Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure developed by Lilymo Games and penned by Colin’s Last Stand founder and Sacred Symbols host Colin Moriarty is a new take on the classic brick breaker genre. Like most brick breakers, Twin Breaker has you progressing through 40 levels that range from pretty easy to very challenging all while up against a clock.
Levels have a nice sense of progression and replayabilty as you are ranked at the end of each level based on points scored, remaining time, and remaining health. This gives you a reason to go back and try to do better each time to get a better rank. The levels are also tied nicely together with a quaint sci-fi story set in the far future about space pilots Moriarty and Sacred Symbols cohost Chris Ray Gun being sent on a mission to find exactly what happen to NASA’s lost Generation ships that were launched years prior. The lore of the world is also fleshed out nicely in the game’s collectibles which you earn by achieving a certain point total at the end of each level.
Unfortunately, some later levels get a bit tedious as you try to get past an unbreakable barrier to hit the last few blocks or take way too long to break higher level blocks without power ups causing time to run out. However, the addition of bumpers, a paddle that is shot out into the level, can negate the tedium some by helping you bounce the ball more than just by the paddles themselves.
To spice up the typical brick breaker formula, Twin Breaker has you controlling two separate paddles, the piloted ships named the “Greetings” and “Salutations” a nod to Moriarty’s opening words of the podcast, using each analog stick to maneuver a paddle. This isn’t the only way Twin Breaker spices things up either as you aren’t always defending just the bottom of the screen. Some levels have both paddles on the bottom of the screen, some make you defend both the left and right sides instead, and eventually you control four paddles making some levels way more of a challenge than you’d expect.
While having four paddles presents a great challenge in the game making you defend four separate areas of the screen, this is also where Twin Breaker’s issues start to come to the forefront. Controlling two paddles with separate analog sticks works fairly well, however, having to constantly focus on moving the four paddles by changing which axis you move the sticks along feels overly complicated and caused me to miss a power up or ball because I moved a stick a fraction up or down instead of left or right. Another issue I kept running into was losing track of the ball once multiple things were happening on screen at once. This is confounded by the four paddles as the ball can fly past one easily if you lose sight of it or trying to focus on nabbing a power up with a paddle controlled by the same stick.
After beating the 40 levels of Twin Breaker‘s campaign, there’s still a ton for you to do. New Game+ provides more challenge to the levels. However, there is a lot of enjoyment to be found in the game’s six other modes of Marathon, Pong, Random, Catcher, Shooter, and Boss Rush. Pong Mode would be my personal favorite as it pits you against a boss trying to score thrice on the opposing side before they do. With the variety of how many paddles you have on each level, this mode becomes a fun challenge as it becomes tougher to score points on one side of the screen but the boss can score wherever the gaps behind your paddles are. I was also popping trophies left and right as I progressed through the game making it a PlayStation trophies hunter’s dream which makes sense as Moriarty is an avid trophy hunter himself.
Overall, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure is a fun take on brick breakers with an interesting sci-fi story and tons of replayabilty. However, the tedium of some of the later levels, difficulty of the controls, and ability to easily lose track of the ball when a lot is happening on screen at once bring down what would be an otherwise great experience. Even with that, any fan of Sacred Symbols or the genre is sure to find enjoyment from this game.
Score: 7 out of 10
Reviewed on PlayStation 4 Pro