Day 85: ArkX

Posted: 2011/02/02 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #85, and today’s game is “ArkX”.

ArkX offers a lot of innovation in the brick-breaking genre popularised by Breakout and Arkanoid. Chiefly, though far from exclusively, it adds:

– some levels where you have paddles on all four sides of the screen (controlled simultaneously)

– the ability to launch as many balls simultaneously as you have lives (but you therefore lose a life with each lost ball)

– the ability to store and use power-ups when you think they’ll be most useful, rather than them simply auto-activating when you receive them

– a weapons shop where you can buy upgrades and a bonus system that adds leveling-up abilities

– multiplayer for up to 4 players turns this into Arkanoid meets Pong, with upgrades all around.

The ability to store power-ups, and the risk/reward trade-off of being able to launch (and put at risk) as many balls as you have lives, adds much appreciated strategy and depth to the brick breaking genre. For 80 Microsoft Points with some nice background effects on some levels, you can’t go wrong with ArkX.

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