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26 Jul 2022

REVIEW: Pretty Girls Breakout! PLUS on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
ZOO Corporation are back with their latest "Pretty Girls" release, this time it is a reimagining of the all-time classic arcade great brick busting game Breakout.

I am sure just about everyone reading this has at one time played a version of Breakout, either the original, or one of the thousands of clones. Well, we should all know by now that ZOO Corporation really are the masters of taking a classic game and giving it a new twist, so have they managed to do it again with this? Let's find out.

The big twist with the Pretty Girls games are the addition of... well.... erm... Pretty Girls. They are basically the "worlds" and "levels" of the game. Beat the levels, and you unlock the Girl for use in creating your own computer wallpapers, or just for admiring the fantastic Japanese art.

You collect the Kawaii girls (Kawaii means culture of cuteness in Japanese) by beating the levels and then completing something of a boss battle. There are 10 characters to collect, and all have costumes you can change in a dressing room, you can place multiple characters in a scene, change their facial expression and so on. Although the girls are all very sexy, there is no nudity here. Just busty girls in skimpy clothes. They are even voiced in Japanese, which really is needed, I cant imagine an English translation with voice actors from Birmingham or liverpool for example. That would just be wrong.

An example of some of the girls and their characters are as follows.
Queen of the fairy kingdom who descended to the human world. She is an egomaniac who respects beautiful things and can't help acquiring them.
A mischievous girl with a strong sense of justice. But in fact, she is actually shy.
Rui is one of the most popular idols of the moment. She becomes tsundere in front of men she likes.

Now that is the packaging, what about the actual contents of the game itself, as that really is the most important. Well the game is Breakout, you usually control a paddle at the bottom of the screen, and move it to bounce a ball to destroy bricks. And this is basically the model here, however there is one big difference, the flat paddle is gone, and in its place is a small character with a sword. You swing the sword to hit the ball, don't swing and the ball will go out of play.

I like anything that is a bit different, however there is a problem here, when you first start to play, you will litterally be trying to hit the ball with the sword as you swing, however that is not quite how it works, really you are playing with a paddle, that looks like a girl with a sword, so the swing of the sword itself is only activating the hit of the ball, where the ball goes, works identically to classic Breakout and the paddle system. This looks and feels a bit weird, and I am not sure that it quite works, I would suggest changing the girl waving a sword, to a girl holding a paddle for example, because as it is it is hard to judge where you are hitting the ball to, and although you will get used to it, the point of having a sword is completely redundant other than having to swing it to hit the ball.

This is probably the first big mistake I have seen in all of the Pretty Girls releases that I have covered, and it is a big mistake by the game makers, which I hope after reading this they will fix quickly, or at the least allow the player a choice of having a paddle or the girl with the sword. 

The game itself plays like classic Breakout but with more than just blocks to hit, there are super blocks that need to be hit a numbered time, there are blocks that release creatures that will fly about that you need to hit with the ball, (dont try to hit with the sword), those creatures might even shoot bullets at you which you can hit back at them, which is a cool touch.

The different modes are as follows.
Pretty Battle - 5 stages for each of the 7 characters that you need to beat, each characters stages are harder than the previous one. Collect points to unlock new costumes in the point exchange in the dressing room.

Eternal Challenge - an endless mode where blocks are moving closer to you and if they cross the line at the bottom of the screen you lose, this is a challenging mode, where you really need to be on top of your game to get a high score at.

The Good
I am a big fan of Breakout and have been playing it forever, this version offers lots of new gameplay mechanics that improve on the original, and offer a new challenge.

The Bad
The girl with the sword to hit the ball, it doesn't look good or work well within the Breakout style of game, and needs to be changed, hopefully before release.

One big mistake does bring the score down for me, but the game itself is solid, I like the new gimmicks, I like the artwork, everything looks great, and when you get use to the Sword girl the game is fun to play. But they just have to change it. Otherwise upon release they will have a lot of complaints.

For now, I score Pretty Girls Breakout! PLUS on PC (Steam) a safe 7/10, replace the Sword Girl with a graphically pleasing old fashioned paddle, or something different and the score instantly goes up to 9/10

Pre-Order on Steam at

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