Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Shatter Review

Shatter is a brick-breaking game for where up to two players can play simultaneously. This retro inspired game has brings the staples of old brick-breaking games into the modern age. It does this with a brilliant soundtrack and dynamic levels. The added factor of local co-op create even more re-playability as well.

Shatter has 7 modes of play which are: Story Mode, Endless Mode, Endless Mode Co-Op, Time Attack, Time Attack Co-Op, Bonus Mode and Boss Rush. So as you can see there is large amount of variety in what the game has to offer. This along side integrated Steam achievements will keep you coming back to just try and beat that high score.

Shatter has a main story mode where you play through a number of different levels each of which has a boss battle at the end. These are exhilarating and often very challenging twists on the brick-breaking genre. The ability to suck and blow allow for dynamic control over not only the ball but also the blocks coming towards you as well. The addition of a super attack that can be used to when the power up bar is full helps to clear a lot of incoming blocks that would otherwise end the game for you. This, along side a shield that can be used at the expense of the power bar mean that the game always has fast pace and you have multiple ways to tackle a particular situation. Also, Shatter breaks the brick-breaking mold and brings in new types of level from circular to ones that throw plenty of lose bricks your way.

Personally, my favourite part of Shatter is the co-op multiplayer. This not only adds an extra level of play with the bumpers being on different layers that switch back and forth but it also adds new tactics. For example, one player can focus on bouncing the ball and the other can focus on collecting power-ups and sucking in "ricochet bullets" that increase the games multiplier meaning for higher scores to be attained.

Shatter not only brings great modern visuals to the retro styled brick-breaking genre, it also brings a catchy soundtrack as well. The soundtrack blends superbly with the gameplay and honestly if you play the game while muted it loses much of it's charm.

 Overall the level structure and the maneuverability of the ball are what make Shatter shine. However, do not dismiss the soundtrack and neat additions such as, the bonus mode, where you keep try to keep 3 balls active for the longest amount of time, and the brilliantly designed boss battles. If somebody had told me prior to playing Shatter that boss battles would be great in a brick-breaker game I would have been more than skeptical. If you are a fan of brick-breaking games or just fancy a decent title then I would definitely recommend Shatter.

Score - 94/100 

General Information 

Game Name: Shatter
Genre: Brick-Breaker, Action
Developer: Sidhe Interactive
Release date: March 15, 2010 (PC version)
Bundle: Humble Bundle 6
Additional: Comes with soundtrack if you buy it from Humble Bundle 6
System Requirements:
WindowsOS: Windows XP or later
Processor: 2.0 GHz
Memory: 512 MB
Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
OS: 10.6 Snow Leopard or later
Processor: 2.0 GHz
Memory: 512 MB
Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
Processor: 2.0 GHz
Memory: 512 MB
Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
Libraries: glibc 2.7+