Having originally been released back in 2004 on PC, BreakQuest made itself stand out from the crowd with its interactive environments and collision detection technology – something that other ball and paddle games just didn’t have. In 2009 it made its way onto Sony’s PlayStation Network thanks to Beatshapers releasing it as a PS Minis title. Now though Beatshapers and Nurium Games have come together once more to bring us a rather bright, colourful and damn good sequel.
Playing out in largely the same way as its predecessor, you’ve got a ball, a paddle and a whole load of lush environments to smash in a Alleyway/Breakout-style fashion. Working your way through the immense number of levels on offer, which clock in at around 90, takes a fair while. So this doesn’t become incredibly dull Nurium has provided plenty of fun ways to play around with each level, including power-ups and various unlockable paddles – or shuttles as they’re known.
This As mentioned earlier, BreakQuest features some fancy collision detection underneath its wonderful visuals. means that you aren’t aiming at grids of static blocks, but instead deconstructing your environment. Some targets sit on strings, others float and glide around the environment, but all react as you’d expect when hit. It may not sound like anything overly impressive, but such a small addition really changes this from being your run-of-the-mill brick knocker into a rather enjoyable exploration through colourful worlds.
And they really are quite colourful worlds. Evoking styles reminiscent to the pastel palettes of Patapon, Rolando and Loco Roco, each level could easily be taken and used as a wonderful piece of graphic design – especially the geometric designs that so easily capture my heart. It’s even more pleasurable seeing it all change as you begin to remove individual aspects from what seem like entirely static screens, all while you’re creating musical notes in the carnage. It’s just something really rather beautiful to behold. When I began playing for the first time I was entirely perplexed by exactly what was there for me to interact with. It was only after taking what felt like a tentative first step into gameplay that all my expectations were shattered – rather like the objects you’ll be pummeling.
While BreakQuest Extra Evolution does provide a lot of fun, and its bosses are genuinely enjoyable to figure out how to defeat, it’s not made for hours of play. That’s not drastically bad mind, as many will play on PS Vita and PSP instead of on PS3 meaning it’s perfect for dip in and out play. However it also means that you rarely feel like wanting to return after a long session. Essentially, this is best enjoyed in small doses – potentially playing an entire chapter at a time. It’s also another great example for why the PS Minis market is something that should really be appreciated more than it currently is.
Audio/Visual – 5/5: Every level is a piece of wonderful graphic design and music seems to be made as you slowly destroy it all.
Gameplay – 3/5: A nice change to the established format of block-busting games, but sadly it gets tiring after prolonged play.
Innovation – 3/5: It brings some nice changes from BreakQuest, but essentially it’s more of the same but with a new veneer.
Value – 5/5: Abolutely tons of levels that, once unlocked, can bring you back to play more and more. All of it at the low cost of a PS Minis title too.
Final Score: 3.5/5