Publisher: Data East
Total time played: 45 minute
Short review: A very basic side scrolling shooter with only 5 levels and no bosses. But, it is quick to beat and it leaves you with an urge to play through multiple times to do it faster.
Interesting links related to BreakThru
Based on the name “BreakThru” I was expecting this to be a brick breaker game like Arkanoid, it is nothing like that.
Instead, it is a side scrolling shooter like Life Force, except instead of a space ship you drive some sort of car/tank hybrid and try to “break through” enemy territory.
The gameplay is very simple, B shoots and A jumps. If you tap right on the controller the car speeds up and if you tap left it slows down. There is a trade off that is hard to get a handle on. If you are going slow it is easy to avoid enemies and their projectiles but it is impossible to jump over obstacles because you aren’t going fast enough to clear them. So, you have to balance your speed, go slow enough to avoid enemies but fast enough to make the jumps.
The controls are very responsive so I was never able to blame a death on poor programming. I did have an issue with the only power up in the game. The power up is dropped from the sky on a parachute. If you catch it your single straight firing gun becomes a 3-way spread for a short time. Several times I was touching the power up but the game did not register that I picked it up. It wasn’t a huge deal though as I never reached a point where I found shooting the gun necessary. In fact, it may be possible to beat the game without ever firing your weapon.
There are only five stages and the difficulty never really gets any harder as the game progresses and sadly their are no bosses. Thankfully each level is generous with checkpoints and you have unlimited continues, otherwise the game would be near impossible. When you get a game over, which will happen a lot because of one hit kills, you start at the most recent checkpoint. This means, once you get through a difficult section of the game you never have to play it again.
Because of the generous checkpoints and unlimited continues I was able to beat this game in a single sitting in less than an hour. But, some people, who are good at the game can beat it without dying in under 10 minutes. To me, the game wasn’t fun enough to practice that much to get that good.
If you are interested in learning more check out my friend Arnpoly’s blog called “Take on the NES Library“. He is also trying to beat as many NES games as possible but has a much more refined system than I do on selecting games and he also writes much more thorough reviews of the games he beats.