Darkanoid – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Casual
Developer: Shezo Games
Publisher: Shezo Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Darkanoid – Review

Site Score
Good: some good casual fun
Bad: Nothing worth mentioning
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

New games taking inspiration from retro games are becoming more and more popular. You have probably heard or seen the kind of games where you break blocks with a ball, commonly called “block-breakers”. These games have been around for quite a while and quite a few others have explored the concept. Now, yet another new game that takes inspiration from these games has released. The game is called Darkanoid, cleary being an homage to the original Arkanoid. Darkanoid was developed and published by Shezo Games with the Steam page making clear it was their love for these kinds of games that prompted them to make one of their own.


Even though Darkanoid starts with a few videoclips that could indicate a story, there isn’t a real one present. The only thing the clips tell you is that the spaceship you and your companions were in, got in trouble. This throws you into a mission named Darkanoid. That said, as an arcade game, Darkanoid doesn’t need a story with its gameplay standing fine on its own.


Darkanoid’s graphic style is one often seen for games set in space, including a more industrial look combined with bright colors. The game wears the inspiration by Arkanoid on its sleeve, although the graphics have been given a huge upgrade. The platform used to bounce the balls now looks like a spaceship and the blocks might have gotten the biggest upgrade by now featuring detailed textures, compared to the simple colored blocks from the source material.


The music in Darkanoid is very cheerful and upbeat, being really enjoyable even though there aren’t that many tracks available. In contrast, there are plenty of sound effects present, mostly coming out of your ball hitting blocks but also appearing when special blocks are unlocked. A few of the sound effects also surround the countdown, such as when the level starts or when enemies first appear. Some other very handy sound effects include when your shield is charged and when other guns are unlocked.


Darkanoid is an Indie action game inspired by the retro block-breaking games that could be played in arcades or on older consoles. It’s a very casual game and as the developers say themselves, it is easy to learn but hard to master. The basics of the game revolve around you controlling a platform and using it to bounce a ball towards blocks to break them, beating the level after all blocks have been destroyed. If you miss the ball during this time and it flies out of the screen, you will lose a life, with the game ending after all lives have been lost.

Some other features make the game a bit harder than just breaking blocks. At certain levels, enemies will start to appear and shoot at you, also reducing your lives if the bullets collide with your ship. After playing the same level for some time, there will also be blocks that move towards you, crashing into these, as you might guess, also makes you lose a life.

Then there are the special blocks, which need to be hit more than once to activate: The first hit makes the power-up appear and the second hit makes you use the power-up. These power-ups range from more balls being released to unlocking guns for your platform. With the guns you can shoot blocks yourself for a limited time, being a particularly handy power-up for when blocks start moving towards you.

There are also a few other objects besides blocks, such as the enemies, as well as one special object that may help you or ruin you: the warp hole. These warp holes will allow your ball to travel through them and then appear out of another hole. However, sometimes there will be multiple warp holes present, with the position of where your ball will appear again being random. So, there is always a chance for your ball to suddenly pop out the wrong way and make you lose a life because you weren’t quick enough.

There are different sections of the game that can be unlocked, with the first being section A, moving onto section B, and so on. Each of these sections has ten levels with the tenth being a boss fight. During boss fights, you will still need to break blocks but on the other side of the blocks, there will be a giant spaceship that you’ll need to hit several times to destroy. Of course, this spaceship will also shoot at you, meaning the more blocks you break, the more vulnerable you will become. Like other enemy ships, the boss also has a shield, which just causes your balls to bounce off the ship when active. This makes it harder for you to kill the boss even if it is a giant target. To win a boss level you just need to kill the boss multiple times, unlike all the other levels you don’t need to break all the blocks.

If you had enough of the classic mode, then you might want to challenge yourself with the survival mode. In this mode instead of static blocks, the blocks are moving towards you continuously. So not only will you have to make sure you can pass the blocks to hit your ball back, but you’ll also have to make sure the blocks don’t hit you. There is also a new power-up in this mode that makes all the blocks stop for a set amount of time so you can get some breathing room.


Darkanoid is a fun game to play and a nice homage to the games of old. Anyone could start playing the game since the mechanics are simple and easy to understand. The real throwback to the original games will start when you start comparing high scores and how fast you can complete a level, with the real competition being trying to see how long you can survive in survival mode. Darkanoid is certainly recommended as it’s a budget-friendly game that you can just casually play without having to think too much.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Darkanoid - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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