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Breakout (Atari 2600)

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3.3
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Written by  :  eratik (109)
Written on  :  Nov 14, 2008
Platform  :  Atari 2600
Rating  :  3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars

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Summary

First great one player game

The Good

Just plain fun.

The Bad

With only two game boards and only a few game variations, you may quickly add this game to your defeated column.

The Bottom Line

Basically, this game is little more than a one player version of Pong. At the top of the screen are multicolored bricks and at the bottom is your paddle. When you press the button, a ball drops toward your paddle and you must keep it from dropping to the bottom of the screen. When you hit the ball it travels toward the top of the screen; any block it hits disappears. As you knock out blocks, the ball speeds up and your paddle shrinks, adding to the challenge. If you knock out all the blocks you win. Unfortunately, if you clear two screens worth of blocks, the game is complete.

To extend the playtime of this cart, Atari provides a few variations on the basic game. If you need to add challenge to the basic one player game, you can play against other players or against the clock. Other variations add little tweaks, e.g., allowing the player to steer the ball, catch the ball or making the bricks disappear.

The description of the game, perhaps, does not seem compelling. This game proves, though, that there really was something about Pong that gets the blood flowing. Bouncing a ball and knocking out blocks is fun - even today. And fortunately the speed of this game is just about perfect to provide a challenge without rendering the game frustrating. I for one can spend hours bouncing a ball against a wall desperately attempting to catch that one last brick before missing a ball in a moment of misconcentration.

The game is, however, quite limited by today's standards. The graphics are rudimentary, the action is not extremely varied and one can quickly expend the limits of this cart. That is, if bells and whistles are your thing or if you are a master video-gamer, Breakout may not provide you with much joy. In sum, though, this game holds up remarkably well and continues to provide quality entertainment. Sometimes you don't need a lot of dazzle to have an enjoyable gaming experience. Breakout fans probably knew that already.