Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

The Pinnacle of Breakout Games: BreakQuest

Sunday, February 5th, 2006 by Matthew in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 175 votes, average: 3.87 out of 5)

If you were trapped on an island and had to pick one Breakout game to keep you company, BreakQuest by Nurium Games would be it. It is, far and away, the best Breakout clone to ever hit the market. Sounds like hyperbole? Maybe, but give the game a few minutes of your time before you come to your own conclusions.

BreakQuest is a Breakout game that makes heavy use of physics. The core Breakout concept remains. You control horizontal movement of a paddle at the bottom of the screen. Any game player is familiar with the concept, but where BreakQuest extends the game is gratuitous and inventive use of physics. Instead of stationary blocks, many of the levels have physics gizmos and doodads to hit around. Everything can bounce off everything else which makes for some chaotic gameplay.

BreakQuest features 100 levels, and each one really is unique. While most Breakout games simply utilize different arrangements of the same objects, Nurium really went the extra mile by customizing each level with its own visuals, aural themes, and style. Some levels do have similar styles of play, but for the most part each level truly is completely original from all the others. It’s an amazing amount of content in a Breakout title.

It’s worth mentioning that the game’s audio is very well done. The music is by the well-known Maniacs of Noise, but what really stands out is the interactive audio. Most of the objects in the game have different tones when they are struck, which results in a very synesthetic style of play. The video above is a great example of this.

The physics in BreakQuest utilize the DynaMo library. While this library doesn’t provide collision detection, it does do an excellent job of managing things like forces, torques, and constraints. The physics just feel right. Absolutely everything in BreakQuest interacts with everything else which adds tremendously to the game’s replay value.

BreakQuest introduces a mechanism to solve the “last block” problem in Breakout games. Right-clicking will apply a gravitational force to all balls in play that will arc their trajectory downwards. With a little practice, you can use this to steer your balls with some degree of precision. It makes hitting that last nagging little block much easier. This little feature really adds to the sense of mastery in learning the game.

BreakQuest Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(BreakQuest Game Screenshots)

BreakQuest sits at the standard $19.99 downloadable game price point. Really, I think it could be priced higher given the sheer volume of content it brings to the play experience. Even more impressive is that everything except the audio was done by one man: Fèlix Casablancas. He’s working on a puzzle game aimed at the casual market now, which I’m very much looking forward to.

If you’ve burnt out on brick-breaking clones and need something to freshen the genre for you check BreakQuest out today. Its use of physics completely revitalizes the entire concept of Breakout games.

Download BreakQuest game here (20MB).

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7 Responses to 'The Pinnacle of Breakout Games: BreakQuest'

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  1. Drapan said,

    on February 6th, 2006 at 9:11 am

    Seems like a fresh update to the old classic, *downloading*

  2. on February 23rd, 2006 at 11:21 am

    […] Intelligent Artifice points out the best Breakout clone ever – due to the game’s heavy use of physics to create a Breakout experience like you’ve never seen. The movie is well worth watching, just for a notion of how a simple twist can completely transform a 20 year old idea. • • • […]

  3. Ryan Fritsch said,

    on August 3rd, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    This game is emblematic of how physics-based gameplay adds an incredible amount of value and enjoyability to even simple games. More developers need to take note! An utterly contemptible and unimaginative Breakout clone was just released on the Nintendo DS. I expect that it will sell well enough to the herd, but if that game had been something akin to BreakQuest (or why not BreakQuest itself?!?) it could have been a huge hit and continued to accelerate the reception of physics-based gameplay in the mainstream.

  4. William Park said,

    on August 11th, 2006 at 9:25 am

    This had me crying when it went off after the 60 minutes of having it, its so worth it to download this great game.

  5. Kurrus said,

    on February 4th, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Is this the return of spain software to its glory days?
    I just LOVE this game. I’ve been playing it since past year and I am not bored yet.
    And I still need to beat the game on Hard…

  6. Dan said,

    on February 7th, 2007 at 1:22 am

    Great game play.

    10/10 from me

  7. arne said,

    on March 16th, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Nope, this is not the best physics breakout, only second best by quite some margin.

    Try “Bolo” on PC-CDrom by Dongleware (makers of Oxyd and Per.Oxyd). It is old though.

    Bolo is a German breakout game with WAY more interactive and original physis than breakquest. In bolo the paddle is free in 2D! Player dies if ball falls into holes, not bottom of screen. Rubber bands, magnetism, changing friction, gravity, changing paddle sizes, elements from pinball etc etc etc…

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