Break Limit is now the second game to be released for the Indie Games Winter Uprising, and while it’s a completely different kind of entry (a score-topping endless runner of sorts) than the first, that doesn’t mean it’s any less of an important member of the movement. Quite the contrary, actually.
According to the story in the tutorial, there was a war a while back. Since things have calmed down, many of the ships and pilots have found a new calling: flying through star systems (in some cases literally flying through) for the amusement of the masses. Which, I suppose, is better than orphan fights.
At first, Break Limit doesn’t seem all that different from any other space-themed shooter. You fly around, avoid obstacles and grab various power-ups and coins to enhance your ship or boost your score. The ability for your ship to enter a “Break Limit,” however, is a total game-changer. Entering this mode turns your ship into an indestructible juggernaut, allowing you to plow through everything that gets in your path. No, really, everything. Obstacles, asteroids, enemies, they’ll all get turned into dust if you touch them with your ship during a Break.
The sooner you can wrap your mind around the fact that this isn’t a shooter the better, as playing it like one will either get you killed or give you a crappy score. While your ship’s gun is useful in a pinch, it’s just not as effective at clearing a path. What you really have to do, and what will probably give you the most enjoyment, is hold down that left trigger and punch through everything nose-first. If you’re fast enough and keep an eye on your energy levels you can go quite a ways before needing to let up on the throttle. Blue orbs will refill your Break Meter a little if you can nab them, so you’ll have to keep an eye out while you’re bashing through various bits of space debris, if you don’t want to hit empty right before smacking into a giant asteroid.
Each level has the same overall layout, but there are different branching paths that will keep things from getting too stale. And once you make it far enough to branch off, there are still more branches to investigate. Even if you somehow manage to play a level into submission there are several others for you to tear through. With local and worldwide leaderboards available, it’s easy to see how one could get wrapped up in Break Limit for quite a while.
Again, you should know that Break Limit is not a twin-stick shooter, nor is it a top-down shooter. It’s much more of an “endless runner” with guns and spaceships. It’s fast, it’s intense and it’s more than a little awesome. Especially when you trigger your Break mode for extended periods and decimate everything in your path.
Things We Liked: Lots to do and destroy. A simple, yet utterly engrossing gameplay mechanic. Keeping that Break going for a really long time. The “spread shot,” or whatever it’s called.
Things We Disliked: Running out of juice and getting smashed by space rocks. The concentrated laser just doesn’t seem all that effective. Later areas get downright masochistic.
Target Audience: Speed freaks and adrenaline junkies. Endless Runner fans. Folks who, every once in a while, just want to break stuff.
(Break Limit – Developer/Publisher: Zombie Monkey Games. Available for Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Indie Games. Unfamiliar with CFD!’s review system? Read our newly revised explanation here.)