FoodBreaker spins of classic game format

Spoiler alert! If you remember the original Atari Breakout game (and even if you don’t), you’ll love FoodBreaker. The game graphics aren’t much, but the challenges increase at every level. A little patience, however, and you’ll be picking off fruit almost at will.

Summer is about to announce its official arrival this week. You wouldn’t know it in Austin because we’ve already had temperatures in the hundreds. Nor is it that dry heat people tell you isn’t bad (this is a lie, dry heat sucks every bit as much as wet heat, but I won’t argue) (except I just did). Austin manages to be humid even when we’ve had drought conditions.

Those of you who enjoy running in the sun and consuming gallons of Gatorade and sweating off every calorie by following up your run with a ten-mile bike ride or a game of volleyball or shooting summer hoops will welcome the summer. Others of us will want to spend the heat of the afternoon in the shade (or indoors) with our iPads.

The next two weeks of iPad Envy are for the others of us. Two weeks of game reviews. I will try to work in a sample of puzzle and arcade games, and the three best games (I think) that are out that I haven’t reviewed. But those three games will come next week. Today we’ll look at FoodBreaker, a Breakout reincarnation, which comes straight from the dollar bargain bin and is worth every penny.

Breakout was one of the original video game concepts that somehow manages to hang around in one form or another. Breakout was actually a spin on the original video game, Pong. Instead of volleying the video ball between paddles, players bounce the ball off a brick wall and knock out the bricks one at a time.

Eventually the ball breaks through and begins to bounce back and forth between the top bricks and the top of the screen to create a chain reaction. The game remained a classic because it remained a challenge no matter how much you played.

Breakout’s newest incarnation, FoodBreaker, delivers 100 levels of pastel pleasure. I downloaded it free thanks to AppAllStar, which I reviewed Friday. It’s not the slickest game I’ve played, and the graphics are as cartoonish as they are colorful, but the game itself is solid and fun.

When I say cartoonish, think garish children’s book cartoonish. The art is flat and lifeless and the colors a combination of warm pastels and a hotter red. I think the motif was meant to suggest summer and play off the colors of the limes, oranges and apples that compose the breakout wall.

The color palette is meant to look pleasant and playful but it looks more like what happens when you leave Raggedy Ann in the sun too long after a night cruising the bars with her doll girlfriends. Once you get past the colors, however, the game itself is fun.

This isn’t really a problem most of the time; it’s merely a matter of color preference, and this game reminds me of the Smurfs on bad acid. It does become a problem, however, when the ball enters flame mode. The red ball is easily lost against the reds on the game board, making it hard to track.

Now that I’ve said this, I’ve said just about everything bad I can say about FoodBreaker. I may think of something picky later on in the post, but I can’t think of what that might be now.

FoodBreaker manages to be challenging without the level of frustration I often feel when playing arcade games on the iPad. Once you get the hang of the paddle and the game rules, the game provides a great way to burn through a few levels when watching McWhiney (I mean, Grey’s Anatomy) with the one you love because she enjoys it so.1

The game begins with the simple task of knocking out all of the fruit by bouncing a ball off the paddle. As you progress through the levels, certain fruit unlocks little gingerbread men with special paddle powers. If you can catch the falling gingerbread man without losing the ball, your paddle might grow wider, the game could release an additional three or four balls (all bouncing at once), the ball might turn to a fireball to explode more fruit, or you may even get a layer of gelatin underneath the paddle to keep the ball from falling out of play.

Special fruit unlocks super ball and paddle powers (if you can catch them as they fall). You could earn a wider paddle or a powerful flame ball. Watch out for the frowny gingerbread, though. Catch him and it’s game over.

Not all of the gingerbread men are good guys. Some shrink the paddle, some shrink the ball, some speed up game play making it more difficult to get to the ball, and some are simply poison. Quite often three or four gingerbread men will fall at once, so you have to react quickly.

To add to the arcade fun, FoodBreaker also makes breaking fruit more challenging as you climb the levels. The configurations get more difficult, unbreakable barricades interfere with play, and the number of times the ball has to strike fruit before it breaks increases.

By the fourth stage you have to contend with unbreakable bumpers and barricades, disappearing fruit and hit resistant fruit that you have to bounce multiple times before a break away.

I’ve played about eighty levels now and I’ve also noticed one of the best things about FoodBreaker. It doesn’t crash. So far it’s stable as a rock, which is pretty surprising for an app this complex and yet still so inexpensive.

FoodBreaker is challenging but it isn’t going to tax your brain or your fine motor skills. It’s playable, colorful (albeit colors of questionable taste) and fast fun.

Jenny Manytoes rates fb

Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over FoodBreaker. The game play is solid, the game is stable, and it’s really fun. The incredibly cheap $1 price tag makes up for the graphics.

1I didn’t think it was possible for a show to retard the emotional development of adult characters to the level of banal teen angst, but Chondra Rhymes did it. You can imagine my surprise when she spun off Grey’s Anatomy with a series that makes the Twilight movies look mature. It seems McWhiney’s chief rival for the affections of McDreamy, lets call her McDramaQueen, leaves Seattle Grace to join the practice of her former best friend McObsessive and her psychiatrist partner McNeurotic (the physician who doesn’t want to heal herself because she gets so much milage from her pain).

None of those characters was as bad as McBarbie, who electrocuted the man she loved to save his life, seduced the goofy guy after he married the woman who actually loved him, then married the asshole and made everyone sympathize with him when she ran away without warning. Her character was written out of the show because the actress got too close to her role and developed a real-life case of early-onset Charlie Sheen.

I can’t help but think Chondra Rhymes’ shows are variations on the theme of how badly men mistreat women, because they don’t take even more abuse when women most need to inflict it. But maybe it’s popular because at the end of the show there isn’t anyone in America—even serial killers—who can’t say at the end of each episode, “Thank God I’m not as twisted as those people.”back

The Jenny Manytoes Rating System

Jenny Manytoes, our polydactyl cat

  • When Jenny makes biscuits on a product she thinks she’s in heaven.
  • When Jenny purrs over a product she’s very happy.
  • When Jenny naps next to a product it’s okay with her.
  • When Jenny bunches her tail she can live with a product, but she has higher expectations.
  • When Jenny leaves it in the litter box….I don’t think I need to explain this one.

About Phillip T Stephens

Phillip T. Stephens disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle twenty years before he was born, creating a time travel paradox so confusing it remains unspoken between physicists and sci-fi writers to this day. Follow @stephens_pt
This entry was posted in 5 Stars - Biscuits, Arcade Games, Entertainment, Games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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