The team over at Rank 17 have absolutely thrown themselves into HTC Vive game production. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing their Game Bundle which was… okay. Not bad. Fair.
When the Wii burst onto the scene with its innovative new controllers, there was an enormous mass of games released for it. A large bulk of those releases were trash, let’s be honest. We all saw those $4.95 games at the cheap shop and cringed looking at the artwork on the cover. Making a successful Wii game (by and large) was to take a simple idea and make it fun. Bowling, Tennis, Baseball and the like all did very well, none so more than Nintendo’s own versions.
Virtual Reality on the PC is in a very similar scenario right now. As developers explore the potential of the technology we’re being inundated with a plethora of titles; some good, many not. Rank 17 has obviously got a hold of the right idea though; keep making quick, easy, simple, yet fun games until you hit a winner.
With Super Pixel Smash I feel that Rank17 have definitely edged closer to that winning title. Super Pixel Smash is fun!
The premise of the game is fairly straight forward. In a racquet ball type environment, you have to break the brick on the far wall, collect power ups and avoid ‘bad bricks’ all within a time limit for a high score. Very much in the vein of Breakout or Arkanoid from back in the day.
The left hand is a ‘Suction Gun’ like device that allows you pull the ball back to you from wherever it may be within the environment, while the right is your racquet. I didn’t see an option for left handed players although I imagine if you physically swap controllers once you start the game it should do the trick just fine.
Super Pixel Smash is a good game. With more time, polish and features it could be a very good game. I’d love to see more power up options, perhaps something to empower or alter my suction gun. I’d also like to see more variety in level design; perhaps enemies could move about or shielding blocks could interfere with the ball. The game is set to launch January 25th on Steam and while its retail price will be $7.99, it will be on sale until January 31st for only $4.79 (~$6.35 Australian). If you are interested in the game at all then I’d definitely grab it at the 40% off price.
Check out my video for an example of how the game plays and some of my thoughts
SUMMARY: Of all the Rank17 games I’ve played so far this is the one that I will definitely be returning to the most. It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s an enjoyable experience, again all it’s missing is a bit more content and polish and Rank17 will have that winner I think they are looking for.
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I started gaming in 1982 when my father would bring home an IBM PC XT for work reasons. Naturally after he was done we'd also play some games. In 1983 we acquired the PC full time and I was also lucky enough to receive an Atari 2600 for my birthday that same year. I've been gaming for over 30 years and I've loved every minute of it. Watching games evolve from text and basic visuals to home virtual reality has been amazing. I still have a fondness for the classics though and enjoy collecting 5.25" and 3.5" PC games from the 80's and 90's.