GAME NAME: Astral Breakers
DEVELOPER(S): Intropy Games
PUBLISHER(S): Intropy Games
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): August 6th, 2015
The Wii U eShop is no stranger to the puzzle genre which for better or worse makes Astral Breakers from Intropy Games a title that has to go head to head with some still competition. Whether it be the fun yet simple Blok Drop U or the not so fun ones such as Puzzle Monkeys or Tilelicious: Delicious Tiles, Nintendo’s online store is filled with options. So the question is does this game shoot to stars or sink like a stone in the sea?
There is actually somewhat of a story thrown together in the game which is an added bonus that was completely unexpected. You are set to help the star Kira prevent the destruction of the universe by taking on the 12 signs of the Zodiac to a game similar to Bust-a-Move or Dr. Mario. Yep that’s right, the big boys and gals out in the galaxy have a civil way of handling their disputes. This is a fun way to experience the game if you don’t have a friend or sibling to battle it out with and the CPU opponents actually have a good difficulty spike. You can power through the story in about 40 minutes to an hour depending on your skill level.
The gameplay is pretty simple to get down and (of course I’ll use the cliche) tough to master. You stack up the same color blocks in a Tetris-like grid and wait until a flashing block is released. Once you send this down, you have the option to destroy every like colored block that it is touching or just wait until you find another you want to throw down and explode. The more blocks you take out, the more difficult time your opponent is going to have. The blocks come crashing down in no particular order and just totally troll your game.
There are a few other game modes included in Intropy’s puzzler. The co-op mode has you and a buddy frantically trying to keep the blocks down while getting attacked periodically by a super burst that rains down blocks. There really isn’t any goal besides surviving and high score in this mode which makes it feel like it’s lacking compared to the story mode. The versus mode is much more entertaining and satisfying. There’s nothing quite like destroying a friend in a game and being able to trash talk, no matter what the genre or game.
Astral Breakers isn’t groundbreaking in the graphics department, but is nice to look at and colorful while at the same time delivering on the art work. The developers did an awesome job incorporating the GamePad in that you can create your own custom constellations using the touchscreen to battle with. While minor, still awesome. The soundtrack has some decent guitar and violin work but nothing that will have you humming after play sessions.
While Astral Breakers was fun while I was playing it, it didn’t do anything too different from most of the other Wii U eShop offerings in the puzzle genre. The usage of the GamePad was a nice addition as was the story mode for people that don’t have anyone to game with or just want some practice. If you really enjoy puzzle games, there is enough here for you to like and be content with but if you don’t care for this type of title, you will not be swayed.