It was ten years ago that I cashed in my paper route earnings for my very first iPod (mini). The tech marveled me, with its massive 4gb hard drive and impossibly compact design, it was clear that the future was nigh. While Apple’s slick marketing machine sold the original iPod as a music device, an often less remembered feature is the included portable games. The iPod mini couldn’t hold a candle to contemporary handhelds,  the PSP and DS, but the pack in of brick breaker was a fun little time waster. Its simplistic arcade design resembled pong, but against a destructible wall of bricks rather than a worthy opponent. It was fun, but forgettable.

Ten years later and brick breaker is back, reborn and reimagined in the form of Blowfish Meets Meteor, a game developed for iOS. Developer Tyrannosaur Sky takes the basics of brick breaker, but adds an entire adventure of various challenge. The game appears to be aiming for the Angry Birds market with it’s cutesy animal logo and serialized level progression, but adds a premium price of $2.99. Yes, in a market place like the iOS App Store, $3 can seem steep in comparison to the countless other free or $1 games. The question then is, does it stand out?


The story of the game won’t win any awards. In BMM, scuba divers are married to mermaids and have mermaids as children. Life seems fantastic under the sea until a mysterious meteor smashes into the ocean, creating an apocalyptic displacement of stone blocks. The stone blocks all happen to fall just so, that across the ocean all of the mermaid offspring are trapped between the blocks. The scuba divers use the very same destructive meteor to break the blocks and free their daughters. Nonsensical? Yes, moving on.

Graphically, the game doesn’t push the boundaries. The plain sprites wouldn’t look out of place in a flash game that you used to play while procrastinating in middle school computer lab. While that sounds harsh, the little characters can be loved. More impressive are the large bosses that appear on stage 10 of every world. The levels too are plain, but colorful. They don’t impress, but they don’t distract either.

The soundtrack and effects are a cut above the visual presentation. Each world has a unique soundtrack fitting of the environment. The sunny beach theme sounds like it was ripped from a Donkey Kong country game, and the ice ocean glistens with piano scales. The crashes and cracking of the bricks also provide another level of satisfaction when playing the game.

Beyond presentation, it’s the gameplay that makes or breaks a game and unfortunately BMM suffers from some pretty glaring issues. The controls have you sliding your scuba diver from side to side, but it just feels clumsy. I longed for my iPod mini click wheel, which offered precision. On the iPad, using my pointer finger was doable, but on the iPhone the experience suffered. Also, the activation of power ups does not feel natural. For example, to use the TNT power you need to hold your finger on the top of the screen while simultaneously sliding your scuba diver around to reflect the meteor back up. It goes beyond a learning curve straight to awkward control scheme.Capture2

Another major issue with BMM is the lack of tutorial. Certain levels had me mindlessly bouncing around the meteor with little idea of how to defeat the enemy. Again, this is not a challenging puzzle design, but rather poorly explained game mechanics. When battling the giant ice\electric eel boss of world two, I just couldn’t understand why sometimes there was an unavoidable boss attack, while other times a power up would float up on screen and protect me from it. It’s a frustration that should never be found in any game, especially ones designed around simplicity.

Brick Breaker to me was always a survival type game: score as many points as possible and try and stay alive. The design of Blowfish Meets Meteor tries to take this basic concept and make it something else entirely. Boasting of puzzles, action, adventure, it truly brings all these to the table, and with some success. If you are someone who really enjoys the action of brick breaker, but wanted something a little more extensive, this would be your game. However, compared to its App Store rivals, it’s hard to imagine BMM as anything but niche.

This review is based on a review copy of the iOS game Blowfish Meets Meteor by Sky Tyrannosaur.

Not Breaking the Mold | Blowfish Meets Meteor Review
  • It's a serviceable brick breaker game
  • The soundtrack is solid
  • Controls aren't ideal
  • You can find similar experiences for cheaper...or for free
6Overall Score
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GuestPost represents the work of past New Gamer Nation writers. Though they may not be with us anymore physically, we know they are with us in spirit.