Less is more, an often worn-out phrase that, despite its trite usage, perfectly summarizes CometQ. Taking its… cue from classic trendsetters like Pong, this simple experience brings us back to our gaming roots, and ultimately reminds us why video games are fun at a basic level.
CometQ is an endless block breaker, being such there is no real goal or aim, only to best your own, previously set, high score. This may sound a little drab and uninteresting, yet upon actually playing you start to feel a fun filled pressure as you attempt to beat your past self. The player controls two paddles, one situated at the top of the screen and the other at the bottom. A small ball is launched and from there on out you have two jobs: keep the ball from passing by one of the paddles—like playing Pong with yourself—and hit as many blocks with the ball as you can when they appear onscreen. The more blocks you shatter in rapid succession, the more points you rack up. This may sound like a simple and rather easy task, but it is far harder than one might first consider.
The blocks hastily materialize, and the ball itself pings around the screen at such tremendous speed, leaving a trail of sparks behind it. I had trouble lasting more than a few seconds on my first playthrough before seeing the game over screen. Sometimes it did not feel like my own fault, though. To move the paddles you swipe with your finger, at times this produced a bit of a delay. In addition, if you are playing on a small screen your finger will no doubt obstruct your visibility. However, after a few hours I learned to deal with these issues and had fun in spite of them.
An eye pleasing art style supplements the fast-pace action. Gazing at a kaleidoscope of colors turned out to be one of the most pleasant aspects of this experience. As you franticly work to keep busting those blocks, the shade of the screen begins to alter, slowly transitioning into a tranquil yellowish hue or a calming green tint. This adds a somewhat soothing effect to the frantic madness.
If you are still finding things a little too difficult, the game employs a lifeline in an interesting form. Instead of forcing you to watch commercials at inopportune times, CometQ offers you the opportunity to view an ad in exchange for additional lives. Yes it makes you feel like a little bit of a cheat, and yes it’s a way to bring in ad revenue. Nevertheless, it feels a lot less intrusive than the way most other games obnoxiously hurl advertisements at the player.
CometQ does not break any new ground. Moreover, it’s not going to shock and awe anyone, mostly because it’s not trying to. Instead it does exactly what it sets out to do (albeit with a few hiccups), provide you with a brief, fun distraction.