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Description official descriptions

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.


  • アルカノイド - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (Arcade version)

12 People

Directed and Programmed by
Directer of Hardware and Co-programmer
Assistant Programmer
Graphic Designer
Sound Composer
Sound Effects
Pattern Designer
Software Analyzer
Mechanical Engineer
Publicity Supervisor
  • Varis.I
Game Designed by
Produced by
  • Taito Corporation



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.

Firebird Version

Firebird Software were producing a C64 conversion of the game by Lynnsoft. At the time Atari were suing Taito about how the game was a rip-off of Breakout. Atari looked like they were going to win so Firebird approached them with the game and Atari agreed. Taito won the lawsuit and so Firebird and Lynnesoft lost the rights to complete and release the game.

Game Art Beyond

In 2018, Arkanoid was selected as one of the biggest classics on the Commodore 64 by the creators of the C64 graphics collection Game Art Beyond. Arkanoid was honoured with a high resolution title picture (based on artwork for the SNES title Arkanoid Doh it again) in a special C64 graphics format called NUFLI, along with a new C64 SID interpretation of the Arkanoid title theme.

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.


  • Commodore Force
    • December 1993 (Issue 13) – #96 “Readers' Top 100”* Commodore Format
    • July 1993 (Issue 34) - Modern Classics: Oddities
    • March 1994 (Issue 42) – Heaven: Music of the Gods
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #41 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (NES version)
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - #57 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll

Related Games

Arkanoid DS
Released 2007 on Nintendo DS
Arkanoid Returns
Released 1997 on Arcade, PlayStation, 2008 on PlayStation 3...
Arkanoid: Doh It Again
Released 1997 on SNES, Windows
Arkanoid: Revenge of DOH
Released 1988 on Amiga, 1988 on NES, 1989 on DOS...
Released 2009 on iPhone, 2010 on iPad
Arkanoid 2000
Released 1999 on Windows
Arkanoid Live!
Released 2009 on Xbox 360
Arkanoid 4000
Released 2003 on Windows
Released 2009 on Wii

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 1087


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Thomson MO added by Trypticon. Arcade added by GTramp. BBC Micro added by fwibbler. Sharp X1 added by Infernos. Thomson TO, Atari 8-bit, TRS-80 CoCo added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum, MSX added by Martin Smith. PC-98 added by Terok Nor. Apple II, Commodore 64, NES, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST added by Servo. Apple IIgs, Macintosh added by Игги Друге. Amiga added by MAT. PC-88 added by j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Alaka, Martin Smith, LepricahnsGold, Aaron A., Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Grandy02, piltdown_man, 1xWertzui, Malte Mundt, FatherJack.

Game added March 19th, 2000. Last modified May 4th, 2023.