BreakQuest


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BreakQuestThe very first video game ever made was a game called Tennis For Two, the idea for which was later popularized in a game that quickly became a household word. Pong, as it was called, is a very simple game of hitting a little white blip back and forth between two player-controlled paddles on opposite sides of the screen. What makes the game fun is the open-ended play that results from two different people controlling the paddles in play; in other words, Pong doesn't offer much as a single-player experience.

Enter Breakout, a single-player variant of Pong that was conceived and developed by Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976. Rather than trying to hit the ball past an opponent, the objective in Breakout is to eliminate all of the bricks from play by hitting them with the ball instead. Easily understood and simple to play, Breakout is a classic example of a casual game, and one that has spawned many other games like it. One very well known descendant of Breakout is Arkanoid, a game which introduced the concept of gameplay-altering power-ups that randomly fall from the bricks as they are destroyed. Arkanoid was released 20 years ago and is now a classic in its own right.

BreakQuestWhile the core gameplay is essentially the same: destroy all the objects in the upper part of screen while preventing the ball from touching the bottom, Nurium Games thoroughly invigorates the classic formula in BreakQuest by including 100 levels, each one with a different theme, and an excellent, flexible physics engine.

Since the rotary knob originally used in Breakout and Arkanoid is rather uncommon on modern PCs, you'll be stuck using a mouse to control BreakQuest, which actually feels more intuitive. Move the paddle by moving the mouse. [Left-clicking] fires your weapon, if you have one. Each life provides you with a spare ball, which you can release at any time with a [Middle-click]. BreakQuest also introduces a creative solution to the often frustrating last brick problem; holding down the [Right] mouse button will apply a bit of gravity to all the balls in play.

In addition to stationary bricks, you'll find a wide variety of objects including pendulums, scales and nets, all of which swing, sway and bounce realistically. 47 different power-up 'pill' types that help or hinder play, and featuring old favorites like multi-ball and glue, as well as new ideas such as sputnik (a second, smaller sphere orbits the ball) and several paddle-affecting or distorting diseases.

BreakQuest is great fun, and it raises the bar to a dizzying height for future Breakout clones. The presentation and attention to detail is top notch, as are the pleasing sound effects and visuals that include some very impressive particle effects. Most importantly, the wide variety of levels is so compelling you will actually want to unlock and experience every single one of them. At only $0.20 per level, BreakQuest is well worth a look.

With thanks to Noah for collaborating with me on this review. =)

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version.

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Order the full version.

17 Comments

I've been coming to this site for a while now,haven't been posting, and I was really hoping you would post this game sooner or later! (why didn't I post then?) I've just decided to get out of the shell now to say that this game is my favorite breakout clone ever! It goes way beyond what is usually put into other clones. Very innovative!

Your site is awesome!

(can't wait for Spore!)

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Max and Dad March 12, 2006 4:17 PM

We've been playing the demo for a few months and bought the full version last week. Awesome game! Can't say enough about how great it is.

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Just got the full version today and I was actually here to suggest it. Talk about timing.

BreakQuest has addictive gameplay, more innovation than you can shake a stick at, and an excellent soundtrack by Maniacs of Noise (which can be downloaded from Nurium's forum if you're willing to hunt for it).

It's well worth the price.

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This is greatest breakout game made so far. It is so much better then any other similar game that I am amazed how crappy clones are still released today and even more amazed that someone would be willing to buy some other crappy clone and not BreakQuest.

There are so many good things about BreakQuest, like all 100 levels are actually different, they do not use same old blocks in different layouts, they have different themes, different blocks and different rules. Its like getting 100 games for the price of one.

And the soundtrack is so good that I would be willing to let the game stop and just listen to the music. The game has also huge amount of options, you can change the look and feel almost every part.

I just want to point out that you can play with keboard too, it is selectable from the options. Playing with keyboard makes it harder and is not recommended unless you are really good at this game.

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Yes, it is like getting 100 games and I was thinking about that last night while playing. In fact, I can't stop playing the game, and I have much other work to do(!) =)

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Hi I'm the developer.

Thanks for article Jay, and you guys thanks for the nice words and the business :)

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Hi Fèlix, I am sure you have heard it many times before, but you are genius :)

BreakQuest is so well done that it is really hard to believe only one single person can make such wonderful game. Even if it did take years to develop. I cant wait to play your next game, if it improves action puzzles same way BreakQuest did for paddle + ball genre, then it will be fantastic game.

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I use a tablet, and I don't know where the mouse is that goes with it.
The game works... badly with it. I can't control anything, the slightest movement sends my cursor careening all over the place.
It took me five minutes to click the 'No, I don't want the full version' button to get out of the stupid demo.
Just a warning to fellow tablet users.

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Hey Felix, thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to your future work =]

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remister Author Profile Page March 13, 2006 3:21 PM

I played the demo back in the day when it was version 1 and I just recently got the full version. Never knew it would of made it on here. I am glad it is here. Little fun games.

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cheesetoy March 16, 2006 3:47 PM

The music reminds me of the Doukutsu Monogatari music.

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The music was done by Drax and Wave of Maniacs of Noise. (Those names are well known to anyone on the c64 scene, or anyone using their thinking cap who had a c64 and enjoyed the games and demos.)

When I told Drax recently that I enjoyed hearing it in this game, he informed me they HADN'T been told of the use of the music until AFTER the game was released. Still, they get royalties, but using the music FIRST and asking permission LATER - that's not very respectful of the artists.

I still love the game not only for the music, but for the playability - but in future, I'd just suggest that the developer TALK to the artists first. I know some artists would not be so forgiving.

I'm still reccomending it to everyone I know - it's a brilliant game.

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'When I told Drax recently that I enjoyed hearing it in this game, he informed me they HADN'T been told of the use of the music until AFTER the game was released. Still, they get royalties.'

Hi from Nurium Games. I reached an agreement with Jeroen Tel (Wave) much before the game was released, don't know when he told his partner but can assure you that I would not release my first game without having all permisions ready.

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cabbieman January 27, 2007 2:40 PM

hi, great game! enough complaining all of you. even the free version was great to kill a couple hours of time. lots of fun!

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Anonymous May 28, 2007 5:31 PM

I cant get through lvl 1 =o=
I broke the wall and I dunno what to do next

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Wow. This thing just sucked up an entire week of my time...

...and I loved every minute of it! To say this game is addicting is an understatement. Now I can just keep playing it in arcade mode, again and again and again.

In particular I like how the rules are different for every level and there are no instructions - figuring out just what you have to do is part of the fun. The hanging and swinging objects are great, and many levels have purely lovely sounds when objects are hit in addition to the nice background music.

Absolutely great game (playing the Mac version).

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Necroarkher January 29, 2009 7:53 AM

This is the best Break-0ut game ever!

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