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Review: Antimatter

January 18, 2009
Overview Antimatter is an arcade-style game that takes the ball-n-obstacle gameplay of favorites like Breakout or Pong and goes crazy with graphics, zero-gravity, and swipe controls. Players must swipe around their screen to send their ball of antimatter flying about, with the goal of hitting the little bars called “cosmic strings” to turn them red. Once they’re all red, you’ve beat the level, but be careful not to hit strings you’ve already turned - they’ll switch back to blue!


  • Swipe Controls
I always love how when you swipe the numbers on your iPhone’s alarm clock, they keep going for a little while, gradually slowing down. The controls are similar here - swipe in a direction to rocket your antimatter off, sending it bouncing off walls and strings. This was fun to play around with for a little while.
  • Ooh, Shiny
The graphics are very pretty here. The game’s 2D, but that’s okay given the gorgeous particle effects and spacey background. Some of the later levels look like a fireworks show as you bounce your antimatter all across the playing field.

  • Get Physical
The physics in the game are nicely done - your ball has momentum which has effects on everything it bumps into. You can aim shots in such a way as to bounce from one string to another and then out of harm’s way, and it’ll be simulated accurately.


The Good: Antimatter drew me in with its graphics, and they’re great. This is clearly a well-produced game in terms of visuals and physics. Once I was in, the first few levels were pretty cool - the gameplay felt chaotic but not out of control. I had a blast just shooting the antimatter all across the screen, and then once I had more red than blue I’d start picking my shots.

I also appreciated the dedicated tutorial level. You’re dropped into a blank screen and given ample time to get used to each feature of the game. I think if I’d just jumped straight in I’d have been a little confused, so having everything explained was plenty useful. The only downside here is that I don’t believe they explained any of the powerups - I still don’t get what some of them do! The Bad: Unfortunately, this game just isn’t that fun. The gameplay is repetitive and gets stale quick. The same not-quite-appropriate music is played over and over again ad nauseam. The controls can be tough to use with any kind of precision, making it tough to play at later levels. After beating a level you’re rewarded with ... more of the exact same thing, just harder, so it’s tough to be motivated to continue on. There are occasional “bonus” levels that consist of touching the screen to direct a stream of particles towards a string, but honestly, it felt like there wasn’t much point.

Even if you do decide to persist, the later levels can be harder than they’re worth. Cosmic strings flood the screen, making it nigh impossible to get around without undoing any progress you’ve made. The lens flare on the background is the same color as your antimatter and the particle flares from collisions, so god forbid you get stuck near the center of the screen - you’ll be flying blind. I’ve heard that Pangea makes great games, so I’m surprised to see this one be such a dud.


There are better options out there for your arcade-style fix. Though this game is relatively cheap and looks and works great from a visual and physics-based perspective, the gameplay just falls flat. Might keep a young’un entertained for a little while, if only because swiping the antimatter around can be exciting to watch. Adult gamers looking for a worthwhile challenge or some kind of addictive gameplay, steer clear. Usability: 3 / 5 Value: 2 / 5 Entertainment: 2 / 5 Aesthetics: 4 / 5

Overall Rating: 2.75 / 5

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