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CRL Group PLC
1988
Arcade: Action
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

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63
Jonathan Davies
Chris Bourne

Bats and balls. I've had 'em up to here, and I cannae take any more! So the last thing I want to find mercilessly crushed through my letterbox is yet another member of the Breakout clan.

So what's different about this one then? Well, for a start It's got thirty screens, designed by such illustrious industry-characters as the editor of Amstrad User. There are loads of different types of blocks, and your bat has missiles as a standard fitting for those really tricky situations. Oh yes, and its in 3D.

I hope this lot doesn't seem too dismissing so far, but I really do think it's about it's about time for a few fresh ideas around here. Even the 3D gimick isn't new - this is number two in the series. The original got a reasonably warm reception when it arrived, but somehow I don't think the Ballbreaker format can take another round.

However, every game has its good points, and this one's no exception. There are plenty of different types of blocks stacked up to bash away at, some giving extra lives or missiles, others requiring devious tactics to remove them. And bombs destroy adjacent blocks when hit, quite a nice touch.

Being in 3D, of course, everything's a bit lacking in the old R, G and B, but the graphics are nicely detailed and move smoothly. It all slows down pretty significantly when a lot is happening on-screen, but that's not terribly often as you might imagine.

Unfortunately, other than look nice on the packaging, the 3D practice. Needless to say, I didn't get through many screens, but none of the ones I saw seemed to be terribly inspiring.

Once again, not wishing to appear in any way negative, I'll mention the up-to-the-minute pointer on the menu screen, the almost listen-to-able tune and the rather amusing way that the screens names are printed up.

Despite these vague glimmers of hope, Ballbreaker really is just another you-know-what rip-off, but this time in 3D. Shucks! P'raps next time, eh?

3D variant of a game that worked a hell of a lot better with just the two dimensions.

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