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Despite transitioning from the PC to PlayStation 3 and now finally the App Store over the past few years, Magic Orbz really does feel at home as a bite-sized brick-breaker priced at a couple bucks. Unlike the classics it pulls inspiration from (like Breakout and Arkanoid) and the many subsequent knock-offs, Magic Orbz isn't primarily focused on smashing through blocks or other generic, stationary objects. Instead, its stages take the form of small 3D worlds filled with pirate ships, sharks, and towers of playing cards, all of which you'll aim to destroy in a comical manner.
And it really is quite impressive to see the stages collapse upon themselves once you start batting the little soccer ball around. Knock out one edge of a structure and you may see the whole thing smash down upon the other nearby objects, creating an even bigger mess for you to ultimately clear. Magic Orbz also gets inventive with its power-ups, serving up meteors and tornadoes that further mash up the levels, as well as lasers, cannons, and machine guns that affix to your paddle and let you do more active damage to the sights.
Much as Magic Orbz still looks impressive on iPhone and iPad, nagging control issues keep this from being a completely ideal port. The bat can be controlled either by touching and dragging it around the screen or using the little directional buttons on either side, but the former option occasionally didn't respond perfectly, and on the latter end, the buttons are much too small to be fully effective. And a lingering issue from the console version remains, which is that the ball is often too easily lost amidst the mayhem of giant set pieces collapsing, which can make it difficult to respond quickly when it finally emerges.
The bottom line. Even with a couple of issues, the 40+ stages and entertaining destruction make Magic Orbz an amusing take on the old brick-breaker.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Vibrant stages that are awesomely destructible. Different kind of take on the genre formula. Nice variety of power-ups and other variables.
Neither control scheme is as comfortable or precise as needed. Easy to lose sight of the ball.