Setup & Timing
Arkanoid was clearly programmed with new and expanding gamers in mind when it designed its simple menu system. The opening credits aren't ridiculously long and neither is the download time.
Menus & Navigation
The menu options are large enough to read and to tap. The buffer space is not really wide, but the tapable areas are large enough that really wide buffer zones aren't necessary.
Ease Of Use / Play Control
Arkanoid is extremely easy to use, possibly too easy (see below). The touch pad controls are simple and intuitive, as they should be. Move the stylus left, the paddle goes left. Move the stylus right, the paddle goes right. Use a button or tap outside the play field to launch the ball or shoot the lasers. The "+Control Pad" controls are also simple and are pretty much exactly as expected. The paddle controller is also compatable, but has to be imported from Japan and, while it should work really well with the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo DS Lite, it will not be compatable with the upcoming Nintendo DSi.
Graphically, Arkanoid DS is average. There are blocks, a ball, and a paddle. There really doesn't need to be anything more. The game's audio - both soundtrack and sound effects - are excellent and enjoyable. The real setback here is the lack of features. There's only one multipolayer mode and there is no downloadable demo. A co-op mode would be nice. It'd also be nice if there were a Vs mode where both players were on opposite ends of the same play field with the blocks in the center. In this case, however, Taito decided to go traditional and there are no new, innovative modes.
The Arkanoid series is one of the oldest "Breakout" clone series on the market. The new version is traditional with the new stylus control. The game is fun to play, with a steadily increasing difficulty as the ball speeds up. There is a potential problem, however, for folks who are looking for an intense challenge: the game is easy... almost too easy. The stylus control simplifies the gameplay to the point where there is only a fraction of the original difficulty (moreso for the single-player experience, but that's not reviewed here). In multiplayer, the problem is lessened by the fact that there is someone(s) on the other end of the wireless connection that can increase your difficulty by the items they collect. Overall, the game is fun. Traditional puzzle gamers will enjoy it. Casual gamers and new gamers will absolutely love it.
Include a Single-Card Download demo of the game.
Program in a custom stage creator with the ability to save stages and share them via Single-Card Download.
Offer ways to increase the difficulty.
Provide stages wider than the screens which require scrolling.
Add in additional multiplayer modes (co-op, vs opponent on the same play field with the blocks in the center, etc.) as options.
Overall Single-Card Download Rating: 82 / 100 (a.k.a. 41/50)
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