Ball and paddle-style games were all the rage in the early days of computers and The Defendroid wants to offer a trip down memory lan while adding its own twist.
Developer: Takeshi Games
Cost: Free (in-app purchases)
In theory, Defendroid is a fun remake of the classic block-busting game in a new crazy style. It requires the user to tilt the smartphone left or right in order to control the paddle meant to catch the ball.
The game is unique because it creates a curved playfield, which in my experience made gameplay quite challenging.
The goal of the game is to eliminate all the blocks by bouncing a ball toward them using a paddle at the bottom of the play area which moves circularly. If the ball manages to make it past the paddle and through the bottom of the visible area, you lose one life. It seems quite straightforward but…
I for one, found the whole experience quite counter-intuitive and had to spend quite a few minutes trying to figure out how to move the pad properly. I found the secret is to try and move the paddle as slowly as you can. You have to be extremely careful not to tilt the phone too fast or else risk the pad going haywire. But at times my phone did not detect the gentle tiltings, so I had to resort to brusquer movements, which sadly got me nowhere.
You can try and adjust the sensitivity in the game’s settings and see what works best for you. Gamers also get controls for Music Volume and Effects Volume. There’s also the option to turn on/off Screenshake.
Once the ball hits the alien forcefield, you’ll be able to start collecting the falling power-ups which include yellow, green, blue or red coins. Some power-ups throw an extra paddle or two into the mix – making it easier to hit and control the ball – but the effect is extremely short lived! Don’t forget to avoid the bad power-ups.
Another super annoying thing about this game are the constant ads. Die three times in a row and an automatic popup shows up in your face – which you can only skip it after a few seconds. It was extremely frustrating to have my endless spree of deaths interrupted by these ads. I even gave up playing a few times and returned to the game after regaining my calm. Yeah, you can remove ads, but that will cost you $0.99. You can also buy extra coins for $0.99 and up.
You start playing with a white ball, but there are plenty other (of different colors) to unlock in exchange for points. Gamers can earn badges for hitting different milestones including a certain number of games played or tiles broken. As you play and play, you’ll also be able to unlock different skins. Furthermore, the game offers the chance to choose between multiple game modes including Classic and Endless.
At this point, I am not sure what happens if you break all the blocks, whether you are advanced to a whole new difficulty level or if the game ends. I’m still trying to break past the first two layers of alien bricks and I have a feeling I will be stuck here for a while.
Defendroid tries to put a modern spin on the whole block and pad idea, but it seems to me the game needs to become more intuitive to use. Also, the developers should include a quick tutorial on how to play the game, the first time you start the app – just in case people did not read the description on the Google Play Store. But all in all, it’s an interesting, challenging game I’m not going to stop playing for now.