Breakout Boost and Boost+ for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch

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Price: Boost+ 69p, Boost free with additional in-app purchases

Rating: Boost+ 4.5/5, Boost 4/5

Contact: Boost http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/breakout-boost/id476059948?mt=8 ; Boost+ http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/id494136657

A little while ago we reported on the new Breakout game for Apple’s iDevices from Atari, and now we’ve had some hands-on fun with both Breakout Boost and the recently launched Boost+. In both instances, it’s Breakout and very much as you would remember it, but Atari has given it a boost (ahem…) and to bring it bang up to date and give both veterans and newcomers to the Breakout legend something new and exciting to get their fingers into. So to speak.

So, as always with Breakout, it’s your bat, I suppose, and your ball versus a floating wall of bricks. Bounce your ball off your bat at the bricks to smash them up, destroy them all and you advance to the next level. All good. But, Boost and Boost+ ramp up the excitement with a whole host of exciting new features. First of all, you can control the game’s speed on the fly on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being painfully slow, 10 being brain-meltingly fast. Ramp up the speed and you ramp up your score multiplier but you also raise the risk of losing your balls and when that happens it’s Game Over. The beauty of this is that you can start of slowly and as your skills and confidence build, you can up the speed, easily knocking it back a notch or two if things get too intense. And they will.

Breakout Boost and Boost+ make things more difficult for you by adding obstacles such as bricks that can only be broken using special power ups, and these are activated by hitting the power up blocks that endow your ball with special abilities to help you blast through those pesky bricks, including Fire, Acid, Splitting and Grenade balls. And special bricks will also help you on your way to tearing down that big old wall in double quick time, with Exploding and Mystery bricks making an appearance. Usefully both games also include an auto save feature so you don’t have to worry about finishing a level in one sitting if you’re pressed for time and just fancy a quick game.

So what’s in a name? Well, Breakout Boost is free to download and comes with five levels – in-app purchases allow you to add booster packs with themed levels, each with two sets of levels featuring special balls and bricks, with each booster pack costing an additional 69p and you can add a total of 222 levels if you buy all the packs. Boost+ costs 69p but comes with 100 levels that aren’t in Boost.

Both Breakout Boost and Boost+ are excellent fun and offer excellent value for money, giving you old skool arcade thrills in the palm of your hand. But which is better? Well, while Breakout Boost offers more potential replay value if you’re willing to splash out on a few booster packs, Boost+ gives you more for your money from the off and with 100 levels to keep you busy for 69p, it’s our pick of the pair.