• Graphics
  • Sound
  • Playability
  • Lastability
ReviewPaul and Jason

Main review

“Lemme out, Lemme out!!!!” These are the words you may say if you are locked up with a brick building, but if you have a “Pulsoids” attitude you will just get your bat and your ball, and start breaking your way out. Okay, that’s a surreal statement, but when you have a game that is very similar to a lot on the market, I needed to grab your attention to carry on reading, because once you have read you will be obtaining this game and playing it yourself.

Well, I was impressed when I saw this game, and to be honest, you can’t get it wrong with a bat and ball (or in this case line, herein after called a ball) game, and I immediately got flashbacks of Arkanoid, and Krakout, also excellent games on various formats. The game itself is so simple; so many people will have played this type of game before, move the bat left and right and rebound the object towards the blocks on the screen, with the object of clearing the screen, and not allowing your rebounding object to fall below your bat, and off the screen, and loosing a life.

I couldn’t really fault the game in most if not all of its aspects, the graphics were clean, and useable, the playability, well, it is a bat & ball game. I notice one flaw in the bat/ball rebound action, sometimes when you managed to just get to the ball, and the ball would hit the side of the bat, now mathematically, or what ever you want to call it, the ball should rebound, but still be heading down (to a loss of life) to the bottom of the screen, but instead it seems to capture the ball, and shoot it back up. Ok that is giving you an advantage, and maybe the programmer thought “Let’s go easy on them”, but I feel, if you didn’t get to the ball in time, tough, you’re dead!

The levels (or what I played of them) seem fairly easy to navigate, you have a variety of blocks, some that disappear on the first hit, and others you need more than one hit to destroy them. I don’t know if later level may have static (un-destroyable) blocks, but if these games characteristics are based on other similar games, I would guess there is.

A lot of other features are including in this game, just like other traditional equivalents, the enemies, these are great, you just think the ball is heading to the final few bricks and bang, an enemy gets in the way, and throws it off course, such fun. The multi-ball, wow, I managed to get it up to 7 balls (I know lines) and it appeared so much easier getting the bricks, and that was all, I couldn’t keep up with them bouncing off my bats, what a challenge. I did load up the C64 version, and in comparison I found this version easier to play, the C64 version of the ball (or line) was far too quick.

There was another thing I wasn’t overly keen with, you clear all the bricks, and your balls (maybe I should have used the word lines there) just keep going, and disappear of the screen, I think a total stop of your balls, and a message “Cleared” or something similar would have been more appropriate. The music on the title screen, was acceptable, and I feel maybe a quiet background track with a slight increase in tempo might ensure the player was enticed into a false sense of panic as the last bricks where disappearing, to, lets just say, get the mood going. Overall the game, I would definitely have it in my collection, and it would be well worth every penny I would spend on it. A must for my shelf of games.

Second opinion

The Breakout genre is one that has seen a lot of wear and tear over the years, in part due to it’s simplicity and Pulsoids goes on to take some of it’s cues from Arkanoid with some fairly traditional power-ups available. But at the same time it adds a few extra twists and turns of it’s own, the most noticeable of which is that the “ball” is always moving at a 45 degree angle. This isn’t the first bat and ball game to do that and, in a lot of those cases, this would be because the programmer had been lazy and not written the rebounding correctly but, with Pulsoids and it’s unusual idea of having a line replacing the ball, it’s integral to the game.

It’s interesting to note that whilst this game is a conversion (it’s based on the multi-format Mastertronic title of a similar name) and uses some graphics and layout from the original, Twilighte has put quite a bit of effort into adding extra detail to make it stand out and, graphically and sonically speaking, Pulsoids is hitting the Oric hardware fairly hard and getting quite a bit out of it; the backgrounds and bricks are colourful with a good level of detail and the movement of the bat and ball are smooth, regardless of how busy the game gets with multiple objects moving onscreen.

Of course, the playability is the most important issue and as far as that goes, this game is very much worth the download; the gameplay is varied and, more importantly, variant enough from the average Breakout clone to make Pulsoids a fun game to play and there’s enough levels to be a challenge.