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Ambi-ON Review

By , on October 8, 2012

Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5


  • An inventive new spin on the Breakout formula.
  • Touchpad power-ups.


  • Heavy reliance on grinding or spending cash to unlock items in shop.
  • Same issues that have always plagued this style of game.
  • The robot voice is annoying.


A Breakout style game with Pong style paddles all wrapped up in a machine-punk presentation.

  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Ambi-On is the tale of controlling a parasite eradicating device used to purge the gas shafts of this planet mining operation. Accomplishing this task plays like a mix of Breakout and Pong, as you paddle an orb back and forth, collecting credits, and triggering explosions until the orb explodes itself and you end up failing your mission, only to take those credits, upgrade your device and try again. Not the most efficient way I could think of to clear out parasites, but there you go.

The paddles on either side of the screen move in tandem and are controlled by the slider on the side (whichever side you wish you place it on in the options). The sliding works well enough, and you can definitely zoom your finger up quick to catch a rebound that rockets out of a holding pattern (which happens quite a lot in this game). There is a danger later on when you need to tap the power-up buttons in the middle of the screen, that your return to the slider will not encounter optimal placement, which might lead to a falter in catching a rebound, and then a game over.

The Machine Shop holds plenty of single use items, upgrades to your paddles, and the unlocks for the other two levels in the game. Prices are set rather high, leading either to a lot of grinding or making use of in-app purchase for additional credits. Seeing that the basic game is just a high score grab, the prices definitely hurt what is a decent and fun core experience.

The art style is sufficient to impart the information needed for gameplay, and the music is alright if you enjoy electronica (although I think everyone can agree that robot voice gets annoying fast). The main issue here aside from the high shop prices is that the main faults of the original Breakout are still evident. You're too much at the mercy of luck as the orb changes velocity and careens back and forth through the obstacles between the paddles. This is of course part and parcel of the game, but this criticism has held since those early brick breaking days. Ambi-On is kind of a gaming stew that has taken the ingredients of two early classics, let them simmer, and sprinkled a few extras on top. Whether or not this becomes a meal depends on each individual player's taste. Now let's never speak of this metaphor again.


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