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.
Arkanoid is a very old game but a real classic. Even today, most people still know what this game was all about: destroy all bricks. This simple idea is a red line for lots of games that have been made. Not only were there lots of clones made of it, but popular games like Unreal and Quake are also based on the same idea: destroy all enemies to proceed to the next level.
The game has a storyline and when you reach the last level, you will encounter a "boss" you will have to destroy. But the story itself isn't important for the game. Each level you just need to do the same, destroy all you see and make sure that the ball doesn't get out of the screen. But who needs a good story in a game like this?
For most puzzle games, graphics are not really important, but the way they are done in Arkanoid really deserves some attention. All levels are extremely colorful and each has its own style. There are little spokes you can hit for some points and even they are different for each level. It is just those little details that prove Taito made a game that has head and tail.
But the most important thing in this game is its brilliant gameplay! It's very easy to learn since all you need to do is make sure the ball lands on your paddle so that it bounces up again. But after you've become a real pro, you can try different tactics and get full control of the ball. After all, this is what you really need in order to complete this game. To help you along, there are various powerups (see extras) that will make surviving much easier for you. This keeps playability fresh all the time. Just a perfect game during study breaks.
Another excellent aspect of the game is its level design. The first stage is a real classic, one that most people will immediately recognize when they see it. But after that, the levels keep changing all the time, often forming interesting brick mosaics.
Arkanoid may sound like an awesome game so far, but before I get to the conclusion, there are two things in the game which are really frustrating. First of all, the difficulty of this game is extremely high, which is made worse by the fact that you can't save. You get three ships at the beginning, and after you lose all of them, you have to start all over again. For most gamers this will be just too difficult, and they will get frustrated because it will be nearly impossible to reach the end of the game.
The second weak point is Stage 3. It is far too difficult to put it so early in the game. Most of the time, you will reach Stage 3 with all your ships, simply to lose them all, because it's just too hard to complete it normally. They should have put this stage at the end of the game, because that's where it belongs, since it is an extremely difficult map that's only suited for experienced Arkanoid players.
You have probably already seen that I gave the game a 4 out of 5, and that is because of those two weak points. If they had made a normal Stage 3, I would have given it an absolute 5 because the rest is great.
One of the most famous games of this type, Arkanoid was first released on arcade machines by Taito, then transferred to PC's by Nova Logic. You know what to do right? Fire the ball into the blocks and make sure it doesn't fall down the screen. And keep doing that for hundreds of levels (or so).
One of my favorite arcade games when I had my Amiga 500. The game is very simple as you just have to shoot a ball up on different blocks. Every time you hit one it dissapears and once you have removed all blocks you have completed the level.
You can get extra things such as 3 balls, laser, glue and much more from he letters that sometimes appear when you hit one of the blocks.
The more levels you complete the more complex and faster levels you get to. There are also some robots flying arround which you have to kill or at least avoid as they are trying to stop you from completing the level. All though they can be a bit annoying they do have a somewhat random movement area and are rarely getting all the way down to you before you have hit them. Overall a funny game which you can use mana hours on.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Arkanoid have also downloaded:
Arkanoid 2, Arkanoid, Atari: 80 Classic Games in One!, Atari Arcade Hits, Atari Anniversary Edition, Asteroids, Aladdin, Doom
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