As someone who has a deep love for classic arcade titles and loves games that mix things up, in principle I’m in the target audience for Antonball Deluxe. With its oddball style and characters it comes to the table with a fun attitude, and I do respect the daring risk it takes remixing two classic arcade titles, but at the same time I’m not sure the result is any improvements in the original experiences. I think that Punchball is the stronger option of the two, changing up the classic original Mario Bros with the need to grab a ball to knock out enemies before kicking them out. It does work, and presents its own challenge, but I don’t think anyone would argue it’s a better version of the original idea either. Antonball is the more ambitious idea of the two, essentially setting up a game of Breakout where your character is the paddle. More often than not this was simply frustrating as you’d need to jump between platforms to try to get yourself into position to deflect the ball at all to keep it in play, but the real problem then is putting English on the ball to get it to go where you need it to and knock out blocks is effectively pushed out of the picture. There’s also then a Vs. mode where you can play Antonball against a friend but this game ultimately comes down to whether you’ll enjoy these remixed experiences, delighting in their alterations of well-worn play, or whether they come up short.
Justin Nation, Score: