Review – Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure

So I guess that not only do we have licensed games based around YouTubers, but now we’re also seeing a weirdly ever-growing list of games based on podcasts? The surprisingly excellent 99Vidas was the first game of its kind I tackled a few years ago and now there’s Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure. It’s a game based on the eponymous podcast dedicated solely to Playstation products, hosted by Colin Moriarty and comedian Chris “Ray Gun” Maldonado. It’s only fitting that this game is exclusive to both Playstation platforms currently being supported at the moment, PS4 and Vita.

Ships

I feel like this is way too much backstory for what is essentially Alleyway with a twist.

Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure features a bloated backstory for something as low-key as a game like this. Written by Moriarty himself, it is set in a not-so-distant future. Earth that has been ravaged by nuclear strikes, fights between China, Europe, and Russia. The United States is a neutral player in this whole situation, being the world’s main breadbasket and commercial partner during this period. Given how crappy Earth is right now, humanity has started to colonize other planets, moons, and even star systems. Even though they need to use generational star cruisers that travel at a speed slower than light. With a story as Firefly-ish as this one, anyone would imagine that the gameplay would be equally as epic. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

At its core, Twin Breaker is purely and simply a Breakout clone. Keep batting a ball with a pad in order to destroy all bricks scattered throughout the screen, sometimes having to deal with an extra enemy or two, and occasionally acquiring a power-up. This is one of the oldest genres in gaming history, with not a lot of room left for improvement. That didn’t stop developer Lillymo from adding a neat little gimmick to make this Breakout clone less similar to other Breakout clones; you need to control two paddles at once, with each of the Dualshock 4’s or the Vita’s analog sticks. It does complicate things at first, as you need to pay attention to way more elements onscreen at once, but as soon as you get used to the controls, it reverts back to being Breakout with a small twist for many, many levels.

This game is best enjoyed in short bursts because, although quite fun and occasionally challenging, it is very repetitive. There’s just so much you can do with such a simplistic genre, even when the game adds an extra two paddles for you to control at once, and nothing else in the game stands out to help you out, be it the aforementioned convoluted story, the dialogue between Colin and Chris, and the retro-styled but uninspired visuals and soundtrack.

900x

It will take a while for you to get used to handling two paddles at once, but once you do, it becomes quite fun.

Your enjoyment with Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure will depend on a few factors. First of all, if you’re a fan of the podcast and therefore, a massive Playstation fan. Second of all, if you’re into Breakout clones, because that’s basically what the game still is, even though it has a backstory and a few gameplay gimmicks. Twin Breaker is a very simple game that is best enjoyed in short bursts, so if you’re really keen on buying it, make sure it’s on the Vita. It does outstay its welcome after a while. Now, please don’t tell me they’re also thinking on making a game featuring Joe Rogan…

 

Graphics: 6.0

The 8-bit art style is charming and endearing, but you’ll be mostly looking at the same breakable blocks throughout the entire game, as well as repetitive backgrounds.

Gameplay: 7.5

The typical gameplay you would expect from a Breakout clone, but with the added challenge of having to deal with two paddles at once. It’s intentionally confusing at first, but you’ll quickly get the gist of it.

Sound: 5.5

There are very few tracks in this game, and although they do have some kind of retro charm, they get repetitive very quickly.

Fun Factor: 7.0

It might have some famous podcasters supporting it, it might be occasionally ironic, and it’s a very easy platinum trophy, but at the end of the day, it’s Breakout. Your enjoyment will mostly depend on how much you like a genre as simple as that.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is available now on PS4 and PS Vita.

Reviewed on PS Vita.

A copy of Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure was provided by the publisher.

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