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Nominated for the Audio award at the IGF this year and originally a PSN-only title, Shatter has now found its way onto PC via Steam. You should pick it up.

Here's why. First off, it may be a take on the Breakout genre, but it's a fantastic one at that. While stopping the ball leaving the playing area is the priority, the paddle can also blow out and suck in to change the direction the ball is headed. This will also cause certain elements of the level (including some blocks) to move towards or away from the paddle. Any block which strikes the paddle will disable it for a few seconds, which is clearly not a good thing.

Also a change from the original Breakout scheme - you can fire out multiple balls at the same time. It's absolute chaos when you do, but who doesn't love chaos, right?

Every block destroyed releases crystals, which can be collected via the paddle. Collect enough crystals and you can unleash a beautifully overpowered barrage of light across the level, with time slowdown allowing you to concentrate on the carnage. Mainly for looking pretty at first, this power becomes extremely useful later on when the levels get much more difficult, with blocks falling down towards you from the get-go.


At the end of each world there are boss battles. Each one has a weak spot and you must bounce the ball perfectly into the correct spot to damage it. Sometimes you may have to destroy certain points on the body before the sweet spot will open up. It's all cleverly done and is genuinely great fun.

All this, and it's insanely pretty too. Explosions fill the screen with light and send crystals flying everywhere; between each level your paddle zooms across gorgeous mechanical landscapes to reach the next destruction zone; the background art for each level moves and chugs away as if it were all part of a huge machine.

Finally, the soundtrack. I'm usually not one for techno-beats and the like, but the music for Shatter clearly had so much thought put into it, it's impossible not to love it. It works well with the game too, which is exactly what I look for in a soundtrack, so top marks there.

So yeah, available on Steam now for cheap. It will not disappoint.