Arkanoid Review

Arkanoid is the best translation yet of Taito's excellent arcade catalog.

Arkanoid, a souped-up arcade remake of Atari's Breakout, was probably the best game to ever use Atari's paddle control. Although no such peripheral is yet available for the cell, Taito's absurdly simple wall-busting game is just as fresh today as it was in the 1980s.

You control a paddle at the bottom, bouncing a white ball toward three walls to destroy bricks. Knocking out all the bricks moves you to the next level, while missing a return bounce three times will end your game. The controls are about as simple as they come--the 4 and 6 keys move the paddle left and right, and 2 is the action key.

The first noticeably cool aspect of Arkanoid is the clear, detailed graphics. Everything from the level design to the color scheme is straight from the arcade game--and that's as it should be. Even better, Arkanoid maintains this level of graphical acuity while keeping up with the oft-frantic pace of gameplay. This is quite crucial when trying to follow a small ball on a portable game screen.

Arkanoid's second triumph lies in gameplay variety, thanks to an array of now-familiar paddle boosters. Special bricks release power-ups ranging from wider paddles to safety nets. The ball splitter that turns your single sphere into eight is a personal favorite--not only because of the beautiful arcade chaos it creates, but also because the game screen doesn't even break up during the process. Power-up blending is also a treat--just think about the brick-busting rampage you can initiate after grabbing two paddle-widening icons in a row.

Sound is Arkanoid's only mediocre area. The Arkanoid intro theme is right on the money, but the in-game brick pings are absolutely headache-inducing. Regardless, Arkanoid is the best translation yet of Taito's excellent arcade catalog. Let's hope this marks a new standard for blast-from-the-past retro ports.

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Arkanoid More Info

  • First Released 1985
    • Amiga
    • Amstrad CPC
    • + 15 more
    • Apple II
    • Arcade Games
    • Atari 8-bit
    • Atari ST
    • BBC Micro
    • Commodore 64
    • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
    • Macintosh
    • Mobile
    • MSX
    • NEC PC98
    • NES
    • PC
    • Sinclair ZX81/Spectrum
    • Tandy Color Computer
    Arkanoid is the best translation yet of Taito's excellent arcade catalog.
    Average Rating345 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
    Discovery Software Intl, Imagine, Taito Corporation, Probe Entertainment Limited, NovaLogic, Tandy
    Published by:
    Discovery Software Intl, Ocean, Imagine, Taito Corporation, Imagine Studios, Discovery Software, I-Play, Hit Squad, Tandy
    Action, Arcade