Thanks to Lucid Sheep Games for the review code
Title: #BreakForcist Battle
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 04/12/2018
Sporting a very toony artstyle, Breakforcist Battle looks very similar to Sanrio cartoons, with cute animal characters and very bright colors, along with making the whole game food themed. The music doesn’t really fare nearly as hot though, with most of the tracks feeling as if they were just a bunch of techno noise garbage and nothing really memorable, save for one song. (24 Hours) Luckily, while the tracklist rotates randomly, you can manipulate it to the songs you want by turning the music on and off in the options menu.
Promising a fierce, addicting Breakout-like experience, Breakforcist Battle tasks you with bouncing your balls around the screen, breaking every single brick on the screen in order to clear a wave. Like with traditional breakout, powerups are distributed upon hitting certain blocks which in this case are anything resembling an egg. These range from the traditional multiball that adds two extra balls to the frenzy, to a giant ball, a piercing ball and a handy paddle laser that shoots straight upwards, which can help to push back the incoming wave of blocks, since all losing a ball does is speed up the pace that the blocks fall down, meaning that there isn’t really a true lives system. (of course, losing balls constantly will impact your score and make it very likely that you will get a game over)
For the single player content, an infinite arcade mode is all you have available. Repel the blocks and clear as many waves as possible until you fail, that’s all there is to it. While this does sound like a big issue content wise, it really wouldn’t be due to the addicting nature these games typically sport. Sadly, Breakforcist Battle does a few things that make the single player mode not as addicting or even engaging to take on, some of which just totally baffle me. The biggest issue by far that it does is that every single time you obtain a powerup, the game briefly pauses for a few seconds, which gets to be a very annoying pacebreaker when you get multiple powerups at one stage, and with no way to turn these brief pauses off it drives me bonkers and most of the time leads me to lose said powerup in the first place due to the breaking of the flow. There’s also tilt controls included, but like usual they’re just a pointless gimmick added to goof around with, and while they work OK, (since the speed is still determined by holding down the A button, meaning you thankfully can’t suddenly jerk it from one side to another) I can’t help but feel an option to stop the pausing would have been more appreciated.
The game does have an area where it shines brightly, however, in the form of the multiplayer content. You and a friend can go through the standard score attack mode together, with each player occupying one half of the screen and needing to work in unison to repel those ghosts, which leads to the score attack becoming a lot more interesting when played in this manner. But by far the main reason to pick up this game comes from the head to head versus mode, where you and up to three friends race to clear your boards first! The slowdown blips can be an annoying problem here, but thankfully you can change some settings around in this mode including, yes, the option to turn off powerups! Even with one friend, this mode can turn into lots of fun and a great way to spend the afternoon, and the frantic race-like nature of it makes it something I certainly plan to play over the summer whenever I invite friends over to my vacation cabin. Unfortunately, you cannot practice this mode against CPU bots, which is a big shame as adding an option to do that would great improve the single player experience as well.
In conclusion, Breakforcist Battle is an OK brick-breaker game, with an average at best single player mode, a decent Co-Op Score attack mode and a fantastic versus mode! However, with some baffling design choices such as the constant pausing whenever a powerup is obtained, the versus mode being 2-4 local players only without a CPU option, and a pretty grating soundtrack, Breakforcist battle is a title I can only really recommend for the local multiplayer experience alone, as the other parts of the package pale in comparison to the other brick breaker game on the market, Gunbarich, which is $2 cheaper and comes with a lot more creativity in the levels and breakout mechanics.
Still, if you like using your switch for multiplayer mayhem, this game is a decent option for you. I give #Breakforcist Battle a 7 out of 10.