It's Snake! It's Breakout! It's a gleeful amalgam of both! It's RADiancE, a new classic-style arcade game from developer Miguel Angel Perez Martinez, and along with some color matching and clever soundtrack work, it's also more than the sum of its parts.
You control the snake, using the [arrow keys] to point it in the direction you want it to go. Like in classic Snake, the goal is to eat food pellets, which make you longer, while avoiding walls and your ever-growing body. Like in classic Breakout, there is also a ball, which you should use to clear each level of obtrusive colored blocks. The snaky body is used to bounce the ball into blocks, the catch being that the ball can only destroy blocks the same color as itself. When you eat a colored food pellet, you add a new segment of the same color to the snake, and the ball also changes color when it bounces off that segment. So color transfers from the pellet, to the snaky body segment, to the ball, to the correspondingly colored block which it destroys. Clear the playing field of blocks without crashing into yourself or other obstacles, and live to see another level.
Analysis: The synthesis of these two classic games works fairly well, and after a few trial runs it's pretty easy to get in the groove of knocking down colored blocks, using colored balls with the slithering paddle that is also a snake. There is, however, a high degree of randomness, which may or may not be to your liking. The colored pellets appear randomly, and only a few appear at a time before you eat some, so there isn't much you can do to control the color of the snake. It's also difficult to control what color the ball becomes, and you are much better off guiding the snake towards the ball and leaving its color to fate. There is still a certain amount of strategy in corralling balls toward blocks and in judging when to eat and when to stop eating.
There are a number of different power-ups, such as classic multi-ball, or the "Supercharged" snake which can destroy blocks directly; and while these power-ups add variety to the game, they also tend to add to its randomness. Among the block-destroying levels are also a number of geometric boss fights (Behold the dread fury of the Meta-Square!), and while they have little to do with the core mechanic, they also add a different twist, as you puzzle out how to destroy these Euclidean menaces with your limited repertoire of maneuvers.
I'm a big fan of the randomly generated soundtrack in RADiancE. The ball produces random pitches whenever it strikes a surface, and the music changes key every time a block is destroyed (actually, I think it changes mode, but that only matters if you're a music theory nerd like me). The music gets more intense, adding percussion and ambient harmony as you destroy more blocks. While it sounds a little abrupt in earlier levels with fewer blocks, it's very effective when there are many blocks to destroy and the music has a chance to build gradually. I imagine, though, that the code and resources needed to execute the music is what accounts for the unusually long loading time, so there is a price.
RADiancE is much more than a slapdash chimera of two different classic games. The colorful neon graphics and inventive use of music and sound make for a bold, flashy presentation. And while there is more than a little bit of randomness in the gameplay, there is also enough skill required to make it interesting to arcade fans. RADiancE goes beyond simply combining two games and expands the concept into something original.