Arkanoid vs Space In­vaders

Make space for this one to in­vade your iPhone

Mac|Life - - APPLE LIFE - Craig Gran­nell

$3.99 De­vel­oper Square Enix, square-enix.com Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 8.0 or later

Seem­ingly de­signed to tweak nos­tal­gia glands, Arkanoid vs Space In­vaders com­bines two of gam­ing’s old­est de­signs in a fu­sion of fran­tic one-thumb game­play, thump­ing techno music, and eye-sear­ing neon.

Half the game is bor­rowed from Break­out, where you smashed balls at walls of bricks. The rest is an­cient blaster Space In­vaders, in which hordes of blocky foes once slowly de­scended, aim­ing to take over the world.

The mash-up bit is where Break­out re­vamp Arkanoid comes in. In that ti­tle, the bat was a space­ship, smack­ing or­di­nance at evil space bricks. Here, you get the bricks, but no ball – your bat is used to send the aliens’ pro­jec­tiles back at them.

It’s a bit weird at first – and slow, too. You won­der why the heroes aren’t equipped with ac­tual weapons, and why early lev­els are sur­pris­ingly bor­ing as you send the odd bul­let back to­wards lazily whirling in­vaders. But about 20 lev­els in, Arkanoid vs Space In­vaders ac­tu­ally starts to click.

First, you re­al­ize your en­emy is time, not the in­vaders – you must smash enough craft or bricks before the clock runs down. This be­comes in­creas­ingly tough, adding a layer of strat­egy to the mix. Sec­ondly, ev­ery­thing speeds up, not least when you ven­ture into the de­ranged hard mode, which wipes sec­onds from the clock for ev­ery missed pro­jec­tile.

The re­sult is a great blast, and there are even some cameos, with fa­mous Taito faces from the likes of Bub­ble Bob­ble en­listed to power-up your bat.

The Bot­tom line. A slow starter, but this ar­cade blaster is bright, noisy, one-fin­ger fun.

Smash the in­vaders’ bullets back at them, as bricks and en­e­mies whirl men­ac­ingly.

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