Arkanoid

For: Amiga, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Arcade, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles, Macintosh, TRS-80 Color Computer

Genres

Main Genre:
Action
Perspective:
Side View
Visual Presentation:
Fixed Screen
Gameplay Style:
Paddle / Pong

Overview

Arcade version of Arkanoid
Arcade version of Arkanoid
Arkanoid is a Breakout style action game originally developed by Taito in 1986 for arcades and later ported to numerous home computers and game consoles. Similar to Atari's Breakout, players control a paddle at the bottom of the screen and need to deflect a bouncing ball into bricks until all of the bricks are destroyed; if the player misses the ball and it falls off of the bottom of the screen a life is lost. The game expands on the Breakout concept by adding power ups, three different types of bricks, and by adding unique brick layouts on each of 33 levels.

Gameplay

As the game begins, a brief opening indicates that the mothership "Arkanoid" has been destroyed somehow, however an escape vessel called the "Vaus" survived. The Vaus acts as the paddle that players control. During the game players move the Vaus along the bottom of the screen and need to make sure a bouncing ball doesn't get past. Along the top of the screen are rows of bricks in different patterns. When the ball hits a brick, it is destroyed. A level is complete when all bricks are destroyed. The bricks come in three varieties; colored bricks which are destroyed with a single hit, silver bricks which take several hits to destroy, and gold bricks which can not be destroyed. From time to time a capsule will appear after hitting certain bricks; catching these with the Vaus provides a power up. The capsules that can appear are:
  • Orange - Speed Down: Temporarily slows down the speed of the ball.
  • Green - Catch: Causes the Vaus to catch the ball and allows players to fire it again when they want.
  • Blue - Expand: Increases the size of the Vaus.
  • Aqua - Disruption: Splits the ball into three separate balls. When more than one ball is in play no additional capsules appear.
  • Red - Laser: Allows the Vaus to fire lasers.
  • Pink- Break: Opens an exit on the right side of the playfield allowing players to begin the next level without destroying all of the bricks.
  • Grey - Player Extend: Provides and extra life.

Controls

The original arcade version of Arkanoid used a spinner which was essentially a knob which turned left and right and allowed players to move the Vaus smoothly at variable speeds. Most of the home ports of the game used more commonly available types of controllers such as joysticks, keyboards, or mice. Depending on the device being used, the game was more difficult due to the controller only being able to move the Vaus at a fixed speed (such as with a keyboard or digital joystick). The Nintendo Entertainment System version is unique in that it was originally packaged with a spinner controller to more closely replicate the original arcade game.

Credits

Platform: Apple IIgs
Written by: John Lund, Ryan Ridges
Platform: Atari 8-bit
Coded by: Michael Hutchison
Platform: IBM PC/Compatibles
IBM version programmed by: David Seeholzer
Platform: TRS-80 Color Computer
Programmed by: Steven R. Bjork

Pictures

Click on a picture below to view a larger version.
Arcade Version - Marquee
Arcade Version
The arcade version of Arkanoid was only available as a kit game, it did not have a version in its own dedicated cabinet so there is a wide variety of appearances for Arkanoid cabinets. Kit games included only the parts necessary to convert a cabinet the owner already had into a different game. Kits would typically include parts such as a PCB, marqee, side art, monitor bezel, control panel, specialized controls, and wiring harnesses.

Related Games

Documentation

Instruction Manual
IBM PC/Compatibles
Instruction Manual
TRS-80 Color Computer

Marketing

Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Arkanoid has appeared in.
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Magazine Advertisements
Taito April 1989 magazine ad