If ever someone else’s happiness or good fortune in relationships displeased you, developer Random Saturdays feels your completely irrational, alarming hatred, and provides you an outlet. Heart Breaker (80 MSP) has you playing the role of anti-Cupid, AKA a deliberate asshole, AKA the most spiteful cockblocker in the world.
The game is a side-scrolling shooter with a twin-stick setup, with the player slinging arrows at would-be-otherwise couples (harmless squirrels, birds, and smiling, gelatinous blobs) to achieve a high score. You’re impeded in this work by other ‘good’ cupids, floating mines, and triangular-shaped cupid ninjas in full-garb wielding deadly playing cards (see above screenshot if you don’t believe me).
To further your love-wrecking agenda, your special abilities (heavy shot, spread shot, and grenades) are actually powered by the amount of romances you break up. The special meter here is fittingly represented by tear drops. Hit an overly-affectionate target, and watch as the lovebirds explode in a cloud of white picket fences that will never be, kids not being driven to soccer practice, and other unfulfilled domesticated dreams.
Despite that premise and solid controls, though, the whole thing is too simplified to make a lasting dent. The art is amateurish, and it’s difficult to tell when you’ve been hit. About three minutes in, the screen fills up with so many enemies and projectiles, you’re all but destined to die. Each playthrough is a one-off, an endless run that lasts only as long as you live, with the game not even bothering to record your high score or celebrate your progress. That’s not inexcusable, but… Well, yes, actually it is. For an arcade game with nothing else on offer, it all but demolishes replayability.
As such, Heart Breaker is entirely superficial, with increasing difficulty and more arrow-dodging the only new wrinkles added beyond the trial, which is a ridiculous 45 seconds long. Long enough to form the opinion that it’s just masking the shallow end of the pool it drinks from, though, so you’re completely absolved from any curiosity you might have had to sample it. Don’t be a jerk, my cupid friend. Let love reign.