Players have a ship that has a metal bumper above it that blocks an "ion ball" that goes up and hits blocks. Depending on the type, the ball may or may not destroy it. Like Arkanoid, there are power ups that players can use. Also players have a limited number of balls that can be lost before it's game is over. The stage is cleared once all blocks that are destroyable are destroyed. The game keeps track of players' progress in ten level chunks, which means that the game is checkpointed only once every ten levels. Each series has a different aesthetic and themes but the block types do not change.
There are multiple types of blocks that aren't all able to be destroyed.
The regular rectangular block that is destroyed upon one hit of the ion ball. Standard really.
This is a block type that has some sort of motion within the area of the block itself. As a result, this block is able to be spotted for being a power-up block. A one-hit block, once destroyed it drops either a good or bad power-up.
Although the aesthetic changes, this block takes three hits to destroy. However, the defining feature is that one of two lights turns on each time one of these blocks is hit. If both lights are activated, the block requires one more hit to be destroyed.
Again, the aesthetic changes but all bomb blocks have a beeping or singular light/indicator in the middle that signifies this block as a bomb. Generally this block, once hit, blows up and destroys nearby blocks that it is touching. The patterns of the levels often place bomb locks in a column, row, or other pattern that sets off the whole chain when one is it.
These are blocks that have half of one block type on one side and half of one type on the other. One half is composed of the block type that it is near and the other half dictates what those blocks will change into. Lets consider a block that is half a bomb and half regular If there is a series of regulars touching the change block, once hit, the string of regular blocks will be changed to bomb blocks.
Each series as its own aesthetic of indestructible block. These blocks are not able to be destroyed by a normal ball and usually are metal and give off a metallic sound once hit. The good thing is that the blocks don't have to be destroyed in order for the level to be finished. These blocks can be destroyed but only with certain power-ups.
These blocks resemble metal blocks but they are characterized by a soft side. More often than not, this is the underside of the block. However because it is made of tougher stuff, it usually takes three hits to destroy the block, each deforming and diminishing the size of the block. Sometimes they are upside down and they can only be destroyed from above with a normal ball.
Often they are power-up blocks but they don't have to be, blocks sometimes randomly contain a missile that drops from the blocks straight down. A whistling noise is heard and if it hits the ship, it is instantly destroyed.
Despite being a clone, it does improve and add a few power-ups not previously seen. It also introduces a variety of power-ups and yield a negative effect upon collection. Some power-ups also stack, meaning there is a greater effect upon collecting multiple ones. Similarly, multiple power-up types can be used at once
Bumper Size Change
The positive is an oval with green arrows, one pointing left, and one pointing right. Collecting it expands the size of the bumper. The opposite and bad one is an oval with red arrows, each pointing inward, signifying that it will shrink the size of the bumper.
The game features lasers that can be shot in order to destroy blocks. They appear as cannons on each side of the ship. Collecting one gives the ability to shoot one laser round from each gun alternatively. Collecting a second allows for two rounds to be shot simultaneously. Much like the laser guns, this power-up shoots the same missiles that before fell on players at random. The same stack effect is seen although the missiles function like bombs instead of a ball, which means multiple blocks, including indestructible ones, can be destroyed.
One is an oval with the word "SLOW" written on it that slows the ball down. Since the speed is defined by a number, the power-up stacks until players reach the minimum number. The opposite is an oval with the word "FAST" written on it which speeds up the ball. Since the speed is defined by a number, the power-up stacks until players reach the maximum number.
The classic and much desired power-up which causes the ball to be magnetically attached to the bumper. This "catches" the ball and the thus can be released by a click of the mouse. This power-up can only catch and hold one ball at a time. Also the ball must be release if one desires to shoot with laser guns or missiles.
The power-up comes in two varieties, 3 balls and 8 balls. Collecting it causes the one ball to split into either 3 or 8 balls that separate at equal angles from one another. Collecting another of either causes one ball at random to be the source and balls split from that. Multiple balls cannot be caught using the electromagnet.
Ball Power Change
The balls power capability can changed to do more damage. A fire ball is a ball that is capable of not only destroying metal blocks in one hit, but also destroying multiple blocks in one hit. A rail ball is the classic ball power-up that causes the ball to go right through blocks without stopping. Each block it passes is destroyed.
Ball Size Change
The size of the ball itself can be changed. Although the ball's size cannot be expanded from its original state, it can be shrunk. The smaller ball is unable to destroy certain blocks, like the three-hitters, and must be returned to size or have a power change to destroy the remaining blocks. The size decrease is characterized by a red circle and likewise a power-up with a picture of the ball returns the ball to size. However collecting this ball can also return the ball back to its normal state from power-ups such as the rail ball. So it can be both a good and bad power-up.
The differentiator from other Arkanoid clones is that the speed of the ball is defined by a number on the right side of the screen. By collecting speed change power-ups, this number either goes up or down. The unique property in Ricochet Xtreme is that the ball increases in speed by one or two points upon each hit of a destroyable block. This is what prevents the block from staying permanently slow. Also, a small ball can destroy certain blocks if it has a high enough speed.