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Game Reviewed: Shatter
Publisher: Sidhe Interactive
Developer: Sidhe Interactive
Platform: PS3 (via the PlayStation Network)
ESRB Rating: E
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If you have a Blackberry device, or know someone who does, then chances are you or someone you know is addicted to the game “Brick Breaker” that comes pre-installed in the device. My wife owns a Blackberry Pearl and she spends more time playing that game than making phone calls (but just barely).
Shatter falls into the same category as Brick Breaker, Breakout, Arkanoid and others like it. If you have not played those types of games before, the premise is simple: there are a line of blocks that you destroy with a moving platform and a bouncing ball. It is simple in design, yet addictive in its execution. Before you write this off as some boring Brick Breaker clone, hear me out. Shatter takes the Brick Break premise and adds shooter type elements as well. Your platform is not just something for the ball to bounce off of, but it can also deliver some devastating fire power. Shatter also offers many differences and strategies that Brick Breaker does not. For instance, you start off with 3 balls and if you are feeling adventurous, you can release all 3 balls. The advantage: more bricks get broken. The disadvantage: if all 3 balls slip past your platform, it is going to be a really quick game. Shatter also takes advantage of the PS3 shoulder buttons. One button acts as a vacuum and sucks the ball back to you, while the other acts as a leave blower and blows the ball away from you. Using the shoulder buttons in concert, you can effectively “steer” the ball and make it move in different directions.
Shattering the blocks also results in different colored orbs that you can collect to try and power up your platform. Using the shoulder buttons in this aspect will help you attract those orbs quicker but at the same time bring the ball back faster. Once your platform is fully powered up, you can press a face button and release a barrage of projectiles, the Shard Storm, to quickly clear out the blocks you have left. The firing, however, only lasts a couple of seconds.
What Parents Need to Know
There is no violence in this game. There is some “shooting” involved, but nothing remotely organic is shot, so no blood and no guts, just colorful remnants of bricks exploding on your screen.
There is no offensive language in this game.
There is no sexual content in this game.
There is nothing offensive in this game regarding spirituality.
I liked this game. It is fun for a few minutes of diversion, but as you can read from the game description above, it can be somewhat of an ocular overload. As stated before, my wife really loves Brick Breaker on her Blackberry, but when she tried to play Shatter, she thought she was going to have an epileptic seizure from all the activity going on. She also mentioned that using so many buttons made it confusing for her. Brick Breaker just uses the Blackberry and her thumb.
Bottom line, however, is that Shatter can be great for the kids and it is a refreshing change of pace from the violence of other games targeted for kids and teens.