While playing Chillingo's latest game, the insect-flinging Beetle Breaker, we couldn't help but be reminded of Taito's Bust-a-Move. The mechanics, which have you launching bugs around the screen to destroy structure and reach objectives, are roughly identical. There are some twists here though when it comes to the different types of bugs and their explosive effects.
Generally speaking, the gameplay works very well, and there's a fun variety of bug types to help you get the job done - not to mention set off some awesome chain reactions too. Like Chillingo's Cut the Rope, the graphics also have a certain sense of whimsy about them. The wood structures you have to destroy become increasingly extravagant, and the bugs themselves are a hoot. While it's true that the game won't cost you any money - initially - you should read on to find out why that's not an entirely good thing.
Chillingo's free-to-play structure here is rather unfortunate, as it often gets in the way of simply having fun. The pop-up ads are one thing, but the barrage of unstoppable commercials is another, and they can really throw you off your play. There are also stages you might not be able to beat unless you get lucky spinning a bonus wheel - something that costs cash-shop gems. Finally, the peaceful music's nice, but it's also way too repetitive.
Beetle Breaker isn't necessarily a bad game, but it's one weighed down by the heavy burden of its own free-to-play model, and some bothersome ads. It's worth a go, but a small flat fee would have squashed many of these bugs flat.
Download Beetle Breaker - iPhone & iPad