• Kiln Review - iOS

    Kiln starts badly. Not because it is a bad game, it isnít, but because it intentionally recreates the Arkanoid style breakout game from yesteryear with worrying accuracy. The first five levels should be ignored because what happens after that is really rather good.

    Played with gyroscopic tilt controls and no option at present for virtual controls, Kiln restricts your paddle's movement speed to its own pace. You canít zip across the bottom the screen at maximum speed because you arenít supposed to. Instead the more methodical bar moves just quickly enough to necessitate forethought in your actions. The physics are solid and the collision detection is spot on, which is important in a game like this.

    You do need to get through the early levels though, which are a drag. They do nothing to highlight the creativity that has been put into the later levels. By way of example there are over 80 levels and you continue to unlock new gameplay elements way into the fortieth level. These include blocks that explode in a shower, ones that obscure your view, status changing blocks and a block that finally presents the gameworld to you in 3D. This might put some players off but the benefit is a well thought out stream of new special effect blocks, changes to the play arena and other novel features.

    There is no music to speak of; you are treated to the gentle plinking of the balls against the blocks and nothing else. It is relaxing but not particularly exciting. Visually the game has a distinct retro feel, simple lines, colours and particle effects all look suitably old fashioned but as an aesthetic it holds together well. Again the only fair criticism that can be levelled is that Kiln saves all its best tricks for late in the game. In an age of instant gratification it feels out of place.

    But perhaps that is the point; Kiln is a challenging take on a old formula that adds enough of its own twists into the mix to justify a purchase, provided that you have the patience to get through the opening sections.

    +Good challenge
    +Strong design ethos
    +Plenty of content

    - Initial levels donít do it any justice
    - Saves too many good ideas for late in the game
    - Music might be nice

    System: iOS
    Genre: Retro
    Developer: BleatBleat
    Publisher: Apple
    Players: 1
    Version: European

    Score: 7/10