The Legacy of Atari Breakout

Atari Breakout, originally released in 1976, is a landmark in the history of video games. Developed by Atari, Inc., the game was built by a team that included Nolan Bushnell, Steve Bristow, and Steve Wozniak, with the latter being brought in to design a prototype. Breakout, fundamentally a single-player version of Pong, required players to break rows of bricks using a ball that bounced off a paddle they controlled.


The simplicity of Breakout's gameplay had big impact on the gaming industry. It wasn't just about entertainment; the game also influenced hardware design and software development in its time. Breakout's use of a microprocessor-based hardware system was somewhat pioneering, reflecting a shift from the hardware-heavy designs of earlier games to software-based control that allowed for more diverse and complex gameplay and graphics.


As with any successful game, Breakout spawned numerous clones and successors. One of the most notable (for me) was Taito's "Arkanoid" in 1986 and Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh in 1987. Arkanoid took the basic Breakout concept and expanded it significantly. It introduced new gameplay elements like power-ups, different types of bricks, and varying levels of difficulty. The game also featured a very simple plot, setting it apart from its predecessor and adding a layer of depth that was uncommon in ball-and-paddle games. Arkanoid was particularly popular on the Commodore 64, a leading home computer of the era.

Modern Versions and Legacy

The essence of Breakout has persisted into the modern era, influencing countless game designs and spawning adaptations on various platforms. Today's versions of Breakout can be found on smartphones, tablets, and computers, often incorporating modern eye candy graphics, complex levels, and multiplayer modes. These modern adaptations keep the core gameplay intact while enhancing the experience with new features and nice things to look at.

My Breakout

So, about my Breakout game. My version is much closer to Arkanoid than Breakout. When I was a kid, I had Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh for my Commodore 64. I had no idea there even was a game called Breakout. Such was the situation in the late 1980s. My version takes a lot from both Arkanoid games. Power ups and power up system is similar, level designs "borrows" a lot from both Arkanoid games and there is even a very simple story to go with the game. All the assets are from here. However, none of the original authors links seems to work.

I don't think I ever had a 'childhood dream' to make an Arkanoid clone. My interest was more inclined towards platformer games. However, working on this project was incredibly enjoyable. In fact, I'm slightly sad that it's over. But of course, I understand that games and, by extension, any code, are never truly complete. They should be seen as living, ever-evolving entities. There is no doubt I will come back to this again. Let's call this version 1.0.

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