Retroid is Arkanoid-gaming done right. Never heard of arkanoid? Think Breakout, but made in Japan. Retroid takes Arkanoid and smothers it in a coat of gorgeous retro graphics. No, I don't mean pixelated - well done or otherwise. These are bright modern visuals dishing out shapes and colors in a manner that is as trippy today as it has ever been.

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This game is about as pick up and play as it gets. There are no instructions, as this game is ubiquitous enough that it doesn't need them. Everything from the title screen to the level selection feels like the quintessential mobile gaming experience.

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These screenshots look fine, but they just don't compare to seeing the game in motion. The animation is smooth, the gameplay is fast, and, quite frankly, this title just pops on tiny high-resolution displays. The music is also pretty snazzy.

I've always been awful at Breakout, so I can't attest to how balanced this game's difficulty is. Each room scoots my forehead ever so closer towards being bashed into the wall, but so has every other game in its genre. I can say that the controls are up to the task. Players can either place their fingers on the bumper and drag it around or simply press down on the place where they want the bumper to go. I felt the controls were responsive enough, except when they weren't, but I also feel that way about baseball bats and tennis racquets. Essentially, my own reflexes may be to blame here.

The fifteen stages in the first episode are available for free. Each of the subsequent episodes cost 99 cents each. Since there are currently four episodes available, it roughly takes three bucks to own the entire game. Still, fifteen stages is a good amount of free content, more than enough to see if you are any better at this game than I am.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Bluewall

    God damn it !

    I want a good Arkanoid on Android since... AGES !

    This one seems good, I've played the first level and I really liked it. But why the fuck do I have to pay for every new stage ? And I'm sure I'll have to pay for every update that has new levels.

    If the game in entire was like 2$ I would have paid right now.

    • Hans Pedersen

      Why is it that we refuse to pay money for any sort of smart device game? Sure, most games are not worth paying for, but this seems like it's worth $3 for those who are into breakout type of games. This game would probably cost $10 on a PC and sell as much. :)

      • Bluewall

        You didn't understood what I said.
        I have nothing against paid apps. I've spent between 150 to 200 bucks on the playstore.

        I just don't like the fact that you pay for every level. It's not, in my opinion, how it should be. Put a price for the game, like 4 bucks and that's it.

        This is why you can't say it's like on PC. Do you buy every time you go in a new dungeon in Zelda? That's what I'm saying :)

        • moelsen8

          i got very excited and then very put off by the pricing scheme for the same reason. charge what you want upfront and let me play the game. i've also spent a lot of money on apps, but i refuse to support IAPs.

          • Bluewall

            Maybe, one day, iAP will die. This will be a glorious day.

        • Bertel King, Jr.

          This actually isn't that different from the shareware model from the earlier days of PC gaming. Smartphones and PCs aren't like game consoles, where each person who owns the device is willing to pay upfront for software. Unfortunately, many people refuse to pay for a game until after they've become addicted to a free version and decide they must have more content.

          Retroid's approach isn't inherently more expensive than what you're suggesting. They could upload a lite version to the Play Store, then follow that with a paid version for $2.99 containing all four episodes. Then they could release more episodes available as either IAPs for 99 cents each or as a bundle containing another three episodes as another app for $2.99. In the end, you would still pay six bucks to own all of the content. The route they've chosen to go is arguably the cleanest.

          I would say that this is IAPs done right. Retroid's not trying to milk you with artificial currency or inflated difficulty spikes requiring that you purchase a new character or weapon.

          • moelsen8

            but is it permanently tied to your google account, or will it just disappear if you need to reset your phone, or lose your phone, or if you're a romaholic and lose the backup? this is the kicker for me. IAP's that unlock levels etc. should be tied to my account. the very few IAPs i've bought a long while back go poof when you forget about them while screwing with your phone. i hate it.

          • Bertel King, Jr.

            IAPs are tied to your Google account, but it's up to developers to reliably restore them. Some games are good about this, but as you've experienced, not all are. That's admittedly a weakness with IAPs on Android.

          • http://twitter.com/phonecount StalkyTheFish

            Exactly! I have no problem with IAP of level packs. It's lives and critical upgrades that piss me off. If people liked paying for lives, arcades would still be popular.

          • Bluewall

            Damn it AP staff, I thought I was right and now I'm feeling bad and I feel wrong :p

    • Fritaze

      nice one, but deathmetal is much better