Arkanoid (NES)

Arkanoid Box Art


System: NES

Release Date: August 1987

Developer: Taito

Publisher: Taito

Genre: Puzzle

Arkanoid is a Breakout clone, in which you control a paddle to bounce a ball. There is a flimsy framing story about your paddle being the Vaus spacecraft and shepherding survivors to safety, but it’s an excuse to break bricks on each stage to move on to the next. There are colored bricks, silver bricks, and gold bricks. The point value ranges from 50 points for white walls to 120 points for yellow walls.

Using the laser power-up.

Sometimes, when you break bricks, a colored capsule floats down that can be collected by your paddle. Each confers some sort of super power. Orange capsules slow the movement of the ball. Green capsules allow the paddle to catch the ball before launching it at the behest of the player. Light blue capsules split the ball into three, giving multi-ball play. The pink capsule opens the warp escape to the next round… I should have read the manual more thoroughly before playing. Grey capsules grant a free player. Purple capsules widen the paddle. Red capsules give laser fire to the paddle.

I got the ball up top in round 2.

You can play it straight and try to destroy the blocks with your sweet paddle skills, or if you get the red capsule, you can just blast away with the laser. I liked this when I was getting frustrated with being just a titch off with the paddle and dying. There are also enemy space debris that floats onto the stage, which can mess up your shot angles.

Graphics: 1.0

Graphics are absolutely nothing special, but they don’t have to be, it’s a puzzle game.

Sound: 0.5

There is no music, only pings and pongs.

Gameplay: 2.0

Move the paddle, hit the ball at the angle you want, collect power-ups, break all the blocks. Simple.

Difficulty: 3.0

You have to get your reflexes trained to be able to progress far. Not for the faint of heart.

Fun Factor: 1.5

I usually like Breakout clones, but this didn’t hit the same as I would expect.

Overall Grade: 1.6

Arkanoid gets a C-. It’s good in small doses, sure, so factor that in for yourself.

Arkanoid Video Review on YouTube