Paddle Battle for iPad [Review]

At first glance, Paddle Battle for the iPad sounds like a bit of a rip off of Breakout, the classic arcade game that had you busting blocks by bouncing a ball around the screen on a paddle. It becomes clear early on, however, that while there are similarities, Paddle Battle is a different kettle of fish.

Yes, you bounce balls around with paddles. Yes, there are obstacles in the middle of the play-field that are eliminated by hitting them with said balls. But at the other end of the play-field is another paddle, controlled by your opponent, who’s hitting balls back at you. The basic idea is to knock out your opponent’s shields before he or she does the same to you.

Ok, so far it’s just two player Breakout. Hardly innovative, is it? But there’s more.

Destroying some of the obstacles in the centre of the play-field brings power ups. Collect these and you’ll be able to deploy guided missiles, dumb missiles, autonomous UFOs and a load of other weapons designed to distract or destroy your opponent and make it easier to get through to their shields.

An effective tactic (and I’ve both used this and had it used against me) is to save your power ups and then release them in one almighty barrage in an attempt to overwhelm your opponent. It’s fun, but boy is it hectic.

The iPad‘s touch screen also adds a nicely tactile feel to the game as you swipe your finger back and forth to move your paddle, although I did find that the rounded back (on the iPad 1) meant it rocked a little during play.

Still, Paddle Battle turned out to be a great fun 2-player game (no single player option here). It looks stylish, has enough of a Breakout feel to appeal to retro game geeks, and makes great use of the iPad’s touchscreen controls. Now if only I could convince my wife that we should use it to decide who does the dishes…

Paddle Battle is available from the App Store.

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