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The original Breakout concept involves controlling a bat at the bottom of the screen and using it to catch and direct a ball so as to hit all the bricks which are arranged at the top of the screen. It was unpopular for over a decade, before Taito revived it with some new ideas in this arcade game.

The game's plot redefines the bat as a Vaus spaceship, the ball as an energy bolt, and the bricks form a mysterious wall stopping the ship from progressing to safety.

By the mid-80s, power-ups were popular in most types of arcade games, and Arkanoid features them. They are caught by positioning the bat below them as they fall (meaning that you risk missing the ball if you go for them at the wrong time). The power-ups include lasers (which are mounted to each side of the ship and allow you to shoot out the blocks), a catching device (so as to be able to fire the ball off at a different angle every time you hit it) and one that slows the bolt down.


Arkanoid NES Cannon is a very useful bonus
Arkanoid Apple II Three balls in play
Arkanoid ZX Spectrum Each level has a different brick layout
Arkanoid TRS-80 CoCo Catch that blue capsule to split the ball into three (Coco 3)

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User Reviews

A perfect showoff game for the Commie Commodore 64 Wertzui (176)
Only the Japanese could invent something like this Amiga *Katakis* (37818)
A fine, if tricky conversion Amstrad CPC Liam McGuigan (8)
Breakout evolved... NES Gustavo Henrique dos Santos (59)
Best breakout clone ever. DOS Tomer Gabel (4388)

The Press Says

Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 May, 1990 87 out of 100 87
Happy Computer Commodore 64 1987 85 out of 100 85
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum May, 1990 84 out of 100 84
Commodore User Commodore 64 Mar, 1987 8 out of 10 80 Amiga Nov, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Tilt Commodore 64 May, 1987 16 out of 20 80
All Game Guide NES 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Computer Gamer ZX Spectrum May, 1987 56 out of 100 56
The DOS Spirit DOS Dec 04, 2008 3 out of 6 50
Just Games Retro NES Jul 04, 2003 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50


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1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Arkanoid appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Commodore 64 title music

The Commodore 64 port of the game features an exclusive title soundtrack, with crude digitized beat sounds that play simultaneously with the tune. Martin Galway used the same music that he composed for the ZX Spectrum version of Cobra, but slightly polished it in on the C64.

NES controller

The NES version of Arkanoid includes its own controller in the package (a smaller version of the spinner used in the arcade version). The game can also be played with the regular Nintendo controllers, but it is much harder this way since the paddle can't be moved as fast as with the spinner controller.

Other platforms

In the 1990's a series of ARGO TV system console variants were produced each containing multiple games. Arkanoid is part of the 84-in-1 game set. See here for pictures.


  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - #57 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll

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Contributed to by Trypticon (8166), GTramp (35199), fwibbler (838), Kabushi (122970), Martin Smith (63130), Terok Nor (18746), Servo (55928), Игги Друге (43760), Tomer Gabel (4388), MAT (74159) and 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro- (58059)