Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
It's hard to find anything new to do with the classic breakout game, although Chillingo works hard to advance the genre with Krypton Egg - The Ultimate Breakout. Unfortunately, it falls short in some areas.
One of the things I immediately liked about Krypton Egg is that I had the option of using either the touch screen of motion control. Using the accelerometer (which is not new for an iPhone block buster) makes game play more challenging. Krypton Egg's motion control wasn't responsive enough for me, so I switched to finger sliding. I did like being able to slide the paddle without having to put my finger right on top of it, which gave me a better view.
Tap anywhere near the paddle and the ball takes off. Just what you would expect, hmm? The problem is the ball launched at the same angle (to the right) every time.
The physics of angling the ball in the direction you want to go are way off too. I repeatedly and deliberately shifted the paddle so the ball would rebound off the extreme ends of the paddle and everywhere between and the ball did not rebound in a realistic way. What invariably happened was I cleared the right side of a screen long before I could work on clearing the left side. That obviously eliminated most of the strategies you would normally use to break apart many brick patterns.
Krypton Egg has the variety of power ups you see in most games of this type and they do the same sorts of things: multiple balls in play at one time, power balls that take out a few bricks at a time, jet pack for the paddle, flying obstacles — everyone who has every played a brick buster knows what I'm talking about.
There are two features of Krypton Egg that are a bit different: The first is that hitting any number of bricks releases two balls, so before long you have 10-12-14 balls in play. The second feature is that when you hit a brick, it falls to the bottom of the screen instead of explodes.
You would imagine that bricks raining down and balls careening in every direction would make Krypton more exhilarating but the effect is just the opposite. Add to this busyness and the playing field's checkered background and what you get is scrambled eggs. It's hard to see what in the heck you're doing.
Try the free version of Krypton Egg first or take a look at Gameloft's Block Breaker Deluxe 2, which I reviewed not long ago, I think that's a superior implementation of the classic game and at $0.99 it's half the price of Krypton Egg.