#107 Arkanoid

Posted: 28th March 2016 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

499th played so far


Genre: Action
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1986
Developer: Taito
Publisher: Taito

Arkanoid! A game I’ve been looking forward to, as I remember playing it when I was younger (using cheats to advance a bit further than I could reach on my own – I was an impatient kid). Breakout inspired, it ups the stakes by adding a bunch of features and enemies that adds challenge and variety. All of this I know already – I just want to play it again.

Our Thoughts

It still holds up – both the game and my shameful lack of skills (the latter being surprising considering how many clones I’ve played in various indie games and experiments). And as much as Breakout‘s simplicity might be an advantage from time to time, all the added touches feel like they make the game better. Different shaped playing fields already up the variety of the game immensely, encouraging more trick shots, and powerups alone are a saving grace for me. They really change the course of a level – whether it’s juggling more balls or having a different sized paddle – while still staying the ‘nice to have’ category, not mandatory at any point.

The enemies are a small extra goal, adding on to the point bonus, but the game having a definite end, with a boss battle, makes it more interesting. It’s not a focus and the game would take long enough to make it worth your quarters in the arcade, but it’s some story at least (based on, well, a few starting screens).

It’s really about the variety the additions offer, that’s where Arkanoid really gains its longevity over Breakout.

Final Thoughts

Arkanoid is a lot of fun, even if, as you can see above, so much of it comes from the comparison to the original. Still, Arkanoid does it better, and where Breakout has the name, you see that anyone playing with the formula starts off at Arkanoid – regardless of whether it’s copied wholesale or just takes elements like powerups or more dynamic level design. It’s still more than just breaking the same row of bricks, and it feels like that counts for a lot.