Early arcade games were pretty much all about a very simple play mechanic that just worked. Appreciation of such simplicity in gameplay is a big driver of the growing retro gaming crowd -- that and nostalgia. Two games from back in the day that delivered such gameplay are Asteroids and Breakout. Simple, addictive. iOS developer Coolpowers has endeavored to combine both of those formulas into the same game with his recent release, Breakeroids [App Store].

Breakeroids is, as it's name might suggest, a mashup of Breakout and Asteroids. It works like this... The upper three-quarters of the screen is a pretty standard Asteroids-like field of asteroids drifting about the play area, with the occasional alien saucer passing by. The lower quarter of the screen contains a Breakout-style paddle, separated from the asteroids by a multilayer convex shield.

As the game begins, you fire a ball up towards the asteroids in an effort to break them into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually eliminating them. Power-ups (thank you, Arkanoid) descend occasionally, for better and for worse. The aforementioned shield keeps the asteroids (but not the alien saucer's bombs) from passing into your paddle space -- but with each missed ball, one layer of the shield drops off. You start with three shield layers, but eventually (for all but the perfect player) that drops to two, then one, then...none. And, once your shield is gone, the first time an asteroid passes off the bottom of the screen, it's Game Over. You get a full, new set of shields with each level and, in classic arcade fashion, there is an infinite number of levels. And the whole scene is rendered in beautiful, glowing retro vectors that support the Retina display and, at that resolution, look as if they're being rendered onto a proper vector monitor.

Breakeroids is a lot of fun. One the one hand, it's a pretty simple game, though a little more complex than either Asteroids or Breakout alone, understandably. But keeping track of what can and can't pass through that shield when the action gets hectic can make for a rather intense experience.

My only complaint about the game is the generally lengthy process of smashing that last, tiny asteroid on the playfield. With it and your ball both in motion, it can be a bit of a tedious process to get to the next level. But it's not a deal breaker. And, in fact, a few deal sweeteners will arrive shortly, when the game sees a free upgrade to a universal app, adding native support for the iPad's larger screen, and gets a same-device multiplayer mode.

Breakeroids uses swipe controls for the onscreen paddle, and both OpenFeint and Game Center are supported for online leaderboards and achievement tracking.

If you're the kind of gamer that digs Asteroids and Breakout and are into the retro aesthetic, Breakeroids is one you'll probably want to grab. Our readers are having a good time with it, so far.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Boarder2

    It's a fun game for sure. Great mix of two classics.

  • Rage187

    Meh, wasted $2. Hopefully the universal app update makes it worthwhile.

    • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

      Hey, developer here, sorry you don't think breakeroids is what you're looking for yet. Join the discussion on the TA forums and let me know what you'd like added or changed, this is only the beginning for breakeroids :)

  • Adams Immersive

    A correction: the game’s name is spelled “breakeroids” (E instead of A in the middle). I couldn’t find it on AppShopper, and now I realize why.

  • efegea

    I liked much much more "Parsec". The truth is that I really love it and I couldn't resist to comment this when I saw this :)

  • Ziad

    This looks very nice I'm going to try it now. The title of your post says "Breakaroids" instead of "Breakeroids"

  • Unrealaddy

    I haven't played this game, so I can't comment on it.... however I am surprised that this game gets front page coverage, while the recently released high-energy shooter "Infinity Field" doesn't...

    • http://twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott Colbert

      Maybe it's because there's enough dual stick shooters, and this is something a bit different.

      • Guest

        Perhaps you're not a fan of dual stick shooters (fair enough), but check the forums for Infinity Field and you'll see that people really love it.

  • Anonymous

    When do we get a port of Tempest?

    • http://toucharcade.com blakespot
      • Anonymous

        I saw that one after it was pulled. Tempest was an awesome game for its time, and would make a great iphone/ipod addition. The Atari website has a pretty good online version, but I find the controls somewhat frustrating. Oh. And of course, it's NOT portable.

        http://www.atari.com/play/atari/tempest

      • Anonymous

        I saw that one after it was pulled. Tempest was an awesome game for its time, and would make a great iphone/ipod addition. The Atari website has a pretty good online version, but I find the controls somewhat frustrating. Oh. And of course, it's NOT portable.

        http://www.atari.com/play/atari/tempest

    • Casey4147

      Good to know I'm not the only one looking for it. Lemmings couldn't come any quicker either.

  • teh_er1k

    fresh idea, for sure!

  • Kevin12567

    I've been waiting for a good retro arcade style game with vector graphics that supports the Retina display, and this game is it! The vectors really look like they are being drawn by a real vector display - glow effects and all...it's like having a color version of the old Vectrex wherever I go!

    Simon: If you have more planned for this game in the future, the only suggestion I have right now is more powerups - maybe a laser gun to help clear those last few rocks once in awhile? I hope to see many more retro-inspired games with this style from you!

  • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

    Just a quick note - the Universal update is live, so you get to play this at native res on the iPad.

    Ah, if only it were a Retina display..

breakeroids Reviewed by Blake Patterson on . Rating: 3.5