Description official description
Impact is an old break-out style game. The user controls a paddle and needs to catch a ball with the paddle each time it comes down. When the ball hits a brick, it is destroyed (unless it's made undestroyable). Sometimes, a bonus will come out of the brick. This adds to the 'bonus score'. When the player collected one or more bonuses, he may 'release' them, and he receives a powerup. Each 'bonus score' has a different powerup: the most powerful powerups need the largest number of bonus points. Impact comes with a lot of levels and a level editor.
Credits (Amiga version)
Average score: 75% (based on 12 ratings)
Average score: 3.0 out of 5 (based on 20 ratings with 1 reviews)
The method of handling power-ups is clever, having more in common with shoot 'em ups than bat and ball games. Essentially, the tokens thrown down don't represent any specific power-up, but go towards buying one of the nine available add-ons, including multiple balls, a longer bat and side-mounted guns, which have been ordered based on their (approximate general) usefulness - a quick press of the right mouse button activates the currently highlighted one, and they can also be turned into a points bonus after a level.
The basic mechanics of Arkanoid, including the monsters (a key feature for adding variety and surprise to the game), are implemented professionally. The game benefits from smooth control, accurate collision detection and realistic deflection angles. The sound effects are particularly classy.
The game has all the standard Breakout-type problems - the fact that the game design is quite monotonous, the reliance on some levels on one precise shot to get above the main grid and score a succession of hits while you have nothing to do but wait, and the frustrating moments at the end of a level where you need to hit one precise angle, but can't do it with your current shot as you need to set the angle up painstakingly.
The packaging rather optimistically claims that the level editor makes for unlimited fun; you'll be questioning this logic fairly quickly, as it's hard to design levels that add anything to the original game, and the interface is quite unfriendly at first.
The Bottom Line
The success of the Arkanoid coin-op, the rarity of the official Amiga conversion (although Imagine came up with a sequel, Revenge of Doh), and the simplicity of the gameplay coupled with the potential for flashy graphical effects, made the genre popular in the early 16-bit years. This version has enough features and inventions to set it above the crowd as the best on offer.
However, public domain and shareware Arkanoid clones became popular in later years. The best known are the Megaball series - fast and furious with great power-ups and great use of the Amiga chipset. However, Paul Van der Valk's Poing series takes the basic idea a step further, eliminating most of the aforementioned problems, and it seems like a shame that he never got (or sought) money for his work. Check those out.
Amiga · by Martin Smith (81663) · 2022
Buried deep inside the executable for both Impact and Blockbuster is this comment (the Blockbuster executable has the same comment but "BLOCKBUSTER" replaces "IMPACT"):
IMPACT was written by Brian Cotton for ASL and didn't I do a fantastic job!
- October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Gerrit Holl.
Game added March 24, 2003. Last modified June 25, 2023.