Pretty Girls Breakout!
These days, games tend to blend so many different styles and genres that it often requires a closer look to establish what they offer. Pretty Girls Breakout! is not one of these games, and everything it has to offer is summed up in the title. The original concept of Breakout stretches back all the way to 1976, which in itself was an evolution of Pong. Pretty Girls Breakout! remains faithful to its tried and tested gameplay, but as the name suggests, spices things up with some anime girls.
Pretty Girls Breakout! is the twelfth release in the series by Zoo Corporation that has seen anime girls added to everything from mahjong and solitaire to poker and Texas Hold’em. These games are all affordable, colorful, and great for killing some time between more in-depth games. PGB! is no exception and features a roster of seven animal-themed girls. Players must choose a girl and then complete Breakout style levels to unlock new costumes for the girls. The girls all have multiple costumes each to unlock, which means there are more than twenty levels for players to conquer.
Whereas traditionally Breakout games give players control of a paddle that has to be moved left and right to deflect balls, PGB! does things a little differently. Instead of a paddle, players control a little anime character who can swing a lightsaber-style paddle. Players must still move the character to intercept the bouncing ball and have to press a button to swing the paddle to hit the ball. Depending on the button pressed, the paddle can be swung to the left or right, which makes it a little easier to direct where to hit the balls than other Breakout clones.
Other than the differences with the paddle, the goal remains the same as traditional Breakout games. Players are presented with a bunch of blocks at the top of the screen and must break all of these with the bouncing ball to complete the level. If the ball manages to get past your character and drop off the screen, you lose a life. Lose all of your lives before the last block is smashed, and you’ll have to start the level from scratch. Players will also have to focus on more than just hitting the ball and breaking the blocks. Later levels begin to introduce enemies that shoot projectiles as well as unbreakable blocks that may contain turrets or even rotating paddles that can alter the direction of the bouncing ball. Fortunately, enemy projectiles can be knocked back at them if your timing is good. To even out the odds, the game also has a few power-ups. These range from a wider flipper and additional bouncing balls to a barrier that adds a safety net behind your character for keeping the ball in play. Overall, it didn’t take us too long to complete all the levels, but some of the later ones took a few attempts to clear.
Visually, PGB! is a colorful game with some beautiful character artwork for the girls. While playing, the character sprite of your selected girl is displayed on the left side of the screen, along with information such as your remaining lives, time, items, and combo. Anyone concerned about the “animal” nature of the girls will also be happy to hear that they look very human apart from the odd fox, cat, or dog ears. You won’t find any Anthropomorphic characters here, and while some of the outfits are a little skimpy, the game also doesn’t have any nudity. The game doesn’t feature any animations for the girls changing outfits, and instead, a line slowly descents over the image, leaving the changes in its wake. Of course, it is easy to get distracted by this while playing, so the game also has a “changing room” where players can check out the new outfits they have unlocked. The audio in PGB! sounds as cheerful and upbeat as one would expect from this type of game, and the controls are responsive too. The game can be played with a mouse or controller, and we didn’t encounter any major issues apart from the cursor being visible onscreen when using a mouse.
There has been no shortage of Breakout games over the years, but the anime theme will make this one more appealing to some players. With this game, what you see is pretty much what you get, so most players will know right off the bat whether it is their cup of tea or not. We enjoyed our time with the game but managed to get 100% of the achievements in just under two hours. However, considering the affordable price tag and the fact that this is the type of game you’ll play in short bursts instead of one sitting, we have no qualms recommending it to fans of the genre. Some kind of multiplayer mode would have been great, and a few more girls appreciated, but as is, there’s not much to fault about Pretty Girls Breakout!
- OS: Windows 8.1/10
- Processor: 2Ghz
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: DirectX compatible card
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 1 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX-compatible sound