I have come to the point where simply seeing the Spartonix logo forces a smile on my face because, just as when a kid opens a present on Christmas morning, I know that there’s something awesome hiding behind the wrapping paper, I just can’t wait to see what it is.
This time it’s a game called Break the Stone, a free to play arcade game available for Android.
It definitely won’t create a new genre, nor will it redefine an existing one, but it’s a beautifully drawn game with an easy and entertaining mechanic and really, what more could you ask for in a mobile game? Break the Stone, as the name itself suggests, is a game about breaking stones. It is set in a Chinese martial arts school where you, the young and green padawan, must master the art of breaking stone walls with your feet, fists or head.
The gameplay mechanics are similar to those we have seen in games such as Eskimo Fishing – the game tells you which body part to use (left button for kick, right for punch, both for headbutt), and you have to comply as fast as possible. The entire level lasts only 22 seconds, and it is up to you and your brain to come up with as many proper punches and kicks in that time as you possibly can.
Rewarding your success
The game features a closed loop regarding what you get for playing the game and what you need to play the game in the first place. Let me explain:
In the beginning, destroying a stone takes a couple of hits (I believe it takes four hits to take down a wall, but it seems to vary). Destroying it rewards the player with a coin, and the collected coins can then be spent in the shop on items which help you take down the walls faster.
Faster destroying means more coins, means more upgrades, means more coins… catch my drift? But it’s a good concept, as it allows the player to slowly start spiralling up into higher scores, and we all like a high score, right?
Playing the game is obviously not the only way a person can earn coins in the game – Break the Stone also features the widely popular rewarded video ads feature, which allows the player to earn 50 coins for watching a video ad.
However, I reeeeeaaallyyyy liked an idea which gave the whole rewarded video ads a little twist. After going for a run and achieving a score, the game will offer you to double whatever you earned by watching a video ad. I believe it will drastically increase the number of video ads viewed, as I would definitely watch a video every time I get a high score. I’d love to hear some numbers from the developers on this!
Bring out your wallets
For those lacking patience but having an abundance of cash, there’s a simple way of buying coins for upgrades. The game also features standard pop-up ads, meaning all those three combined give the game solid monetisation options. Every individual element of the game is done with quality – gameplay mechanics are nice, the visuals are good, the audio background accompanies the game quite nicely. It has a lot of power-ups and boosts to keep it interesting, and offers players a number of ways to get their hands on those power-ups.
But only when you look at the game as a whole do you see how all elements form a good product. Now it’s all up to individual taste of gamers around the world – whether they’ll like the game or not is completely up to them. I see no reason why they would not.