Breakout. It is one of the first games to have been made and one that has been so very often imitated over the years. Some have done it quite well with charm, fun graphics and some gameplay innovations and one of those is Twin Breaker. The key to this game is the acknowledgement that gamers have adapted away from crazy fast one ball one bat gameplay, so now we have to juggle!
Whilst the traditional bat and ball gameplay stays very much intact, Twin Breaker places you in space and divides the bat into two spaceships. They can never cross over their paths and so they can only cover their section of the screen. You control each one with an analogue stick or d-pad and it will take a few minutes to uncross your brain before it clicks. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be smashing bricks away like a pro, collecting powerups for guns and power balls and aiming for A+ scores.
The innovation doesn’t stop there though because Twin Breaker moves from being a vertical breakout to a horizontal one. This means you are effectively playing as both players in a game of pong – batting the ball back to each other and smashing blocks between you in the process. The final and most difficult set of levels see you then take on four bats – 2 vertical and 2 at the bottom of the screen. Here, I found the controls tricky to master as all four are mapped to the d-pad and so up and down and control the vertical ones. Imprecise movement means you’ll be moving more than one bat at a time and I kept shuffling myself out of position. As the balls also get faster the longer they are in play, some of these four bat levels felt like more luck than judgement when I did well!
Twin Breaker isn’t short on content with 40 levels and new game plus for more score challenges. You can then play the game as a vertical shoot em up with guns always on too. It was a mild distraction but curiously the game doesn’t have a 2 player pong variant or a hungry hippos style game. I say curious as its part of the main story mode, which you can of course tackle in co-op.
There is a lot of love included in Twin Breaker. Whilst the graphics may put a few off, those of us looking for some pure distilled arcade throwback fun should do well with it. I bought it on cross buy with PS4 and PS Vita and both work a dream. Twin Breaker is one of the best breakout styled games I’ve played in the last few years.
One of the best breakout styled games I've played in the last few years.
Multi-tasking with 2 or 4 bats keeps you on your toes.
Plenty of extra modes and score challenges to keep you busy.
Clearly a labour of love and it shows.
Sometimes a good score feels more like luck than judgement!
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