Version Reviewed: v1.20
So we've had Powerball (an update to the classic Bat and Ball game), and now here's a pure and undiluted version that takes the original game, doesn't change too much, and plays very nicely. What can I say about the Bat and Ball concept that I've not said before? Not much, apart from it needs a fine balance to the game to make it work.
So do we have that in Klanoid? Pretty much, although it is a bit rough at the edges. The Bat and Ball concept is something I would expect most gamers (and therefore programmers) to be familiar with. You move left and right, you hit the ball till all the bricks dissappear. As you go along, bonus items drop down and if you catch them then nice hings happen (...most of the time). There are good responsive controls – it's pretty much just what you want in a Bat and Ball game using buttons. Until these phones come with spinners, this is the best we're going to get.
Klanoid never strays away from this formula – but it doesn't manage to create an application that seems consistent with itself. The title screen has a very nice barber's pole effect, and there are spinning tiled images between levels, but there doesn't seem to be any reason why these are here. It doesn't detract from the game to a huge extent, but a bit of work here to make everything consistent and easy to use would go a long way to making this a more polished application.
The graphics in the game itself are crisp and clear – there's very little tendancy to clutter up the images with tiny writing or unclear images. What's unusual is that your ball has a constant 'comet tail' that shows where it has been. This is great for your eye to work out where the ball is going to end up and makes the game slightly easier – this is probably the only diversion away from the pure form of the game. The game screen is in theory full screen, but it's rarely used. Again, a bit more effort in presentation here would work wonders.
In summary, Klanoid is a satisfying game but a bit rough at the edges. Lassi is working on quite a few programs, and if this first effort is indicative, then I'm looking forward to what else comes out of Finland. A well deserved 65%.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at