bricks on a horizontal corridor. Each level is a selection of bricks to clear but the first change to the normal formula is that you don’t need to break them all. Instead, you just need to break through the final wall that will have ten hit points. Once you do break the wall, you can escape to the next level regardless of what you leave behind. Be aware though that what you leave behind will be crucial for when you make a mistake.
Usually with breakout games, you lose a life when you miss the ball. With Radon Blast, when you miss the ball, you’ll slide back to your previous level. The level reappears in the state you left it, bricks missing where you’d smashed them. Sirens blazing and the ball at double speed, you need to catch it with your ball. If you miss, you’ll keep spiralling back down previous levels you’d already cleared! If you can’t catch the ball within about 15-20 seconds then the ball will explode and then you lose a life. This change-up in the formula gives Radon Blast more of a tug-of-war approach to breakout. Sometimes you’ll be flicking between levels quite quickly and it can become a good tactic to use to clear blocks close to the bat.
The other quirk is that Radon Blast doesn’t want you to clear all the blocks often. When you clear a colour set in a level, they respawn in full, repaving the level you’ve done so well to clear. Sometimes this can be a help as it means you’ve got a barrier between your ball and your bat. Elsewhere, it’ll drive you mad as you’ve got to clear a section again.
As a purist arcade experience, Radon Blast is a success. It doesn’t add any bells or whistles to the mix visually and the ball physics is passable, feeling like a mediocre mobile game. You can tell that Radon Blast came from mobile to console and whilst I think its no-frills approach will put plenty off, retro and arcade purists will enjoy the challenge – especially on hard mode. They’ll also appreciate the retro gaming level layouts too.
Arcade and retro gamers will get a kick out of the hard difficulty challenge. Everyone else will wonder what the fuss is about.
Nice twist on the breakout genre.
Easy mode is very chill. Hard mode is absolutely hellish. The game works well at both ends of the scale.
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