There are several different meanings to the word ‘Icebreaker’. The more obvious is that used for a purpose-built ship whose whole existence is to plow a path through ice, all so other ships can have safe passage. The other common use of the phrase is that used in conversation; as a starting point or antidote when in a social or public situation. Amazing Breaker is an icebreaker but in completely different terms – the whole purpose of the game is to destroy pretty ice sculptures with a range of different bombs throughout many levels. Let us break it down.
Amazing Breaker feels like a heady mix of all the block-breaking games you’ve played in the past, combined with a bit of Angry Birds gameplay thrown in. Let’s put our cards on the table from the beginning here and state that this was made for mobile or tablets and it’s coming over to our humble console with a cheap price and loads of levels. I’m not totally convinced about the nature of mobile games being truly successful in their transition to console though; the majority of these are designed to be played in short sharp sessions. On the console, this type of quick gaming doesn’t work as well, although that’s not to say they aren’t popular and well made.
Amazing Breaker has been developed by Dekovir and provides a very different kind of arcade fun to the norm. You see, instead of the quickfire antics found in certain block games, this provides some thoughtful decision making, planning, and a lot of trial and error. It’s a game that intrigued me from the start, grabbed my attention for a while, before that initial interest started to wane.
To start with you have three packs of levels to play with; original, pack one and pack two. Each pack contains around 120 levels as you are presented with a 2D flat screen with an ice sculpture on it, creating a shape or object. You have – as your weapon – a slingshot at the bottom of the screen and a limited selection of bombs to throw at the ice sculpture, hoping to destroy it. Your slingshot allows you to direct the velocity and direction of the bomb shot, and from there you go off to break some ice. Each level requires you to try and get rid of everything on screen including all the fragments. You need to clear 90% to pass the level, awarded out of three via a star system, depending on how quick you action the breaking and how much you clear.
The key to winning at Amazing Breaker is in identifying the weak spots in the sculpture. Once you start to get the hang of spotting these a few games in, it all becomes second nature. But you’ll also need to keep an eye on the ammo you receive and how well you use it. You see, certain bombs are – for example – spiked which attach to the object and then blow up. You have ones that break off into smaller bombs which then can be chained together to explode all at the same time. There are ghost bombs too and these can travel through the sculpture, landing in the middle before blowing a big hole in the structure from the inside out. You also get opportunities to collect more bombs, but this is time sensitive.
In all, Amazing Breaker is a game that initially seems simple, but very soon it becomes all the more complex. It looks fine though and the different ice sculptures on offer through the levels are enjoyable to look at. The UI and menus are very clean and neatly presented throughout, but at no point does Amazing Breaker ping. In fact, the colours are a bit drab at times. And audio wise, it’s very much the same – the main soundtrack works well – catchy and upbeat – whilst the explosions are satisfying on the ear, even after the millionth time.
Even though it doesn’t really excel at any one thing, it’s hard to fault Amazing Breaker, mostly as it does exactly what it has set out to do. I like the way it’s crossed the strategy of Angry Birds with some block-breaking dynamics and the huge number of levels is massively appreciated. The thing is, it would be a whole ton more enjoyable playing it on a phone as opposed to console, if only as it’s easier to dip in and out and that ensures repetition doesn’t ever kick in. If you’re after some quick arcade fun though, then Amazing Breaker could well be your ice breaker.
A download of Amazing Breaker is available from the Xbox Store