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Trick Or Treat #XBLIG VVG IndieVerse Review


VVG IndieVerse Review

“Trick Or Treat”

By: Mr. Deeke

Today on VVG IndieVerse Reviews we’ll be focusing on the fun block-busting ricochet-physics Xbox Indie game “Trick Or Treat”. This title is very similar to other Xbox Indies such as Blocks Destruction and ArkX which are both in the same vein as the classic retro arcade games Breakout released by Atari in 1976*, and Arkanoid developed by Taito* a decade later in 1986.

Both of these classic arcade titles played a pivotal role in the history of the “block-busting” genre of video games, and still influences gamers even today.

Trick Or Treat 80 MSP


Trick Or Treat is a re-imagining of the classic genre of the ball-ricocheting genre aimed at both casual and die-hard gamers, as veteran gamers will recognize the inherently classic game dynamics of the title–players must bounce a ball off of the wall and a moving platform in order to destroy blocks and earn points.

Trick Or Treat is unique in that it’s motif, or style and design, is based on not neon-colored blocks but on delicious candy treats. This is a new spin on the asethetics of the game, however the general gameplay functions the same as players would expect it to.

TrickOrTreat

  • Developer – AztecGames
  • Genre – Classics
  • XBL Marketplace URLTrick Or Treat
  • Release Date – 3/4/2011
  • Try or Buy?Try Before You Buy
  • Price – 80 MSP
  • Rating – 3.8/5

Are you ready for addictive block breaking action? Easy to pick up and play but only the truly skilled can master it! Fast paced gameplay in 4 difficulty levels and 20 stages spells tons of fun for either 1 or 2 players!”

–Xbox Live Marketplace Description

I. Game Mechanics

Trick Or Treat’s mechanics are clearly influenced by the retro title Breakout, yet the formations of blocks and obstructions are unique and different–also Trick Or Treat uses yummy renders of candy and other sweets instead of neon-colored blocks. The visuals are enticing and fluid, and the dynamics of gameplay are what players would expect for a game of it’s type; the ball ricochets and bounces off of barriers and collides with the enticing candy blocks.

This title is perfect for casual gamers or die-hard gamers that want a simple and fun game to unwind with–it’s not complicated or overconvoluted and offers a fast-paced game that focuses on reflexes and perfect timing, both of which can be meaningful even outside of gaming as hand-eye coordination can apply to a wide range of activities.

It is also a great game for younger players since it contains no foul language or inappropriate content (other than a few possible costly dental visits after children munch on too much candy, heh).

The ball, or as it is in this game, the peppermint flies across the screen, bouncing off of objects and blocks all the while earning points. The dynamics are a bit like pinball, as well, as the ball itself will bounce from each collision and players must use this in their advantage to devise effective strategies. Every collision earns points to the high-score total further making it a pinball game.

The red platform is also something else players must utilize successfully in order to do well and earn a decent score in this game. It functions much like the former re-iterations of platforms in earlier “block-buster” arcade titles–it is a horizontal bar that is the basis for controlling the peppermint’s direction.

Image from TrickOrTreat

Getting used to using the platform is key to progressing in Trick Or Treat: basically players have to learn how to use not only the middle of the bar, but the corners and edges that can be used to launch the peppermint for trickier shots.

As players break blocks, they drop down treats like candy and other sweets–players must grab as many as these as possible for higher bonus points. Careful gamers can plan certain collisions in such a way to strategically collect all the candy pieces at once, however this game is also quite random and the unexpected could happen at any time.

It’s a free-flowing physics game that puts emphasis on timing, focus, and reflexes to allow gamers to enjoy the a classic genre with a trick-or-treat theme.

The controls for Trick Or Treat are easy enough; Press A to launch the peppermint ball, and the Right Analog Stick moves the ball horizontally along the platform, while the Left Analog Stick moves the platform from side to side.

II. Weapons/Items

Players will utilize the red platform, the peppermint which acts like the essential “ball”, and the block pieces themselves to score points and progress onward to other levels. Gamers will need to acclimate themselves with the physics system and get used to how it functions–basically it’s pretty logical and fluid with no real surprises.

There are a number of different blocks that break open to release bonus point multipliers in the guise of candy, each of which have their own variable strengths–that is how many collisions it takes for the object to be destroyed. Players must bounce the peppermint ball off of walls and other objects to break open these blocks in order to collect the goodies inside–it’s a bit like a pinata in this respect.

