Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Game of the Day - Off the Wall

Off the Wall is an Arkanoid/Breakout type game with a twist - literally.  Atari has twisted the playfield so that Player 1 plays up and down on the left side of the screen instead of left and right across the bottom.  It's as if Arkanoid married Pong and they had a love child.  Since most of this genre of games are pretty much the same (and have been since Breakout), it's nice to see all the thought that went into this one to make it unique.

The main gameplay goal of most levels is to have the ball reach the "Exit" - a brick marked as such.  It can be anywhere and is (of course) heavily surrounded by other bricks.  So, you don't have to eliminate all the bricks, just get to the exit.  In fact, one of the main scoring features is that your bonus for each level is based on how fast you reached the exit and how many bricks still remain.

Many cool features and power-ups abound, here are some:
1.  The paddle is curved making the ball come off it in unusual ways
2.  You can speed up or slow down the ball
3.  On many levels, the exit changes and moves around while you play
4.  There are parachuting bricks that fall from the top and intercept the ball
5.  You can catch and or curve/spin the ball - so can some of the bricks
6.  Many brick configs have the bricks rotating around the exit as you play

You get the idea - there are many more features and cool things that happen.

Also, another great aspect of the game is that you can play two players competitively (simultaneously).  You are on opposite sides (Pong!) and each time you hit the ball, it changes to your color - thus, when the ball scores by hitting something, only that player is awarded points.  Very Cool.

There's tons more and 700 bazillion levels, but you get it.

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