A game by Boncho Games for PC, Mac, Linux, and iOS, originally released in 2016.
Blitz Breaker stars a tiny robot named Blitz who is attempting to escape the factory in which he was built, but his moveset is unlike that of most other platforming heroes. Blitz is unable to move freely to the left or right, and while he does have the ability to jump, it’s a technique that is rarely required. Instead, he can dash in a straight line in one of four directions and he is unable to alter his course until he reaches a solid object. This minimal moveset is called upon in varied and increasingly difficult ways across his 101-level adventure.
In each level, the robot is spawned into play and the player must use his dash maneuver to fly quickly around the screen, bashing into walls, floors, and ceilings on his way to the exit, all the while dodging hazards such as spikes and spinning sawblades. Early levels feature 1- and 2-screen environments, with larger multi-room environments appearing later in the game, although each is meant to be completed in under 30 seconds.
While many precision platformers offer rewards for quick completion, there is an additional twist here in the form of coins. Coins have been a platforming staple since Super Mario Bros., offering levels peppered with collectibles. In many early games, collecting coins offered a gameplay reward, such as a 1UP for every 100 coins, but so many imitators have created games where collectibles are entirely meaningless.
With this design, the player is encouraged to take additional risks and take some indirect routes in order to reach caches of coins. Additional optional pickups appear in the form of purple squares representing warps to bonus levels. By collecting these warp squares and reaching the exit, the player may access a set of warp levels (there are three in each area) which offer an additional set of challenges to put the player’s skills to the test. Completing these levels – and performing well in the standard levels – also unlocks new heads for the robot, altering Blitz’s appearance.
Understanding the distance of the bounce is paramount, as many walls are lined with spikes, so the player must leave enough clearance to bounce back and fall down without hitting them. Coins are often strategically placed one bounce-length away from a wall, offering some hint as to the proper path.
Early on, there is a relatively wide margin for error when making these bounces, but later levels require the player to dash through narrow openings. In these cases, the player must take into account that he will bounce upward a small amount when hitting the wall, and sometimes he must dash through a tight spike-lined dead end and immediately reverse direction upon reaching the far wall.
Yellow keys appear throughout many environments, and these are used to open keyhole barriers. These barriers are generally a single straight line blocking off a new path or screen transition, but sometimes these appear in long rows that disappear one piece at a time like a burning fuse. In these instances, the player must grab the key and then quickly escape the area, bouncing off the keyhole barriers before they disappear… and sometimes the player must continue evading dangerous hazards while he waits for the fuse to burn away a barrier that is blocking the exit door.
However, the game’s other bosses are more traditional encounters. Of note is Boctopus, the boss at the end of World 2. This blue octopus creature sits at the bottom of the screen spitting spike balls out of his mouth, which land on a conveyor belt heading back toward him. You need to dodge this projectile, let it stun the boss, and then move over to the boss’ head and dash into it. Moving around the environment involves dashing between spike-lined walls with magnetic platforms and a sawblade on the ceiling, leaving little room to maneuver.
Generally, games offering short levels with quick deaths allow for instant restarts. In this game, on the other hand, the player is required to press a button to clear the death screen and press another button to clear the starting screen, rather than simply hopping back into the action. It’s still a short span, but it becomes more noticeable when you have to repeat a level 20 times before you get it right.
Blitz Breaker takes place in a narrow vertically-oriented window, as is traditional for mobile games, but it also features a few pieces of optional “cabinet art” on either side of the playfield, taking up the remainder of a widescreen display. Among the artwork available is an illustration featuring the second and third bosses.
Blitz Breaker was developed by Reece Kelly under his Boncho Games label, which is based in Vancouver. He previously created a mobile game entitled Invasion Premium and a browser-based game called Super Doomgeon Dive. Music for the game was composed by Fat Bard, who is also the composer behind CrashLands and Adventure Lamp.