iPhone Game Review: Super Newtronic
Reviewed by Austin
Help Professor Newtronic with his experiment by destroying bricks with Sir Isaac Newton's laws. Super Newtronic is an interesting game that combines the break-out and pinball genres.
Create explosions with a tap or draw a temporary line to give your ball inertia to destroy blocks. Creating explosions and lines drains your energy bar. Use too much energy too fast and you must wait for it to regenerate.
There are two main game modes with an extra unlockable game mode. Arcade is an endless game mode where your objective is to keep the blocks from reaching the bottom of the screen. Blocks gradually go down until the entire level of blocks is cleared. As levels of blocks are cleared, the pace slowly quickens and different types of blocks and obstacles are introduced such as pinball bumpers, gravity altering blocks, and special switch blocks. If a block makes it to the bottom of the screen, or if you lose four balls, then it's game over.
Challenge mode is you against the clock. Levels are deviously built and come with a set time limit. Levels are set up in a "wedge" similar to a tournament bracket. As you progress, you choose your path. It takes quite a few playthroughs to complete all 45 challenges. All blocks must be destroyed before time runs out. If all balls are lost, or you fail to complete in the given time limit, you lose the challenge. Unfortunately, if your path proves too difficult, you cannot change your level choice. Although restarting doesn't delete cleared levels, you still have to start back from square one. Another problem, completing challenges on easy does not count. Successfully completing Challenge mode on normal or hard, rewards you with Experimental mode.
Experimental mode, just as the name suggests, allows you to alter aspects of the game. Basically, it is challenge mode with customizations. Unfortunately, no options are unlocked when the mode is unlocked. More challenge completions are necessary to unlock the different options.
The controls are fairly simply: tap to make an explosion to propel your ball, or draw temporary lines to guide your ball. Though they maybe simple, controlling the ball is definitely not. This seems to kill the game; fun quickly turns to frustration. It is near impossible to get the ball to go where you need it. The tutorial is difficult. Tutorials are meant to be easy for you to learn the game mechanics. The frustration actually starts at the tutorial.
The graphics have a nice look to them overall. The electricity looks a little strange being red, and look square when there are single tiles. The scrolling background on the main menu looks amazing and gives off an arcade feel. There are a few minor slow downs when multiple balls are active at once, but it is usually not a problem.
The music is rather disappointing. There are only around few tracks for menu and game music. It sounds like generic trance.
The sound effects are decent, but important sounds such as the blocks moving in Arcade mode are too loud and get annoying quickly.
Thankfully, sound effects and music can be adjusted in options. iPod music is enabled; playing music turns off all in-game sounds.
If you are a fan of pinball or breakout, this might be a good game for you. Patience is a must to enjoy this game. The ball seems way too difficult to control for the game to be fun. It is generally bug-free, but occasionally the game freezes when you pause. It's a great concept, but it just doesn't seem to work out as well as it should.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: 4 They generally have a good look to them, but the electricity looks out of place.
Sound: 2 Sounds are somewhat generic and usually very annoying.
Controls: 3 Controls are simple, but controlling the ball is difficult.
Gameplay: 2 Original concept, poor handling ruins the fun.
Playing Hints and Tips:
? Don?t bother with bigger explosions; they don?t add any extra force to your ball.
? Only play Challenge mode on normal or hard; Easy doesn?t record times or count levels as being cleared.
? Keeping multiple balls in play will drain your energy fast. Find one ball and focus on it.
? If the blocks are about to reach the bottom, then sacrifice one of your balls. You have four balls and upon losing one, the blocks reset.
? Choose your path carefully on Challenge mode; once a level is chosen, you are stuck with it.
Developer: Phantom EFX
Release Date: March 5, 2010
Buy App: iTunes App Store
Thanks for the heads up. Sounds like an interesting concept but just not that fun to play.
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