Reviewed: March 15, 2011
Reviewed by: Kyle Hilliard

Publisher
Next Gen Games

Developer
Next Gen Games

Released: February 24, 2011
Genre: Arcade
Players: 1

5
4
8
6
5.5

Game Info:

  • 67.3 MB Download
  • Game Center

    App Store Price: $.99

  • Ball Busters is Arkanoid. It describes itself this way on its iTunes page:

    “Forget about all pong type games you played before! Get new gaming experience from playing Ball Busters - an exciting interpretation of Old-School Arcade Game ‘Arkanoid’ but with a new twist!”

    I struggled to find the twist, nearly as hard as I struggled to agree with the idea that Ball Busters was a, “new gaming experience,” but this is game that describes itself using the phrase, “Destroy amazingly-looking balls,” later in the description, so I wouldn’t lend too much weight to the text.

    Oddly worded adverbs, and mysteriously missing instances of the word/lettter “a,” aside, Ball Busters is not an unplayable game, it’s just an uninspired one. It also happens to feel a little cheap.

    If you took the smirking faces of SNOOD, rounded them out a bit, and decided that it would be easier to get rid of them with a bouncing metal ball instead of matching them, then you would already be half way to Ball Busters. As hinted above, the game is basically Arkanoid. The goal of the player is to get rid of the smirking faces with a bouncing ball, all the while collecting dropping power-ups, and avoiding falling power-downs. Differentiating between the two types of drops can be difficult though, so it really becomes a game of catch everything, and hoping it does something good. Extended play with Ball Busters would eventually train your eye to differentiate between the two types, but initially the differences are nearly negligible.

    The pad that the player uses to volley the metal ball is controlled by touching the screen. It is responsive, but your finger obscures it entirely, which complicates the control scheme. It probably could have been fixed pretty easily, by simply raising the paddle up, and having the player place their finger below it, but that is the sort of foresight that just doesn’t seem to be present in Ball Busters.

    The music of the game is surprisingly strong when compared to the rest of the game. It offers a sort of upbeat old-school Sega feeling, and it makes popping in the headphones pretty worthwhile. The other artistic elements of the game though, are very much lacking. The design of the destroyable balls are weird, and unattractive, and the backgrounds of the boards look the results of a lazy google image search. It really just makes the game feel thrown together.

    Ball busters plays just fine. I would even go so far as to say that it plays pretty well and offers more than the just the straightforward mode outlined above. There are also a ton of levels, which means if you are interested in completing Ball Busters, then there is a lot here to keep you entertained. The problem with the game, is that it just doesn’t feel thought out. It feels like a project somebody put together and dropped on the App Store for free, but in actuality, it costs a buck. You probably won’t be hurting from losing that dollar on Ball Busters, but there are just a lot of much, much better games available to download from the service. Save your dollar for another game.