Block breakers are a pretty easy genre to love, especially if all you want to do is move an object from side to side and hit a ball to smash a bunch of bricks or whatever impedes your path. Titan: Escape The Tower, an updated version of the 1988 original, takes this simple mechanic and opens up its universe in audacious and liberating fashion.
Gamers control a robot that is trapped in an 80 level tower filled with blockades and other robots aimed to kill it on sight. With a metal bouncing ball as its aid, the robot will hit the ball against various colored blocks, with one of them existing as a portal to the next level. Find that specific block before your enemies zap your energy and everything will work out fine and dandy. Along with moving robots, you will also have certain sections within the maze that will drain your health if either the robot or the ball crosses that area. If you're expecting an in-depth tutorial or helpful hints to help your journey, forget it. Titan actually supplies a few photos sans any words of advice which initially is absolutely frustrating. Once you get a bit comfortable with your surroundings, which should occur within the completion of the first few levels, you'll be able to figure things out on your own.
Your robot is also not a helpless hunk of junk who's dependent on the ball, as it can also smash through certain colored blocks in the puzzle. Indiscriminately plowing your way through a maze with your robot may get your adrenaline pumping, but strategy also comes into play. For example, if you run through a series of blocks, that may open up your ball to travel to an undesirable location, and your bravado can indirectly lead to more damage and an end to your adventure. The free movement of your robot gives Titan a huge advantage over many brick breakers, as your decision skills now takes precedence over your reflexes. Even though my robot is pushing through a green wall below, its true purpose is to free the ball.
With your robot given free movement, the ball is also liberated from being just something that bounces against a few walls. On the lower right hand side of your device are several power ups that can be employed as you are solving the puzzle. Need to destroy a bunch of stuff in your maze? You can have two balls for the price of one doing your dirty work. If you need a little more flash to the screen, the fireball power up will get things a bit heated. The freeze power up temporarily slows things down, which is especially helpful if you're in a heap of trouble. My favorite option is a magnetic power up which gives you more control of the ball.
With all these options, Titan: Escape The Tower is already a top notch experience. Adding a boss every 10 levels, however, puts it over the top. This first boss is already giving me fits, as different blocks will pop up as my robot tries to run as fast as possible. As I cower in fear, I'm praying my robot hits the ball at the boss to eventually stop him in his tracks. Unfortunately, the yellow streak that runs along my back leads me to a corner where inevitable death awaits.
Titan: Escape The Tower is a first rate block breaker that completely surpasses all expectations. With its futuristic feel, liberating game play and outside the box thinking, it's a journey you won't want to miss. Of course, you could go back to hitting a ball back and forth against a wall of bricks. But we all know you, and I, could do much better.