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atari breakout
Written by  :  piltdown_man (209676)
Written on  :  Nov 02, 2022
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars

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An average game that looks a bit dated now

The Good

This is not a new game by any means so I was pleased to find that it installed and played under Windows 10 with no problem.

Playing the game was very easy. Apart from using the keyboard to enter a player id everything else was done with the mouse. There's a decent help system which, for puzzles, gives you one hint and then the option to skip which I confess to using.
There's the usual journal that records the story etc as the player progresses through the game, it also has an in-game map but you cannot use it to travel between locations.

As for the puzzles, well there's a good mix of hidden object scenes and other puzzles, often solved puzzles rewarded me with items I needed to unlock another puzzle. I did not keep a record as I played through but I remember
  • the tower of Hanoi puzzle - that confused me, it took me a while to recognise it as such
  • Reconstructing a picture from found fragments
  • Pattern reconstruction
  • Spot the difference - that was a little clumsy
  • Basic maths but with a twist
  • Using a light beam and mirrors to illuminate multiple targets - that one had more levels than expected
  • Rotating tiles to create a continuous path
  • Pushing buttons until all lights in a lock were lit

  • Nowhere in the game was there a timed puzzle though there are parts where the game tries to create a sense of urgency, nor are there any 'Simon says' or sound based puzzles.

    The Bad

    This puzzle has just about all of the things I hate to find in a hidden object game though, thankfully, not too many of them. The main irritations were:
  • Misnamed items - A wallet may sometimes be called a billfold but I've only ever heard it called a folder in games like this.
  • Obscured objects - This is a hidden object game, I get that, I know things are supposed to be hard to see but it irritates me when the bulk of the sought item is behind part of the scenery.
  • Choice of font - This caught me out once when I spent ages looking for a bat. Was it a flying animal type of bat? Was it a cricket or a baseball bat? No, thanks to a combination of a dark screen, less than clear graphics and the Gothic style font I'd misread it and should have been looking for a hat! This happened just a couple of times in the game and after the first experience I was ready for it, it still annoyed me though

  • Other irritations were the voice acting which, though clear, seemed to lack emotion and inflection, and the artwork in general which was not as sharp or as crisp as it needed to be which is probably due to the game's age.

    The Bottom Line

    I played through this game in around three and a half hours, this was not an attempt at a speed run or anything, it's just how long it took me. Yes I did skip two puzzles but I also wasted time looking for bats and so on.
    The music is good but not memorable, the writing is good English - I don't remember any spelling or grammatical mistakes, and the story hangs together well. However, though a pleasant way to pass the time it never really drew me in or gave me any 'I wonder what happens next?' moments.

    Atari Cyberweek