Originally published November 8th 2015 on the Seafoam Gaming forums
Thanks to Intropy Games for the review code.
Title: Astral Breakers
System: Wii U (eShop)
Release date: 8/6/2015
The main game/story
In the middle of space, a battle for constellations goes on, as you must go and stop this chaos! It’s an incredibly basic story for a competitive puzzle game, in the same vein as Puzzle League, Puzzle Fighter and Puyo Puyo, and that works just fine. In fact, the simple story does its job well in setting the theme of constellations in place, so it’s clear the developers took their time to make a simple story that still made sense in the grand scheme of things.
For the most part the game looks fine, with the colors being nice and bright, along with the overall art style of the game looking decent for a budget title like this, focusing on vibrant colors in a space-themed background. For a simplistic puzzle game like this, it’s decent and doesn’t get in the way of the gameplay.
Music and Sound:
On the other hand, the music quality is not so great. I found the music in this game to be incredibly dull and boring, sounding more or less like something meant to make me fall asleep than to relax me, and the sound effects were not much better, with them having a bad tendency to get really loud upon doing multiple combos in a row. This is a game better suited for playing on the gamepad to be completely honest, as at least on there you don’t have to listen to any of the sound effects or music at all.
Astral Breakers has the same general idea of any competitive puzzler: Perform massive combos and chains to attack your opponent! In this game, your main objective is to battle each of the constellations, and to do that you place colored orbs that drop from the top of the screen onto your side of the screen. Place them carefully in the same color, and when you feel the time is right for a great combo, you can switch to a breaker gem, which will destroy all orbs of the same color upon coming in contact. Getting the bigger chains will lead to more orbs getting sent to your opponent, and filling up their board makes them lose, which is pretty standard for a puzzler, and the story mode provides a nice challenge overall. However, the real fun comes in the form of the multiplayer mode, where you and a friend can compete to see who can beat each other first. It can get pretty frantic, and my friend and I had a blast when playing this game against each other, which is where the majority of our playtime came from. All things considered, however it never really felt like anything out of the ordinary or new, just another competitive puzzle game but with a Zodiac theme to it, which is a shame considering the fact that it’s still a very fun game.
In conclusion, Astral Breakers is nothing special. It’s yet another puzzle game on the Wii U eShop, but with a focus on multiplayer and competitive play. With your friends, it’s a ton of fun, and it was something my friend and I enjoyed. However in the single player, it can feel quite lacking, and once you get the hang of the game, you pretty much can’t lose. Still, this game is only $5, and updates are planned to come soon which could add new content among other things, so if you really have nothing else to do or if you have a buddy to play with, then Astral Breakers will do a serviceable job. For anyone else, you might as well play Puzzle Fighter instead. I give Astral Breakers a 6 out of 10.