Brick Breaker Escape! HD (£1.49, Universal) impresses thanks to a few key twists on the common design, such as inventive power-ups (like a truly massive ball) and a smaller playing field on some stages, not to mention slick art design. The pace drags at times, though the myriad level layouts help keep things interesting.
Jet Ball Premium (£2.49, iPhone; £1.49, iPad) moves a bit further from genre norms with circular and sometimes spinning clusters to bust open, giving the game a unique feel. A couple of other titles make use of a similar core structure, but shift the perspective to offer up a distinct experience.
3D Brick Breaker Revolution (Free, iPhone) was an early iPhone favourite - and hasn't changed much since then, going by the lack of Retina support. Still, the tilted board and polygonal blocks change the game a bit, and it's quite fun, aside from the small virtual buttons that can send your paddle flying to either edge if mis-tapped.
Brick Breaker + (69p, iPhone) takes things a step further by placing you behind the paddle as you fling the ball towards blocks seen straight ahead in the distance. The goal is the same, though the different viewpoint dramatically changes the feel and flow of the game.
Some of the top Breakout-esque titles on the App Store actually blend elements from the genre with other classics - notably the awesome Breakeroids (£1.49, Universal), which lets you swat a ball at Asteroids-style space rocks that bust apart as they're hit. It's an equal mix of retro favourites that really shines, but it's not the only one of its kind.
Space Out (69p, Universal) similarly swaps pixelated aliens like those in Space Invaders for the familiar bricks, and while not as enthralling as Breakeroids, it's another entertaining play on established themes.
Breaking blocks with a bat and ball translates perfectly to a touchscreen interface, which is a large part of why the genre has flourished on iOS devices. More notably, it's such an enduring, satisfying and straightforward concept that even the original Breakout still entertains 36 years later - though as proven here, the App Store has many more stellar options to choose from.
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