|Break 'Em All|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer (up to 8 players)|
Break 'Em All JPN (also known as Brick 'Em All DS in Europe) is an Arkanoid clone released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS. The game features several single player modes, as well as single-cart multiplayer for up to 8 players. The game utilized the system's touch screen to control the paddle, as well as activate power-ups. Power-Ups could also be activated by pressing left on the D-Pad or by pressing the L Button.
The game was originally released on October 27, 2005 in Japan as part of the "Simple DS" line of products. In early 2006, D3 Publisher announced that it would be releasing a localized version of the game in North America under the name "Break 'Em All".
Tokoton mode is one of the two single player modes in the game. It has two play options: "Standard Play" and "Random Play". Standard play consists of 50 stages. As the player progresses through the stages, they begin to gain levels. The player begins at the "amoeba" level and slowly works their way to the "superior being" level. In "Random Play", the game randomly generates each level, with a total of over 3 million different combinations. In Tokoton Mode, the player is given three lives at the beginning, and can earn more as the game progresses.
The game's second single-player mode is Quest Mode. Quest Mode consists of 12 levels, with each level having three regular stages and one special boss stage. To defeat the boss, the player must find and exploit its weak point. Quest Mode can also be played multiplayer, with up to four players connecting to the host via DS Download Play. The host selects the stage, and the player completing it fastest is crowned the winner.
Survival Mode is the game's multiplayer mode. Up to eight players can participate via DS Download Play. At the beginning of the round, they each chose one of four unique paddles to play as. Each paddle is shaped differently from the standard flat paddle found in most Breakout-style games. This mode chooses to forego the normal Arkanoid brick-breaking mode of play. Instead, players must protect their central core from balls flying at them. When hit, the core changes from green to yellow, then to red, before destroying the player. After some time, one of the flying balls will change into a "Lucky Ball", granting invincibility to the first player that hits it. After the Lucky Ball is hit, it immediately changes into a "Life Ball", reverting the hit paddle's Core to its original green state. The last player to survive the round without their core being hit while red is the winner.
Like many other brick-breaking games, Break 'Em All utilizes a power-up system that allows players to modify gameplay to help them progress. The game's 12 power-ups are divided into six pairs of two, and at the beginning of each game the player must choose one of each pair. During the game, the power-ups become available in order of power as the player's points increase, although only the most recently gained powerup is available for use. If a player completes a stage without using a powerup, it will be available to them for the next stage. While most powerups are meant to make the game easier, some powerups make the game more difficult, but give the player a boost in points.
|Tier||Choice #1||Choice #2|
Decreases ball speed.
Increases ball speed and score obtained by each broken block.
|Tier 2 (carries over)||Catch
Catches the ball with the paddle.
Reflects the ball in the direction it hit the paddle.
Makes two additional clones of the ball.
Creates four clones of the ball, which are destroyed after one hits the paddle.
|Tier 4 (carries over)||Safe
Extends a barrier underneath the paddle, which takes two hits to destroy.
Makes a clone of your paddle where you activate this power-up. Only two may by on the field at a time.
|Tier 5 (carries over)||Wide
Extends the length of the paddle.
Decreases the length of the paddle but doubles the points for each broken block.
Temporarily gives the ball the ability to destroy any breakable brick in its path. The ball will continue moving normally.
Temporarily gives the ball the ability to destroy adjacent bricks.
Upon its release, the game was generally met with mixed to poor reviews. Many criticized the game's low production quality, as evidenced by its poor visuals, low sound quality and lackluster, rushed translation from the Japanese version. Many also felt that the game failed to add anything new to the genre, instead acting as a retread of what other games have done in the past.
However, many critics were impressed by the game's range of options, modes, and its inclusion of 8-player single-cart multiplayer. Some reviews also took the game's low $19.99 price into account, believing the game to be of sufficient value for the price. In his review, GameSpot's Alex Nevarro also praised the game's tight, responsive controls and intuitive use of the system's touch screen to control the paddle.
- Daisei Saitoh - Producer
- Kayoko Maeda - Assistant Producer
- Toshihiko Nakamura - Graphic Design
- Toshihiko Kudo - Graphic Design
- Dota Ando - Sound Design
- Nobumasa Oikawa - Game Design
- Shotaroh Sasaki - Localization
- ^ Known in Japan as Simple DS Series Vol. 4: The Block Kuzushi (SIMPLE DSシリーズ Vol.4 THE ブロックくずし Shinpuru Dii Esu Shiriizu Boryuumu Yon Za Burokku Kuzushi, Simple DS Series Vol. 4: The Block Destruction)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2008-08-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) D3 Publisher Breaks 'Em All
- http://www.gamespot.com/ds/action/breakemall/news.html?sid=6150851&mode=previews E3 2006: Break 'Em All Hands-On
- http://ds.ign.com/articles/713/713438p1.html Break 'Em All Paddles to Stores
- http://ds.ign.com/articles/708/708365p1.html E3 2006: Break 'Em All
- Jeremy Parish's 1UP.com review
- Game Informer Sept 2006, p.100
- Alex Nevarro's GameSpot review
- Craig Harris' IGN review
- Nintendo Power Aug 2006, p.85