Cass. £8.95/Disk £12.95
1-2 joysticks/ paddles/ keyboard
Anyone for Breakout? Yes folks, whack-a-brick,
bounce-a-ball fever is back upon us, courtesy of Imagine.
Forget all the blurb on the inlay card regarding
space ships and suchlike – ARKANOID is essentially an enhanced
version of the Atari classic. For the uninitiated, the program
displays screen after screen of multicoloured bricks which are
destroyed when they come into contact with the ball. This bounces
around the play area rebounding off of the bricks, the three
perimeter walls, and a fourth, much shorter 'wall' – better known as
a bat. You have to position the bat in the path of the oncoming ball
– otherwise a life is lost – and ultimately eradicate all of the
bricks to progress onto subsequent levels.
Doesn't sound like much of a game by today's
standards, right? That's why Imagine have thrown in a few extra
goodies along the way. Selected bricks, a large proportion in fact,
conceal round capsules and if you destroy the appropriate brick, the
capsule floats downwards presenting you with the opportunity to
catch it and benefit from one of several special effects, depending
on the colour of the capsule and the letter it bears. For example, a
`P' lets you have a bonus life, an 'E' elongates the bat and an `L'
transforms the bat into a twin laser-firing attack ship.
Constantly emerging through one-way doors at the top
of the screen are a varied selection of niggling nasties. The
animation of these is excellent, but it's not a good idea to admire
the graphics for too long – if the ball touches alien matter it is
deflected in a random direction at increased velocity. Thirty-two
levels later you are given the chance to confront the `Dimension
Changer', or so I'm told! The playfield is very colourful boasting a
highly patterned and very imaginative backdrop, although the bat and
ball are slightly disappointing, as are the bricks which are simply
solid blocks of colour. There isn't any music (pity about that) but
the few existing sounds are of reasonable quality and suitability.
The game's overriding strength lies in its immense
addictiveness, and if you consider this property to be more
important than its originality factor then you should turn a blind
eye to the perhaps over-inflated asking price and waste no time in
adding ARKANOID to your arcade collection.