Powerball 1.3.6
Posted: 19-Apr-2001

4 out of 5 Mice

Author: Macnetic Software Type: FREEWARE

Reviewer: James Stephens Class: GAMES

Powerball is essentially a revamping of the old game of Breakout. The interface gives it a more modern, polished look and feel. There are some variations from the original that make this game interesting. The bricks are color coded according to durability. For example a blue brick takes one hit to disintegrate, while a green takes four hits. Another aspect is that random bricks hide "rewards" such as extra paddles (life), extended length to paddles, the ability to fire a second or more balls in a strict up and down pattern, a blaster to blow bricks up, and a skull that kills paddles. To get the rewards, you must intersect the falling tube or skull with your paddle. Another variation from the old version is various patterns as you advance in levels.

I loaded the game onto a Powerbook G3 and used the trackpad to control it. This is somewhat unresponsive to the conditions of the game, but more on that later. The game is intuitive and the variations from Breakout made it interesting to play. I thought that having to formulate an approach to hitting more durable bricks definitely enhanced the play.

I didn't like the fact that the game was "Mouse Driven". It seemed to be designed to want a Joy Stick or GamePad and was not responsive enough to the inherent infrastructure of my Powerbook. Therefore I could not successfully play the ball at higher rates, because the trackpad was not responsive enough. Since I travel, I cannot carry all the gear needed to fully enjoy the game during those moments when I want a diversion.

If you liked Breakout, this game should be tried.


  • Nice look and feel
  • Interesting variations from the original Breakout
  • Rewards allow the play to vary
  • Good sound effects and music


  • Seems to favor equipment (Joy Sticks, etc.) to play the game at settings faster than slow


4 out of 5 Mice