Action 1996 Windows Webfoot Technologies Arcade style

Innovative and enjoyable bat 'n' ball experience

Arkanoid-style bat 'n ' ball games might be ten a penny but that doesn't stop developers pumping out more, with the likes of Krypton Egg, Aquanoid 2 and Bunny Bricks all out there on the market. With TwinBlok we have another attempt but this one actually attempts to throw something new into the mix and actually turns out to be just the twist the genre needed. There is a rather bizarre and unnecessary bit of background material to it which goes on about Time Spinners but you can easily gloss over this and get straight to the action. In many ways, it's similar to what we've seen before, requiring players to bash their way through a series of blocks by bouncing balls off them but the first twist here is that the game is played horizontally rather than vertically. This might not sound much but it does make a huge difference when every other game has done it the same way since the dawn of time (except perhaps the originator of the genre, Pong). You've got the usual array of power-ups (or power-downs in some cases) but there are also some nice additions like the dreaded smiley face, while some of the blocks also put extra spin on the ball to further add to the challenge. When you add in a two-player mode (including a one-player two-player option if that makes sense) you have one of the most interesting things to happen to the bat 'n' ball genre for a long time. The visuals are simple enough but which are wonderfully vibrant and eye-catching while the controls are smooth and responsive. If you've been finding the usual crop of clones to be lacking in interest, TwinBlok is exactly what you've been looking for to rekindle your love of the genre and is a must play.

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