Platforms: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Arcade, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles, Macintosh, MSX, NES / Famicom, PC-8800 Series, PC-9800 Series, Sharp X1, Thomson MO, Thomson TO, TRS-80 Color Computer, ZX Spectrum


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


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.


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.


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.


Platform: Apple IIgs
Written by: John Lund, Ryan Ridges
Platform: Atari 8-bit
Coded by: Michael Hutchison
Platform: Atari ST
ST conversion by: Peter Johnson
Produced by: D. C. Ward
Platform: BBC Micro
Coding by: Peter Johnson
Produced by: D. C. Ward
Platform: IBM PC/Compatibles
IBM version programmed by: David Seeholzer
Platform: NES / Famicom
Music Composed by: Tsukasa Masuko (uncredited)
Platforms: Thomson MO, Thomson TO
Coding and Graphics by: James Higgins
Platform: TRS-80 Color Computer
Programmed by: Steven R. Bjork
Platform: ZX Spectrum
Programmed by: Michael Lamb
Graphics by: Ron Fowles
Music by: Mark R. Jones
Produced by: D. C. Ward


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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.


Instruction Manual
Amiga, Macintosh
Instruction Manual
IBM PC/Compatibles
Instruction Manual
NES / Famicom
Instruction Manual
TRS-80 Color Computer


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