For as long as there have been such a thing as video games, brick breakers have existed in one way or another. And as long as they’re someone bored on the train, in school, or taking their time back from the bathroom on a bad date, they’ll continue to exist.
Call them whatever you want, Breakout, Arkanoid, Alleyway, it doesn’t matter. The overall premise is always the same.
Break bricks with a ball and hit them with a paddle.
At first glance, ArkanoArena seems to be just another brickbuster clone, but after a few plays, it becomes something more. Although it’s not a complete breakthrough of any sort, it’s a deep, polished and difficult title for the iPod Touch and iPhone that cost only $1.99. With a myriad of crappy titles on those systems, ArkanoArena is a cost-effective solution to boredom.
In the end, as far as mobile brick-type games go, this isn’t a bad option.
The 50 levels and various power-ups and obstacles do a heck of a lot to spice up the overall gameplay. Between that and the steam punk-esque design, you’re not going to find a game in this genre with this much polish. Aside from that, the game tries to have a “Twisted Metal” type of story, but fails to deliver the goods. Ultimately, it doesn’t mean much. The actual gameplay is the reason why people enjoy these types of games.
Overall, everything works the way it should. Because of that, it’s hard to put down at times. The only thing that holds it back is the staggering difficulty, which will draw dedicated gamers even more into its web, it can frighten casual ones.
Because of this, for as many solid attributes the game has, especially the solid graphics and simple touch controls, the game loses some its overall luster.
It should be said as well that the game is compatible on the iPad, but controls much better on a smaller screen. On the iPhone, the paddle is roughly the size of your finger, which makes controlling it incredibly easy. On the iPad, however, you may often find yourself unable to control your paddle, making the game annoyingly difficult and tedious. These concerns should be addressed once the game is ported to the iPad, but for now, it’s best played on the smaller screen.
Regardless of this, if brick-breaking is your thing, ArkanoAreno is a more than viable option.