In 1986 Taito took the classic breakout game from the 1970's and revamped it with style in the amusement arcades.
A back story was even created (for Breakout?!!) which went along the lines of...
"THE TIME AND ERA OF THIS STORY IS UNKNOWN. AFTER THE MOTHERSHIP 'ARKANOID' WAS DESTROYED, A SPACECRAFT "VAUS" SCRAMBLED AWAY FROM IT. BUT ONLY TO BE TRAPPED IN SPACE WARPED BY SOMEONE....
So, instead of a bat or paddle you controlled the 'vaus' craft which would get you through the levels against the legendary 'dimension controlling force' called... Doh. Yeah, crappy name for an uber villain.
We were treated to the Commodore Amiga version in 1988, and Discovery Software pretty much did the arcade original justice.
Just like the original arcade game Breakout, you control the 'Vaus' space vessel that acts as the game's 'bat' or 'paddle' which you use to prevent the ball from falling (past your bat) from the playing area, attempting to bounce it against a number of coloured blocks.
Striking a block with the ball causes it to disappear. When all have been destroyed, the player is transported to the next level to face another pattern of blocks. On each screen there are a number of variations (such as blocks that have to be hit multiple times, flying enemy ships, indestructible segments and so on.)
Sometimes when hitting a block a power-up capsule would drop down the screen which could help to tip the balance of gameplay in your favour.
Enhancements such as expand the 'width' of the Vaus, multiply the number of balls, equip the Vaus with a nifty laser cannon, warp directly to the next level, slow down the ball speed and more could be collected to help you clear a screen.
My personal favourites were the 'expand your bat' and 'slow down the balls' - the laser cannon always got on my nerves as I'd be too busy aiming at targets and not watching the ball.
The final stage is the fabled screen 33, where in true arcade game tradition you take on the game's boss 'DOH', a sort of huge head being who looks like a cross between Marvel's The Thing and a stone monument from Easter Island.
DOH requires multiple hits to destroy and shoots spinning shapes out of his mouth towards you which you must avoid.
Beat him and you beat the game - and probably get the top score on the high score table too. Hooray!
Arkanoid is a pretty good game on the Commodore Amiga. It plays well, the graphics are nicely drawn and overall it captures the spirit of the arcade game nicely. If you lose you last life you can always shout D'oh! to releive the tension.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Arkanoid. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade Game (Breakout Clone)
RELEASE DATE: 1988
RELEASED BY: Discovery Software
DEVELOPER(S): Chris Chirogene, Joe Sleator, Eric Reinhart and Rick Ross
PRICE: £24.95 - UK
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games