Breakout

aka: Breakaway IV, Crash, Scratch!, Super Block, Super Breakout: Classic Play/All New Way!, T.T. Block, Table Scratch
Moby ID: 9001
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

In Breakout, there is a wall of bricks along the top of the screen and your goal is to destroy the entire wall one brick at a time! To do this, you control a paddle at the bottom of the screen which is used to reflect a bouncing ball into the bricks. When the ball hits a brick, it will destroy it. You start with five balls, and the game ends when all five fall off the bottom of the screen. Also included are several game variations, including breakthru (the ball will go straight through bricks instead of bouncing back), timed breakout (you have a time limit to gain as many points as you can), and invisible breakout (the bricks are only visible for a short while after one of them is hit). Other variations allow you to catch the ball or control the direction of the ball.

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Credits (Arcade version)

4 People

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 63% (based on 10 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 46 ratings with 3 reviews)

Just your basic Arkanoid...

The Good
There wasn't really that much I really really liked, I mean, it's one of the original breakout games. I think it was the first one with color so that's cool. Um, I mean there really isn't that much to be said about it. It doesn't really blow me away.

The Bad
Like I said before, It's one of the first breakout games, heck, it's one of the first video games. There's not much to complain about considering what it was competing with. Find me a better Breakout game made in when this one was and then we'll talk.

The Bottom Line
Breakout is your basic Breakout game. (Isn't it great i'm writing such insightful comments? I'd recommend it to anybody who really likes breakout, and that's about it.

Atari 2600 · by VortexS130 (73) · 2005

Pong has evolved! Again!

The Good
We can see with this game that Atari has done some improvement in programming the games. Now we're going even further away from the original Pong. Whether you play alone or with up to 3 other players, the game is equally fun. I'm still surprised how such a simple game can offer so many hours of entertainment. Well, simple applies mostly to the concept. Because time, you can choose the angle of the bounce, though it's really not that easy to control. And if you get really good, you may decide to dig a hole through all the walls really early so you get points faster by accessing to the last wall and by having your ball bouncing up and down the upper screen for a while, IF you can handle having your paddle shorter right at the start... You may also optionally "catch the ball" so you can aim a little more, but I personally wasn't too excited about this feature. Not enough challenge I guess! This little game is a classic that many remembers and that concept has often been imitated since then.

The Bad
Even if the developers tried to offer variations on the game, the basic principle remains the same: you get to bounce the ball on a wall. Even if the wall optionally disappears, the gameplay is mainly the same. Nice try though! The graphics are quite basic, but at least, they are colorful and don't take away much of the pleasure. I cannot say the same for the beeps sounds that Atari kept as a trademark. But you can always turn it off...

The Bottom Line
The game is a more complex variation of good ol' Pong. Up your screen, you have several layers of brick walls. You have to bounce the ball on the walls with the help of your paddle. Each time you touch a brick, it disappears, allowing you to hit the next wall. After 8 hits, the ball goes faster. When you reach the last wall, your paddle shrinks to make it more difficult. The further the wall is, the more points you get. The angle of the pitch depends where the ball bounces on your paddle.

Atari 2600 · by RobinHud (68) · 2005

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.

Atari 2600 · by eratik (105) · 2008

Discussion

Subject By Date
RIP Steve Bristow! Pseudo_Intellectual (66248) Feb 25, 2015

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Breakout appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Apple

The participation of Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the development of the original arcade version of this game (following a design by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell) may explain why some version of it (e.g. BRICK OUT) is always one of the first games available for play on any Apple platform.

Book

The Atari 2600 version of this game was the primary subject of one of the earliest popular books concerning video games, David Sudnow's 1979 Pilgrim in the Microworld, an account of his obsessive descent into its world of balls and bricks.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

Atari VCS added by Sciere. Xbox 360, Windows added by Alaka. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Antstream added by lights out party.

Additional contributors: jean-louis, Pseudo_Intellectual, vedder, DreinIX, FatherJack.

Game added April 22, 2003. Last modified December 4, 2023.