To preface this review, I am a huge fan of Colin Moriarty (@notaxation on Twitter) and have been an avid listener of his podcasts for quite some time. He currently makes the podcast Sacred Symbols: A Playstation Podcast with his coworker Chris Ray Gun (@ChrisRGun on Twitter) which as you might guess is focused on Playstation. Colin wrote this game and it was developed by Lillyo Games (@LillymoGames on Twitter). Ever since they announced the game on their podcast I have been excited to play it, and just wanted to give them a shoutout before I got into the review. Everyone should check out their work, both in podcast and video game format!
The game itself is a brick breaker in the line of Arcanoid or Breakout. What makes the game unique in regards to other brick breakers is the robust story that follows Colin and Chris as pilots on what amounts to a search and rescue mission. I love the premise of making a brick breaker with a story and really fleshing it out, it sounds simple but by doing this they carve out a small niche for themselves in an otherwise bloated ecosystem full of games that are slight variations of each other.
When you start up the game for the first time you are greeted with charming pixel art and music that calls back to an older era of gaming. The game starts with a few minutes of Colin’s writing detailing the expansive back story of the game with charming pixel cutscenes playing out above. They do a great job of giving you the information you need to know and then letting you loose to tinker around in a number of different game modes.
On to the actual gameplay itself, the game begins as a traditional brick breaker with the exception that you control two ships (paddles) at the bottom of the screen that with either the left or right side. Each are controlled with the corresponding stick on the controller, and each can throw out an image of itself to hit the ball from a distance. Even with these added mechanics it is simple enough to manage, then as the game goes on the gameplay ramps up a bit. You will eventually control the ships on the sides of the screen and ultimately you will have control of four ships, two on the sides two on the bottom. They are still controlled with the sticks, up and down on each controlling the side ships and left and right controlling the bottom. I love the changes this brings to the gameplay, the genre hasn’t truly evolved in such a long time that these mechanics make the game feel fresh and draw me back in to check out one of the many game modes that are present in addition to the story mode.
There are plenty of other game modes, the ones that stuck out to me were the pong mode, which pitted me against a boss and had a traditional score counter, and the random mode. In pong mode the game played like old school pong, with the additional trappings that make this game what it is, and was enjoyable to mess around with for a while. The random mode is what intrigued me most though as it seemed true to it’s name in that it provided a random mix of anything available throughout the game. It seems like the mode I would be most likely to turn on whenever I just wanted to kill some time. The other option on the menu I appreciated was the trophy room, this displays all your stats that build up to the trophies in the game and lets you see exactly what you still need to do to earn them. This is a feature that not many games have but I always appreciate because it just shows that the developer understands the people playing their game.
I really loved the amount of content packed into a brick breaking game and the way you can tell it was meticulously crafted by people who truly do care about the product. It feels like one of those games you’ll leave on the system forever just to pop back in and play for a bit, especially if you get the game on Vita. Also the game released on Vita! That’s not something to overlook! Now, I recommend everyone to give this game a look and go check out the other stuff Colin and Chris are up to. I have to get back to working on this Platinum.
As always, thanks for reading! Leave a comment below if you’re playing this game or if you have any thoughts about it, reach out to me on social media to talk about this topic or anything else! Check back for new posts (at least) every Wednesday and Saturday or sign-up via email to make sure you don’t miss anything!