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JadeDragon's game reviews and playing tips: Pocket PC games

Acky’s XP Breakout by Isotope 244 Graphics Price: $12.95

Reviewed September 2005 by Marc Morgan

In Acky’s XP Breakout, you play someone who was on a misslony’s fuel supply, but out of nowhere a character named Acky came in his saucer and started to get the same ether (fuel) as you! He even started to steal your ether supply! In the game, your mission is to collect ether as you beat each zone of the nebula to stop Acky! Isotope 244 has put a new spin on the traditional Breakout/Arkanoid game, but how does their version compare with the others already out there?

When you first start up the game, you may think it’s just another Breakout game. However, once you play for a little while, you will realize that there are many different and unique features. In many other Arkanoid clones, you will have a set amount of balls to play with. In Acky’s XP Breakout, this is not true. There are two tanks of ether, one blue, and one red. When you create a ball, a certain amount of ether is used, depending on the difficulty level. The idea of the game is to bounce the ball off the pad and destroy all the bricks, and lose/drop as few balls as possible. Just like most other Arkanoid clones, there are many different types of bricks. In all, there are eighty different brick types, each with different characteristics. There are also several different Power Items that come from when you hit bricks with stars on them with the ball. The power items range from mutiball, which doubles the amount of balls on screen, to barrier wall, which creates a wall at the bottom of the screen, to dropping ether, which will refuel your ether tanks, and more! In total, there are 26 different Power Items. There are also plenty of bonuses to get in the game, including the pad bonus which is achieved by breaking ten bricks without the ball touching a wall, the saucer bonus which is achieved by hitting the saucer that occasionally flies across the top of the screen, the point bonus which is achieved by getting ten point power items in a row, the power bonus which is achieved by getting ten non-point power items in a row, and the wall bonus which is achieved by breaking ten bricks in a row without using the pad. There are several other bonuses, but the bonuses mentioned are the ones required for enabling a major feature of Acky’s XP Breakout, XP mode. To activate XP mode, you need to get 20 pad bonuses, 5 saucer bonuses, 5 point bonuses, 5 power bonuses, and 20 wall bonuses. When activated, XP mode will last for three rounds of play, and will give you a multiball automatically every twenty seconds, a bigger, glowing space pad, and all the points and bonuses you receive will be doubled. There are also four different difficulty settings. Ball speed, ether usage, power item fall speed, and saucer speed all go up as the level of difficulty increases. There is also a medal system. To get a bronze medal, you just need to complete a level. If you finish the level in less than 180 seconds or get a 500 point power item, you get a silver medal. You need to do both to get a gold medal. On top of all these features, Acky’s XP breakout comes with 150 levels with the capability of adding level packs, and it comes with a level creator/editor!

The controls are fairly simple. To launch a ball, just press button 1 on your Pocket PC. To move the pad left or right, use the D-pad. To slam the pad left, press button 2, and to slam it right, press button 3. The controls in Acky’s XP Breakout are very simple to master, so you should be playing in no time!

The graphics in Acky’s XP Breakout are stunning, especially for a breakout game. The entire game follows a space theme, including every part of the gameplay. The backgrounds of the levels look awesome, the bricks and paddle look great, and there are tons of cool effects. Some of the effects include a particle effect, where you see your paddle come together from all different particles swarming together, and a lightning effect when a new ball is made. Everything is also easy to see on the screen, as all of the colors display well on top of the backgrounds. Acky’s XP Breakout also comes in a VGA version for people who have VGA Pocket PCs. It looks spectacular on a VGA screen!

In Acky’s XP Breakout, there are plenty of sound effects, as well as music. The music has a techno theme to it, and the sound effects follow the theme as well. There are sound effects during gameplay, as well as when you are navigating the menus. Some sounds made during gameplay are emitted when the ball hits the paddle, when the ball hits the bricks, and when the saucer zooms across the top of the screen, among others. Overall, the sound quality is very good!

In the Pocket PC gaming world, there are plenty of different Breakout clones. However, Acky’s XP Breakout certainly stands out among them. There are plenty of different levels and power items, and cool features like XP mode. The graphics are spectacular, especially for a Breakout game, and the VGA version looks even better! The sound effects and music are also of very high quality, and they do enhance the experience well. Acky’s XP Breakout is a game you definitely don’t want to miss!

Playing Hints and Tips

• Try to get as many power items as possible
• Make sure to only get good power items. Good items glow green, and bad items glow red.

 

Screen shots:

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Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics

The graphics in Acky’s XP Breakout are definitely amazing for a Breakout game, and are better than any other breakout game out there for the Pocket PC.

Sound

There are plenty of sound effects as well as music in the game. In many other breakout games, there is no music, and the sound effects are not good, if there are any. The sound quality in the game is very high.

Fun Meter

There are plenty of levels, and you can add level packs as well as create levels. There is a lot of replay value in the game. There are plenty of power items too, so playing the game is definitely a fun experience!

Addictivity

Breakout games are generally very addictive, and Acky’s XP Breakout is no exception. There are a lot of levels, and the power items make the game very fun as well. The difficulty level increases as you play, so it will give you a challenge too! Watch out, you may find Acky’s XP Breakout hard to put down!



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