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Game Info:

Shatter
Developed by: Sidhe
Published by: PikPok
Released: March 15, 2010
Available on: Linux, macOS, PS3, Windows
Genre: Action, puzzle
ESRB rating: E (mild fantasy violence)
Number of players: 1-2
Price: $9.99 (Steam); $4.99 (Mac App Store)

One of the earliest video games ever created was Breakout; a simple game where you control a paddle and bat a ball into a wall of collapsing bricks. The game has been remade and reimagined many, many times over the years. Shatter is no exception to this tradition, but it has enough variation to keep it from getting dull.

Just like with Breakout and pretty much all the other clones, you control a paddle and have to keep a ball on the field. You slide back and forth in order to reflect the puck-like ball. If you miss the ball, you lose a life. One of the main differences in this game is that you have a way to control gravity, or the wind, or something. You can click the mouse button to pull objects to you, or the right mouse button to push them away. But be careful! If you get hit by something other than the ball or a power-up, your paddle will be stunned for a couple seconds. You also can generate a shield for a short time, or unleash a “shard storm” to send particles flying across the screen – a handy move to use when facing off against one of the bosses.

Shatter
Highlights:

Strong Points: Lots of action; different gameplay modes to unlock; sharp graphics; good music; new mechanic added to a familiar genre
Weak Points: Controls take a bit to get used to
Moral Warnings: None!

There seems to be some semblance of a story, but it is just as surreal and strange as the rest of the game. You seem to be some sort of cyber-security machine in a virtual world, and you have to navigate a series of 10 worlds, each of which culminates in a boss fight. It really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but the story isn't the main point of this puzzle game. The action is busy and sometimes you have to really pay attention – otherwise, it's easy to lose track of your ball amid all the other objects flying across the screen! In some levels, the attraction / repulsion commands are much more effective in controlling the ball than maneuvering your craft. To really master the game, these controls need to be utilized as well.

Shatter
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The graphics are sharp, with a high-tech look to them reminiscent of the way Hollywood sometimes depicts cyberspace. The music also has a rapid techno beat to it. There is no voice acting, but there don't seem to be any living creatures inside this virtual world, anyway. The controls are sharp and responsive, but a bit awkward when using the mouse and controller. Fortunately, it's possible to reprogram the controls to a button configuration that is more comfortable. It also is possible to use game controllers with the game (and if playing a two player game, I recommend it). In addition to the story mode, there are other gameplay options, such as an endless mode and a boss rush. Online leaderboards allow you to compare your scores with others. For Steam players, achievements can be unlocked. There even is a co-operative, endless multiplayer mode, where two players can help each other to destroy bricks and other obstacles.

For those that enjoy Breakout and its many variations, Shatter is a fun entry to the collection. It's many levels and styles grants it an abundance of replay options. From a moral standpoint, it's squeaky clean. For $9.99, you really can't go wrong with Shatter.

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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