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 ball.... sorry, bolt.... down. Needless to say, the game inspired tonnes of clones, few of which added anything else.
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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.
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
- Game Informer
- August 2001 (Issue 100) - #57 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll