May 21, 2022

Drawkanoid – PC Review

On January 21st of 2020, developer QCF Design released their brilliantly bright take on the Breakout clone genre with bullet time: Drawkanoid. Slapping a clever spin on the franchise name Arkankoid, it sounds like they know their history. Here’s a title that ramps up to lightning speeds, with some slick visuals to boot. Let’s take a look, shall we?

How one derives fun from a product tends to be highly subjective. Therefore ALL forms of review are opinionated, and should be taken with a grain of salt (this included). So let’s review Drawkanoid through the lens of more objective metrics such as; graphical fidelity, characters/story, content/length, controls & gameplay, then finally, sound design and cinematics. This product was reviewed on a 1050Ti 4Gb, 8GB Ram, with an i5-7300HQ.

Graphical Fidelity

Damn, Drawkanoids truly is a visual treat. Players’ projectiles bolt and bounce off of walls and obstacles in an incredibly colourful display. Level designs often offer interesting grids or pretty patterns for players to break, but the real treat is when you get a good shot that subsequently erupts into dozens of vividly colourful chaotic bounces. I live for that shit. Many of the minor animations (such as explosions or sparks) aren’t overly complex or detailed, however the shifting barrage of colour and shape keep players captivated. At time, Drawkanoid rides a fine line between boldly fluorescent, and distracting though. While these moments were few and far between, there were times when the bold colours followed an identicle short path; resulting in players having little-to-no time to react to something they can barely see.

As far as performance is concerned, I had no issues whatsoever with Drawkanoid. Gameplay is butter smooth, with no screen tearing, frame drops, or nasty looking artifacts. While solid performance may seem like a no-brainer, it’s notable because hitching or other visual glitches could potentially ruin the game experience. That being said, I’m happy to say that I encountered literally zero visual defects. Drawkanoid looks mesmerizing, and runs simultaneously smooth.

Characters & Story

Due to the style of game, Drawkanoid contains no mentionable characters, or an included plot. This isn’t detrimental to the final product though, as most Breakout clone games like Brick Breaker or Ricochet don’t contain stories.

Content & Length

As far as replayability is concerned, Drawkanoid consistently draws players back in for more. Whether it’s for the flashy aesthetics, topping high scores, or to buy every last module; you’ll invent reasons to keep playing Drawkanoid. Maybe, even: because it’s simply fun. A small but loveable note: match replays are viewable from the pause menu! For some players this detail could be highly overlooked, but I thought it was a nice extension of the Replays function in the ma

An aspect of Drawkanoid that kept me continually returning was the Modules (or skills) that players can purchase with the earned ingame currency. These may range from passive buffs and earning boosts, to massive game-changers like Homing or Extra Life. I enjoyed the form and implementation of this progression system, as it gave me both reason to return and ability to further my progress in the face of adversity. The amount of currency that players earn is directly tied to their score, so better performance entices better payout. The game also contains three separate modes, those being: Normal, Countdown, and Zen Mode. Although Zen Mode and Countdown must first be unlocked, they each satisfy players looking for either a relaxed or alternatively hardcore experience.

Controls & Gameplay

Drawkanoid is the very definition of “Easy to learn, hard to master”, in accordance with Bushnell’s Law. At first, this game felt too easy, then impossible. As far as controls are concerned, you won’t be making much (if any) use of your keyboard as Drawkanoid is entirely played by mouse. The core premise is an extension of the Breakout clone genre, players drag the position and angle of their paddle (effectively “drawing”) to bounce a ball and break the obstacles. Players’ paddle always remains straight, so no squiggly bumpers here. I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly, but the aiming model in this game feels deliciously natural in the mouse hand.

As I grew in skill and acquired both Modules and powerups, harder levels became far more manageable – up until approaching the skill ceiling. Drawkanoid maintains a fairly approachable difficulty curve tied to it’s progression systems that keeps players on their toes. Each level gets progressively faster, demanding quicker reaction times and speedy hands from the player. Some levels contain blocks that spawn new units that may block players’ shot, adding constantly shifting dynamics to each round. Contrasting this is the repertoire of excellent powerups players earn that help lighten the load. Examples range from abilites as simple as aim assist, to wider paddles, or shots that pierce multiple targets.

Sound Design & Cinematics

Right off the bat one of the first (an standout) aspects of Drawkanoid is it’s soundtrack. While not always outstanding, it has a consistent tone and an upbeat vibe that kept me engaged and even occasionally bobbing my head. The soundtrack consists of a funky electronic-house mix that fits Drawkanoid perfectly. Unfortunately song diversity isn’t very strong, and music will get repetitive after even an hour.

Due to the style of game and exemption of story, this game does not contain cinematics.

Conclusion

Generally Speaking I enjoyed my time with Drawkanoid. It functioned as it should, offers fair price to content ratio, and looks mighty fine while doing it. What I particularly found myself embracing was QCF’s ability to take a simple and reiterated concept, then breathe new personality into it. Drawkanoid still retains a classic arcade feel while naturally evolving the genre, without flipping it on its head entirely. Well earned 8.2/10, Drawkanoid is available on Steam.

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What did you think of Drawkanoid? Let us know in the comments. If you enjoyed this content, why not check out our Alien Scumbags Review?


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Before I Knew It I'd Dunked 20 Hours
  • 8.2/10
    Score - 8.2/10
8.2/10

Overview

+Stunning Visuals

+ Finely tuned Difficulty

+ Module Progression Adds Replayability

 – Repetitive Music

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