Written by  :  Liam McGuigan (8)
Written on  :  Dec 05, 2005
Platform  :  Amstrad CPC
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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A fine, if tricky conversion

The Good

Being a simple bat and ball game, it's difficult to really improve upon the concept. What is Breakout will pretty much always remain Breakout.

What Arkanoid does is update the concept through presentation, and the CPC version hits the mark. The graphics are colourful, clear and as varied as one could hope for, the action (what little there is) is fast, and the musical interludes make great use of the AY chip - the introductory piece on starting a game is particularly great.

Essentially though, it's Breakout, and if you're after that you can do a lot worse.

The Bad

On the down side, it's tricky and not just because of design.

For a start, there's a huge difficulty spike in the form of level 3. Faced with a screenful of indestructible blocks, you'll be fighting against poor collision detection as the ball takes improbable bounces off horizontal rows, stumping the player and sending him praying for a level skip power up. It gets more forgiving, but a lot of the time you're relying on trial and error in order to clear each screen.

And, like any Breakout clone, it's very repetitive.

The Bottom Line

In the end, Arkanoid is a pretty damn faithful port of an arcade classic, and one of the better Breakout clones out there. It makes for a nice showcase of the machine's sound chip as well, but it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea.