Mile Marker 10: Shatter

Tired of stodgy corporate games made by The Man and his minions? We're playing the 31 best indie games for a change of pace —- and so we can judge them. Today, Shatter.

In A Sentence
Reboots of classic games or classic genres don't always work, but Shatter's take on brick breaking doesn't just give the genre a facelift, it adds enough new depth to turn the sort of game I used to hate into something I can't put down.

State Of Completion
Shattered hit the Playstation Network last July.

Thoughts
At first glance, Shattered is a high-def, techno-soundtracked version of Arkanoid, the classic brick breaker that has since 1986 defined the genre.

But a few rounds in and the game blossoms. While the game includes some neat twists, like boss battles oddly shaped walls to break through and floating bricks, the biggest change comes in a new mechanic. Once you've played through a few levels the game allows you to pull or push both broken bricks and the ball away or toward you with a half-circle wave effect. Because the push and pull effects aren't delivered in straight lines, you'll spend some time perfecting your use of these new mechanics. Clever level design also make using the effects necessary at times to finish a level.

Answers We Demanded
Kotaku: What was the inspiration behind your game?

Mario Wynands, Managing Director, Sidhe: There were a couple of often referenced games during ideation and production including Geometry Wars and Pacman: Championship Edition. Pacman:CE was particularly inspiring in that there was such skepticism that Pacman could be modernized before it came out, but they were incredibly successful with the final result.

We wanted to see if we were up to that sort of challenge, so we looked at what the team played growing up that we still played today. Brick breaking games were a constant that offered that challenge.

Kotaku: Name your favorite book, movie, album and game?

Wynands: Personally, that would be "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell, "City of Lost Children" by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, † by Justice, a three-way tie between Dungeon Master, ICO, and Rez.

The wider team has a very diverse range of interests and tastes, which makes for a rich working environment and the occasional spirited debate.

Kotaku: Why video games? There are plenty of ways for a person to express themselves creatively, why did you choose this way?

Wynands: A lot of the appeal of video game development is the relative infancy of the craft. Compared to other forms of art or entertainment, video games are the new kid on the block, meaning there is so much to discover, explore, and experiment with.

We have only just scratched the surface of what videogames are capable of and the types of interactions and emotions we can provoke. It is exciting to be a part of that.

Make sure to check out the rest of the Independent Games Festival finalists as we head toward the March awards show.