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Daily iPhone App: Breakout Boost

Atari's been on a remixing jag lately, and I was really impressed by the recent iOS take on Asteroids. Now with Breakout Boost, Atari aims to update another old gem.

Unfortunately, this one isn't quite as successful. It certainly is Breakout, as you control a little paddle across the screen, bouncing balls up to hit bricks, earn powerups, and score points. The controls are well designed for touch, too. There's a virtual handle underneath the paddle, and there's an added element of a slider that will make ball go faster (and earn more points) or go slower (and earn fewer). That's a fun mechanic, but otherwise, there's no real innovation. In fact, I've seen better Breakout clones on other platforms (including iOS).

That said, Atari sidesteps most of those issues by offering up the app for free, so if you like the Breakout style of gameplay at all, you might as well download it and test it out. I'm not so sure you'll be convinced to buy any of the level packs as in-app purchases, but that's up to you -- if it floats your boat, they're there. But I'm sorry to say Asteroids Gunner did a better job of updating the Atari classic, and hopefully Atari will take those notes to heart when it decides to update any other titles (Missile Command, I hope).

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