What makes breaking blocks so
satisfying? I’ve ask myself that question multiple times playing Boom Blox or
even Super Mario Bros. But recently, playing the WiiWare version of Breakout and
Arkanoid, I realized that some gameplay mechanics are just timeless. Block
Breaker Deluxe for WiiWare is a solid reinterpretation of the classic game and
is one sure to delight Wii owners. Block breaking commence!
Developed by Gameloft for Wii’s downloadable service Wiiware, Block Breaker
Deluxe is a modern version of the old Atari classic. As most already know,
players control a paddle (this time with the Wii remote cursor) on screen and
bounce a ball in order to break bricks. In the Wii version, players use the
cursor to move the paddle horizontally, but also can use the cursor onscreen to
pick up falling items – a very clever design choice.
Certain bricks have powerups, ranging from paddle-extenders to lasers to
multiple balls at once. And other bricks drop special items (like fashion
accessories – I’ll explain latter) and point boosters. Interestingly, some
blocks when hit will redesign the level and others initiate an explosive chain
The game has an actual campaign of sorts, set within the world of nightclubs.
According to this game, Block Breaker has become the hip centerpiece of clubbing
and has even spawned fierce competition in the world of urban nightlife. It’s an
odd choice in presentation, to say the least. The more money you earn playing
Block Breaker levels, the more clubs you can unlock. Different fashionable
characters will also give you tips along the way. In game, certain fashion
accessory items will fall and if, you can grab them, complete certain objectives
or give you more money.
For me, the design choice to set this game in the world of nightclubs was a bad
decision. I found all of the “fashionable” 2-D cutout characters to be laughably
conceived and very distracting to the otherwise solid gameplay. Also, the
fantasy Boss fights at the end of levels is incongruous to the nightclub theme.
Some players will be put-off having to pick up special items like swimsuits and
necklaces in the game. I was.
Review Scoring Details
From the revised control method to the innovative level design, purists will be
pretty happy with the outcome of this game. Too bad there is no paddle-plug in
for the Wii remote.
While the actual in-game graphics do the job and other good effects, the
“blingtastic” skin over this game is a horrendous choice – it’s tacky and
distracting from the gameplay.
The disco funk music is well done, even if it is a constant reminder that you’re
actually groovin’ in a night club.
Like all Breakout clones, this game has a level progression of difficulty. Good
luck in the later levels.
While the gameplay is sufficient, the idea to make this a club inspired game was
a very poorly conceived choice.
The multiplayer versus mode is good enough to warrant a purchase if you have a
friends to play with. However, with no Wi-Fi or other multiplayer modes (like a
cooperative mode?) there was big missed opportunities.
For 800 points ($8) on WiiWare, players can get a solid version of the classic
game. But be wary, playing Block Breaker at nightclubs in real life isn’t
actually cool to do.