Attack of the Clones
Breakout vs. Arkanoid
- Image 4 of 10
- Posted 01/27/2012
Not all clones are made to take advantage of a cresting popularity curve. Atari's original arcade version of Breakout came out in 1976, but the single-player Pong-style game in which players use a paddle and ball to break down a wall of bricks has been an oft-used template ever since.
The most notable Breakout clone trailed its inspiration by nearly a decade: Taito's Arkanoid franchise debuted in arcades in 1986. While it kept the basic block-busting premise, Arkanoid added power-ups to the mix (including a longer paddle, or multiple balls), as well as a story about an escape capsule's survival in space against a malicious entity known as Doh. The Atari original's influence can also be clearly seen in Nintendo's original Game Boy launch title Alleyway, more recent titles like Magic Ball and Shatter, and numerous smaller games.
Despite that legacy, Breakout wasn't the most influential product from its makers. Two of the game's key designers, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, went on to co-found Apple.