“BREAKER” by Daniel Linssen, Martin Kvale & Dubmood.

“[A] blend of [Breakout], [Space Invaders] and [Ikaruga.]”

Once I had the pleasure to talk on the German-French tv channel ARTE about minimalistic game design and why minimalism doesn’t mean simplicity (yes, really, I did, look it up!). “BREAKER” is a fantastic example to state this point once again. In this bullet hell arcade game, you can’t shoot directly at your enemies. In fact, you can’t do anything besides moving either clockwise or counter-clockwise. By moving in one or the other direction, your paddle spaceship will change its color into red or blue. With a red vessel, you can reflect red bullets of your enemies, and with a blue vessel of course the blue ones. And of course you will get hurt by blue projectiles in your red form and by red projectiles in your blue form; that should go without saying.

That’s a very minimalistic game concept, isn’t it? But that doesn’t mean that “BREAKER” is a simple game. Not at all, to be frank. The groups of enemies will grow larger as you progress and so you will have to dodge attacks from many sides. While the ordinary fiends just shoot off one color, the mini bosses don’t. By figuring out their patterns and with fast thinking you will learn how to react in a proper way, before they can just shoot you down. That makes “BREAKER” not just a clever, but also pretty captivating game with a high replayability in my books.