Ricochet Infinity

Moby ID: 35344
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As with the other Ricochet games, Infinity is in every way the spiritual successor to the classic game Arkanoid. You use a paddle (in this case, a paddle attached to a spaceship) to bounce a ball into level after level of bricks with many different properties, all the while revealing power ups or other, less desirable things, such as bombs which will kill you. There are more than two hundred levels to be cleared over two episodes that come with the game.

There are a few features that set Ricochet Infinity apart from previous games in the Ricochet franchise:* A ring collecting system that unlocks new ships and new balls (referred to as ion spheres).

  • A mouse party option that allows a second mouse to be plugged into your computer for head-to-head or cooperative play. This option requires at least Windows XP. However, each mouse can be a USB, a PS/2 or even a serial mouse.
  • A near-infinite (hence the name) supply of user-created levels that can be downloaded from the company's online server.
  • A recall button. By holding the right mouse button while your ball is in flight, you can exert a gravitational pull between the ball and the paddle, causing the ball to alter it's flight path left or right, depending on where your paddle is in relation to it. This feature works in quite a similar way to the gravity gun found in BreakQuest.

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Average score: 81% (based on 5 ratings)

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Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 3 ratings with 1 reviews)

Probably the most innovative ball-and-paddle game in existence.

The Good
The Ricochet series of PC games have always been about reviving the classic Arkanoid formula and putting a modern spin on it. Infinity follows in the footsteps of its forefathers, but brings to the table with it some significant innovations to the genre.

Probably the biggest change Reflexive Entertainment made in Infinity is the addition of a "recall" button. By holding the right mouse button while your ball is in flight, you can exert a gravitational pull between the ball and the paddle, causing the ball to alter it's flight path left or right, depending on where your paddle is in relation to it. This feature effectively allows you to "aim" your shots, eliminating much of the frustration of trying to hit that last brick in a level by eyeballing angles alone.

Infinity's name comes from the simply ludicrous number of levels available to be played. The game comes with over two hundred levels right out of the box, which by themselves will take you several hours to complete. The game also allows you to hop online to Reflexive's private server and download (literally) thousands of user-created levels once you've finished with the in-game content. If you're the type that never gets bored of ball-and-paddle games, Infinity will keep you going for a long time to come.

What's just as impressive as the number of levels Infinity gives you access to is how dynamic the levels themselves are. Gone are the days of static bricks that wait placidly for you to break them; your targets in Infinity will move, spin, rotate, phase out of existence, blow up, open secret doors, and even change the properties of other bricks on the playing field. Some levels are made to look like real life objects, so you may be trying to take out bricks that make up a swimming whale or some motorized farming equipment. Other levels are laid out in a puzzle-like fashion, requiring you to figure out which bricks you must hit first to gain access to the rest of the stage. The possibilities of the game's engine are indeed impressive, especially for a game that's so simple in principle.

What's even better is that a level editor is included with the game so you can make your own chaotic contraptions and swap them online with your friends. The editor is overwhelming at first, but there's substantial documentation that comes with the game that should help all but the most helpless aspiring editors get started.



The Bad
The game's simplicity, unfortunately, is also the biggest strike against it. While the game play is quick and easy to get into and addictive to a point, the lack of depth means many players probably won't stick around to finish all 200+ levels, let alone delve into the online content.

There are multi-player modes (dubbed "Mouse Party") in Ricochet Infinity, but they're implemented in a strange way. The Mouse Party option requires that you have two computer mice plugged into your system, which can be slightly awkward if your workstation is cramped for space. Also, who even owns two mice? As strange as this design move is, the fact the Mouse Party mode can't be played online is downright baffling. The unorthodox set up required for multi-player mode kind of sucks the motivation out of actually playing it. If you can get around the 2-mice problem, you might have some fun with it, but hopefully Reflexive will send this option back to the drawing board for reworking in the next Ricochet game.

There's also the matter of a little alien creature who watches you play from the bottom left corner of the screen. He claps when you complete a level, sighs in despair when you lose a ball, and generally attempts to act as adorable as possible. The trouble is, he's an squat, ugly blue alien that serves absolutely no purpose to the game (aside from, I assume, to keep the animation team busy while the programmers were coding the rest of the software). Hell, I don't even think they gave this critter a name. While the little guy's presence doesn't add or detract from the game, I think that's really the point -- the thing is useless, so why does it even exist?

The Bottom Line
Ricochet Infinity is certainly the best game in the series, and has a lot going for it -- tons of levels, solid gameplay, and a genuinely fresh take on a gaming genre that's all but crumbled to ash in today's gaming world. Unfortunately, unless you have an attention span longer than the average gamer, you're not likely going to stick with this title long enough to see everything that it has to offer.

At the end of the day, Ricochet Infinity is just another ball-and-paddle game. However, it's probably the best ball-and-paddle game you'll ever play.

Windows · by The Cliffe (1552) · 2008

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by The Cliffe.

iPhone added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Klaster_1.

Game added July 25, 2008. Last modified March 9, 2023.