Players get rather limited pool of lives–at the beginning stages there are only three lives before a game over, but as players progress through stages these lives are reset. This limited number of lives provides a bit of a challenge for gamers.

There are also power-ups such as the Lightning Bolt which makes the platform move twice as fast, or the 1Up that gives players an extra life, all of these power-ups are extremely useful and supplement the game in positive ways. Apart from the power-ups are the main bonus multipliers that are styled as pieces of yummy candy which are released when blocks break open. Often times players will have to focus on only getting the most candy they can since multiple blocks usually break open, and players usually can’t catch each piece.

Image from TrickOrTreat

III. Unique Features

The candy-infused graphics are appealing and enticing for all gamers–I mean who doesn’t love candy? Everyone out there, whether they are a young gamer or an older one–they enjoy snacking on some delectable sweets such as chocolate or even hard candies like butterscotch. These visuals not only make you want to munch on some peppermints, but they also provide you with a fun and dynamic environment that is fast-paced and enjoyable.

Trick Or Treat’s physics system is very noteworthy, as well–the way that the peppermint ball ricochets and reacts to collisions is very realistic and fluid, and it provides for fun and addictive gameplay. The title itself has elements of pinball arcade games mixed with the classic dynamics of classic retro games and even modernized infusions like reflexive movement and improved collision reactions.

What’s very nice about Trick or Treat is that you can also move the platform up and down, however the vertical axis is very limited. This allows for players to not only customize each shot, but to strategize more effectively and test certain plans out as they play.

Trick Or Treat also has local multiplayer as well as singleplayer modes that allow up to two players to compete head-to-head for delicious candy victory. First player uses the classic Red Platform while second player uses the Green Platform–as the ball is hit by each platform, it changes color accordingly. For example if the peppermint falls on the Green Platform, it turns green, and any subsequent collisions that occur rack up points for the second player–and when the ball hits the Red Platform, it reverts back to its original state to rack up points for first player. This may sound confusing at first, but once players understand the dynamics, it can be a rather competitive game.

Image from TrickOrTreat

IV. Critique

The Good

It’s Fun! This game is perfect for casual and pro gamers alike, and is a good fit for gamers of all ages. Basically this title is enjoyable for everyone, and it is a great way to not only improve your motor reflexes and hand-eye coordination and dexterity, but a great way to unwind and cool off with a not-too-challenging classic that never gets old.

Infinitely Replayable! As mentioned above, games like this don’t get old–even the same stages can be replayed hundreds of different ways, each of them unique in strategy. Gamers can enjoy this game an infinite number of ways and times, which make it a great title for players who want as much value as their MSP as possible.

Very Addicting. I’ve found that these types of games are some of the most addicting types, as they were back in the coin-op arcades–luckily for us we don’t have to shell out pocketfulls of quarters for each playthrough. Only a mere 80 MSP and gamers can enjoy thousands of playthroughs, and the best part is that each stage is progressively more difficult than the last, presenting a challenge to players. I also find myself going back and trying different methods and strategies to see which ones work best, and then apply those strategies to the harder stages.

The Bad

The Checkered Floor. The only real major problem I have about this Xbox Indie is the checkered black and white floor area at the bottom. This may be a design flaw, or it may be designed this way on purpose to present more of a challenge to gamers; either way, the checkered floor is very distracting is extremely difficult to differentiate a moving peppermint-colored ball on the black-and-white surface. At times it becomes downright frustrating as players have a hard time seeing and keeping focus on the ball, which is very essential to success.

Image from TrickOrTreat

V. Wrap-Up

Overall, Trick Or Treat is a great Xbox Indie that is more like a classic arcade game than anything else. It’s highly recommended for gamers who like these sorts of games, especially if you have a younger player or two who need a fun and clean game to enjoy. At only 80 MSP, you can hardly go wrong with this title–a smattering of stages, yummy virtual candy to munch on, and retro dynamics that come from the classic days of arcade gaming itself.

Trick Or Treat is a great way to enjoy 80 MSP and to entertain yourself with yummy arcade goodness–satisfy your sweet tooth with this fun Xbox Live Indie Game.

Other Xbox Indies from AztecGames:

TicTacToe DoubleVision Pushy TheAmazingRumblingHypnoDisc Subliminal Suggestions

*Source: Wikipedia.org articles “Breakout” and “Arkanoid

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