I was skeptical and wasn't expecting much from Ricochet Infinity at first. There are a lot of Breakout clones out there, including a lot that use dynamic targets, the most impressive of which is Break Quest. And while Ricochet Infinity is no Break Quest, it is a highly engaging and addictive game that should satisfy both breakout and shmup fans alike.
Ricochet Infinity continues the space theme of previous Ricochet games, whereby your paddle is a spaceship and the quest features the ability to be promoted to "Pilot", "Commander" and similar spacey things. In addition to the basic breakout formula, you can (and should) collect golden rings hidden throughout the levels, which will enable you to get different ships. Aside from aesthetics (they're pretty cool-looking ships), each ship has a specialty which will be triggered when you collect the Ship Special powerup. This is a combination of regular powerups, which become simultaneously better and worse as you earn more advanced ships—for instance, a high level ship special may give you a fireball and a wider bumper, but also make the ball faster and smaller.
Powerups available include our old familiar friends: the fireball (destroys all bricks), the rail ball (goes through all bricks), and the sticky paddle; and yet there are a few that offer fun variations such as the EMP (electro-magnetic pulse—blow it up when the ball is near a cluster of bricks) and the Blossom (trigger to cover the screen in explosive stars). Another neat trick is the freeze powerup—normally you'd want to avoid this as it traps your paddle in ice for a few seconds, but if you can survive those seconds, you get a thousand-point bonus.
Moving targets are nothing new in themselves, but Ricochet Infinity features some extremely cool dynamics. The Recall facility enables you to "recall" the ball back to the paddle by right-clicking. Big deal, you say. But wait, there's more! The Recall function is integral to many advanced levels, including levels where moving your panel actually moves the entire game board, so you have to hit the ball and then manipulate the bricks to where you've just hit the ball. It's a lot harder than it sounds.
The maps included with the game are incredible—even the easy levels are pretty good, but at higher levels they really shine. Many require strategic thinking to solve, as the breakable bricks are hidden behind metal walls with no sign of a trigger. Some even include full animations, if you're patient enough not to release the ball—for instance, in Jail Break, an animated brick guy blows his animated brick friend out of jail by attaching exploding bricks to the bars, then they both run away, and you see the brick police car speed into view to chase the fugitive! And when you've played all the levels in the game, you can download user-created levels as well as create your own.
Another aspect of the game that I haven't checked out is the Mouse Party feature—you can add another USB mouse and play multiplayer, either competitively or cooperatively. If any of you use it, tell us about it in comments!
Ricochet Infinity is a bit like the Rolling Stones—not necessarily very original, but heaps of fun. You can, in fact, get what you want.