29: Arkanoid

Genre: Arcade

Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito
Year: 1987

Basic Idea: Breakout on steroids.

Review:  I always had an affinity for games in this vein, and Arkanoid is near-perfection.  More than just your standard paddle-destroy-blocks game, many blocks drop super powers for your paddle. Power-ups include increased length, sticky paddle, multiple balls, free balls, lasers, and even a warp zone.  Some levels require increased strategy to complete, as enemies fly around and gold bricks are not destroyable.

There are two minor annoyances.  The balls can sometimes end up at breakneck speeds.  This is generally not an issue if you have the Arkanoid controller (we did) as you can move from one side of the screen to the other instantaneously.  But the paddles moves at a rather leisurely pace while using the regular NES controller.  So when those balls are going fast, kiss your life goodbye.

The colors are amazing.  The game is really a joy to watch.  And, if you can make it to the 36th and final level, there’s a pretty sweet boss battle.  I also recommend the sequel for the SNES which is even better.

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5 thoughts on “29: Arkanoid

  1. I went through an obsessed-with-Arkanoid phase that was actually in about 1998, during my third year of college, on PC. Josh Mitchell had it on his comp and I couldn’t stop playing it.

    I played it on the NES a bit, but I don’t think I could have told you there was one on SNES.

  2. This is one of the few games my dad played (the PC version, anyway).

    I distinctly remember a version of this in the one pitiful arcade our town had. It was easily the best one until X-Men came along. I would say Arkanoid represents about 70% of the money I’ve ever spent in an arcade (Dance Dance Revolution and its various clones make up a good portion of the other 30%).

    • I never played the PC version. I vaguely remember an arcade version; I’m sure I played it, but since we already had it on the NES, I guess I felt silly pumping in quarters to a game I had at home.

      Most of my quarters went to TMNT, The Simpsons, NBA Jam, Double Dragon, Arch Rivals, P.O.W., and pinball machines.

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