The oddly titled Krypton Egg is a port of an Amiga game from 1990, and boy does it ever look like it (that’s not a compliment, by the way). But then, looks aren’t everything, especially for a game as completely insane as this one. There’s never a dull moment in Krypton Egg–whether you’re playing breakout with two dozen balls at once, or suddenly dropped into the space shooter boss fights(!)–and that makes it worth playing.
Krypton Egg would be a completely ordinary breakout clone if not for three major curveballs. First, there are about 30 powerups (and power-downs) to collect in this game, and they’re bananas. The usual suspects like lasers, sticky paddle, and ultraballs are here… but so are things like the telescoping paddle powerup, which adds three additional segments that trail behind your movements. We were especially surprised to discover the autopilot pickup, which literally plays the game for you for about 30 seconds. We couldn’t believe it!
Second, the playing field is filled with enemies that drop out of a hatch in the ceiling and move randomly towards the bottom of the screen. They can deflect your ball into the abyss unexpectedly, so you have to be careful with them.
Finally, the game has the nuttiest boss fights we’ve ever seen in a breakout game, mostly because they have nothing to do with breakout. Every five levels, your paddle turns into a spaceship, gains total mobility, and starts firing rapid-fire lasers. The bosses are either enormous, hideous monsters, or a big swarm of baddies that pour out of the ceiling in droves.
There’s no nice way to put this, so we’ll just say it: Krypton Egg is as ugly as sin. The backgrounds are gross, the colors clash, and it’s generally very confusing from a visual standpoint. The ball barely stands out against all the falling blocks, enemies, and powerups, and it’s all too easy to lose track of it in the mess. Luckily, the sound more than makes up for these cruddy graphics. Krypton Egg’s music is ultra-rude chiptune that positively blares retro goodness, and the sound effects really take you back a couple decades, too.
If you’re looking for a breakout game that’s far more gonzo than the rest of the pack, or just have a yen for weird games, Krypton Egg is your download. It’s only 99 cents for 60 levels at the moment, but we’d have no problem paying double that.