Release Date: November 1987
Developer: Data East
Publisher: Data East
Genre: Shoot ‘em Up
BreakThru is a side-scrolling shoot ‘em up that Data East ported from the arcade. It certainly isn’t anything special. You drive a vehicle equipped with a missile launcher that you shoot with the A Button. Your vehicle can also jump with a press of the B Button. This is imperative to victory.
You get three lives and make it to checkpoints through each stage. If you lose all of your lives, you can continue from the main menu from the checkpoint you last left off at. Basically, you can beat this game through attrition, which is what I did.
The best tactic is not to bother killing many enemies, but to just jump them, because you can’t be killed while in the air. Well, unless you’re going for a high score, then go slow and shoot everything in sight. There are powerups that float down from the sky at certain points. These give you a three way shot for varying amounts of time.
There are five levels, the Mountains, which I spent 9 minutes on. The biggest obstacle there were falling rocks, which would fall right in front of the vehicle. The Bridge, which I spent six minutes on, it didn’t really give me too much trouble.
The Prairie, which I spent six and a half minutes on. The difficult part here was a double jump over water that if you took too fast or too slow, wouldn’t be able to make. Then there was the city, which was pretty much a cakewalk, I only spent three minutes there. The final level was the Airfields. Four minutes there and I had beaten the game. Well, at least the first circuit, after that I was sent back to level one, but I didn’t notice any differences off the bat, so I said bye-bye BreakThru.
The graphics are okay, but they look amateurish. Definitely a step down from the arcade.
The main music played through the game is alright, but it isn’t composed particularly well. The sound effects are average.
The gameplay is very vanilla. Shoot and jump. They didn’t even give different powerups, only a three way shot.
It would be more of an accomplishment if you couldn’t win by attrition. I was through it in a half hour.
Fun Factor: 1.0
And then I did not want to play anymore, because it’s just not a very interesting game.
Overall Grade: 1.1
BreakThru earns a D. It doesn’t do anything particularly well. I suppose if you wanted to see how many loops you could do on one continue, that might be challenging.