Hyperballoid HD Review

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Hyperballoid HD Publisher: iSquared Games
Developer: Alawar Entertainment


Platforms: PlayStation 3 and PC
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

Venture through two worlds – one ancient-themed and the other astrologically/outer-space- themed – breaking blocks and collecting power-ups to conquer 100 levels of Arkanoid-style fun.

Rating:
Kyle Ackerman


Hyperballoid HD is an Arkanoid-style brick-breaking game whose chief virtue is affordability. Hyperballoid HD is, honestly, like many other games of its ilk – you control a paddle at the bottom of the screen and rebound balls until the level is completed while collecting power-ups that transform play. What distinguishes Hyperballoid HD are some exceptionally clever levels, the game's ability to keep you moving on to the next level, and its affordability at $5.

The game itself is simple, and plays like other brick-breaking games. But there is a remarkably large assortment of power-ups (in fact, there are so many that it took me a fair amount of play to learn which symbol caused which effect). However, I did find it distracting that the angle at which the ball left the paddle depended only on which part of the paddle the ball hit, not the angle of incidence of the ball. That took a little getting used to, because the ball's behavior differed from conventional physics.

The levels in Hyperballoid HD are often extremely creative, with lots of triggered events and moving objects that allow some of the levels to even tell a bit of a story, illustrating the "space" and "ancient" themes. The simple music that comes with the game is great, but there's only enough of it to last a level or two of each theme before it gets repetitive. One of the nicest things about Hyperballoid HD is that the game doesn't leave you hanging, trying to knock out that last block. Get close and take long enough, and the game will hurl a power-up at you allowing you to move on to the next level, if you choose.

It's a safe assumption that more levels will become available for Hyperballoid HD. The game launched with two worlds (more themes than "worlds") with 50 levels apiece. Hyperballoid HD, however, is just a PlayStation 3 port of a game that has been floating around on casual game portals for the PC for years, and Hyperballoid Complete Edition (essentially the same game) has 150 levels. Furthermore, there's already a Hyperballoid 2. Hyperballoid HD does boast one advantage over the Hyperballoid Complete Edition – it's half the price for two-thirds of the levels.

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