Highscore Processing Unit Review
The brick breaking genre goes global with the release of Codrer’s Highscore Processing Unit (HPU). The stakes have been raised with its leaderboards and worldwide rankings – should you take on its challenge?
Highscore Processing Unit Review
Fans of Arkanoid and Breakout will get the basic gist of HPU – there are bricks that need to be broken, and it’s up to you to do it. However, the devil’s in the details – rather than use a paddle at the bottom of the screen, players will move in a 360 degree space with a mouse. The ball will follow the pointer that goes around a round playfield like a magnet, with the ultimate goal being to knock out every block on the screen.
This might seem simple, but there are some variables at play. Some blocks may offer some knockback, while the perspective may change at other times, allowing players to hit multiple blocks at once. Bonuses can also be nabbed, including ones that double the number of balls on the playfield. There is an ever-present clock that ticks down, with time added for successfully completing each level. Rounding things out is a “bloc points” multiplayer that stresses speedy play. It all comes together to create a formula that emphasizes both skill and rote memorization.
It should be worth noting that the gameplay takes some getting used to. Though it can be adjusted, the mouse sensitivity is fairly finicky. It can be hard to guide the ball around to where you want it to go, and it never feels as precise as the games that it inspired it. There is the potential to be a pro at the game, but it never feels as intuitive as it should.
This is made that much worse in its higher difficulty levels. Players can play with a “simple,” “twice,” or “thrice” setting, each more challenging than the last. At its highest level, the speed of the ball and the amount of things that must be destroyed provides a hefty, and almost unfair, challenge. However, those looking to “get gud” will appreciate its lack of hand holding on these settings.
If anything, your personal best will be put to the test with the rest of the world in HPU. All players are laid out on a global map, and players can see who dominates what region at any given time. There are also more traditional leaderboards, along with a global rank. There are not too many people playing the game right now, but the potential is most certainly there.
The brick breaking mechanics of Highscore Processing Unit take some getting used to, but the robust leaderboard support and score-based gameplay will appeal to those looking to rise the ranks.
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