Shatter Remastered Deluxe review: Block-breaking fun that’s short lived

shatterPikPok

Shatter Remastered Deluxe polishes the visuals of the original version of the game and fits right at home on modern consoles with simple yet challenging gameplay.

Arcade games from the PlayStation 3 generation of consoles have seen a mini-revival over the last few years thanks to an increasing market for remasters and franchise revivals on modern consoles that can deliver more graphic fidelity than ever before.

Now, Shatter has gotten the 4K HD treatment of the mobile version of the game developed by PikPok, and unsurprisingly, the game finds a comfortable fit on next-gen consoles with sharp upgraded visuals.

Shatter Remastered Deluxe key details

  • Price: $9.99/£9.99 GBP
  • Developer: PikPok
  • Release Date: November 2, 2022
  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Shatter returns

Shatter is a block-breaking game where the player controls a paddle on the bottom edges of each level, keeping bouncing balls in play in an attempt to break all of the blocks while racking up the highest score possible. The core gameplay mechanic here is one many gamers have encountered before, but Shatter introduces a few intricate gameplay mechanics that turn a simple concept into repetitive gold.

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The paddle has the ability to “suck” the balls in play towards it, and the ability to “blow” them away with equal force. This allows you to guide the ball in the direction you want, but not without negatives attached.

When you suck towards the paddle, shards that break off from exploded blocks are collected by your paddle, helping build up a gauge at the bottom. Once full, you can trigger a Shard Storm that annihilates all the blocks in front of the paddle. However, when sucking in shards, you also have the ability to suck in unwanted blocks near the paddle, which has the potential to quickly cause you to lose your balls in play and ultimately the entire level.

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Blowing is a great way to keep your ball in play, but it also blows away shards making it nearly impossible to build up your gauge meter. Each of these two main mechanics has its power and drawbacks that must be mastered over time, adding to the layers of gameplay.

Steam Deck version shines

I played Shatter Remastered Deluxe entirely on the brand new Steam Deck for review. The game ran very well, as I experienced zero frame drops, and the vibrant colors came to life on the seven-inch screen quite nicely.

Playing Shatter on the couch, rather than at my desk, certainly added to the fun of the game as the game works very well on a handheld device. However, don’t let playing this game in a more comfortable environment allow you to ease your foot off the pedal. Shatter is sneakily challenging, as juggling multiple balls through each of its 10 worlds, 71 levels, and nine boss fights can prove to be difficult.

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shatterPikPok
A Shard Storm can be triggered when the bottom gauge is filled in Shatter.

One of the most stylish bosses I came across was the Clock O Block, an enormous clock that replenishes its outer layer of block defenses as its hands rotate. In order to defeat the boss, you’ll have to create an opening from the outside and snipe a ball inside of the clock, so it satisfyingly rattles around the inside of the machine.

Shatter is quite short, and can be completed in just a few gameplay sessions. Most of the game’s replayability comes from its Endless mode, where you must stay alive as long as possible and rack up a high score. Since I don’t care much for notching high scores against other players online, there wasn’t much replayability personally.

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With so many Steam Deck games, it can be quite overwhelming to pick from the hundreds that are available. I found myself staring at pages and pages of the Steam shop, looking for a title to play longer than actually playing. Shatter broke that stagnation, and it could do the same for many SD owners out there.

The Verdict 7.5/10

If you were a fan of the original game and have been craving some block-breaking action, then this game was meant for you. And, for folks who haven’t played Shatter or any block-breaker game at all, then Shatter Remastered Deluxe offers up a nice slice of arcade fun.

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Reviewed on Steam Deck