Breaking the ice is seldom easy, and while the ice-busting action in Amazing Breaker does little to alleviate that, it still contains an addictive sense of ‘if you just keep at it, you’ll eventually get through.’ In truth, Amazing Breaker is very much like so many other games in the App Store, such as Angry Birds, Castle Clout, or nearly anything in which slingshots are involved. However, this game manages to turn the basic idea on its side, and quite literally at that.
Unlike those other titles, you are not out to eliminate the denizens of some precariously-constructed shelters; instead, your goal is the complete and utter annihilation of ice structures. And in order to achieve this goal, you are given a slingshot and bombs.
Rather than hold the iPhone on its side, you instead hold it in its more natural vertically-oriented position as you pull the slingshot down and adjust your aim accordingly. The left, right, and top borders of the playing field are solid, allowing you to ricochet shots off– a crucial skill needed in order to proceed.
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At the start of each level, you are given a number of bombs to deploy, each with its own attributes; the basic type immediately adhere to the ice and detonate, while green ones can split into three, blue ones can go through the ice and be manipulated slightly with the touch screen, and purple bombs can drop three smaller charges before finally detonating on their own. And in some stages, more bombs can be obtained through detonating one of your own in proximity to the pick-up, though their presence on the playing field tends to be finite.
In addition, it is possible to chain explosions of the smaller bombs together, provided they are close enough. Sometimes a little strategy is in order, and you can swap your current bomb out for another, thus allowing the sprinkling of bombs all around the structure, waiting for one big bang to set them all off and eliminate large portions of the sculptures.
Your ultimate goal is to destroy all of the ice, but thankfully, you can come up a little bit short and still clear the stage. However, you might find the required 90 percent destruction rate to be a little much in some cases, and even question how the amount left over can make up as much of the structure as the game declares.
Even so, with a little persistence you can succeed, but there’s still some frustration involved. For instance, if you begin to pull back on the slingshot, you can’t cancel the shot to swap bombs out, leaving you stuck on a course of action. Some spaces you’re required to shoot a bomb through can have extremely narrow– if not nonexistent– margins of error, leaving you to wish for a longer reach for your trajectory arrow.
And while the chain-detonations are a blast, sometimes it’s difficult to tell how close you need your bombs to be without clustering them together. The game illustrates after they’re placed which bombs are linked, but a better idea of their radius before trying to place more bombs would have been a big plus.
Finally, while it’s nice to have a game of this type that uses the iPhone in its vertical orientation, the full stage does not fit on the screen, which gives way to a little bit of scrolling. And that’s the bothersome part– the off-screen portion is really not that big, yet is large enough that aiming for fragments or targets at the very top is difficult to do. You can scroll the screen up, but doing so prevents you from being able to launch bombs with the force needed to reach the top.
Despite these flaws, which are all very minor in the overall scheme of things, the game is a lot of fun to play. In a way, it is like taking the Angry Birds style of game and streamlining it to some degree. No weird toppling physics, just aim and destroy. To that end, we like Amazing Breaker, and we like it quite a bit. And the game features plenty of levels and stages, with more to come, ensuring we’ll be playing this for a while yet.