Title : BreakThru!
Publisher : Spectrum Holobyte
Developer : Artech Digital Entertainment
Genre : Puzzle
Players : 1/2 Players
Release Date : 1994
Estimated Value (as of today's date) : $10-$15
You've got this nice picture of Alexey Pajitonov (no he's not some James Bond villain) on the cover of this game, but don't let that fool you! This isn't a Tetris sequel by the brilliant puzzle mastermind. Not at all. BreakThru! was in fact developed by a Japanese company, ZOO CORPORATION, but the game itself was fully endorsed by Pajitonov. The similarities are astonishing, but it does stand on its own as it's own unique puzzle game.
You could find this game on practically every platform in the mid 90s. From Genesis, to SNES, to Gameboy, and hell, even the Windows OS decided to give this game a shot. Not to mention the Playstation later down the line. Its pretty much safe to say that this game was pretty damn popular among gamers. Me not being one of them of course, because, hey...I hate puzzles.
His visage returns!! This time on the title screen - but seriously, he really didn't have any impact on this game. Alexey didn't develop it, he didn't take part in any programming, he basically just said "Hey, you can use Tetris and just make your own game out of it. Go for it. Have fun." I really think they just pimped his image out in hopes that more people would buy it if they THOUGHT he had some part in it.
Unlike Tetris, the blocks on the screen aren't falling from the top. They're already covering the screen. Wait..I lied..blocks do fall down from the top of the screen, but they are just itty bit blocks that will screw you over in the long run. Well, sometimes they help you..ah screw it. I hate dropping blocks.
The key to this game is you have to move your cursor around and select colored blocks that are connected to other blocks of the same colors. The more blocks that are connected, the bigger the combo, hence the higher the score. Remove all the blocks, and the level is complete...or the level ends if you run out of time...which is a bad thing.
There will be instances where you can't clear some of the blocks because they aren't matching other blocks next to it, but FEAR NOT! There are special items that will be available that will allow you to clear these pesky non-matching blocks of various colors that makes the screen look like a big bag of candy!
Mmmmm..candy...looks like skittles. Side note - I hate candy.
You'll find airplanes that clear out an entire row of blocks, or a dynamite that can actually blow up a huge chunk of squares that it touches. Very hand in tight situations where you feel like you aren't going to get a match. The key is to plan ahead. Figure out which blocks will move and where once you remove an entire segment of colors. Try to lump colors together as often as you can, and you'll be golden.
The game has a very strange leveling system. You are basically travelling around the world clearing blocks from landmarks. It's like a "reveal an image" game. Very gimmicky, but hey it's interesting to see how they graphically reproduced famous places. Like the Golden Gate bridge for example. And the trolley car that looks like a tropical hut.
BreakThru! Is a very simple game, but doesn't have the impressive "oomph!" factor that Tetris had. It's also not as challenging in my mind. It doesn't require very speedy movements, and even if you are playing against the clock it doesn't feel rushed.
I also hate the use of a cursor in SNES games. It's irritating and incredibly slow. It really detracts from the feel of the game as I drag the cursor from one side of the screen to the other.
Visually - hey, it's a puzzle game. At least it's colorful. Oh and the music. Very jazzy...
You like Bejeweled? I bet you do you facebook game playing freak! Well if you do, you'll like this game. Then again..if you play bejeweled I don't want to talk to you anymore either.
Final Score (out of 5) :
Until next time, keep on gaming!