Arkanoid is a very old game but a real classic. Even today, most people still know what this game was all about: destroy all bricks. This simple idea is a red line for lots of games that have been made. Not only were there lots of clones made of it, but popular games like Unreal and Quake are also based on the same idea: destroy all enemies to proceed to the next level.
The game has a storyline and when you reach the last level, you will encounter a "boss" you will have to destroy. But the story itself isn’t important for the game. Each level you just need to do the same, destroy all you see and make sure that the ball doesn’t get out of the screen. But who needs a good story in a game like this?
For most puzzle games, graphics are not really important, but the way they are done in Arkanoid really deserves some attention. All levels are extremely colorful and each has its own style. There are little spokes you can hit for some points and even they are different for each level. It is just those little details that prove Taito made a game that has head and tail.
But the most important thing in this game is its brilliant gameplay! It’s very easy to learn since all you need to do is make sure the ball lands on your paddle so that it bounces up again. But after you’ve become a real pro, you can try different tactics and get full control of the ball. After all, this is what you really need in order to complete this game. To help you along, there are various powerups (see extras) that will make surviving much easier for you. This keeps playability fresh all the time. Just a perfect game during study breaks.
Another excellent aspect of the game is its level design. The first stage is a real classic, one that most people will immediately recognize when they see it. But after that, the levels keep changing all the time, often forming interesting brick mosaics.
Arkanoid may sound like an awesome game so far, but before I get to the conclusion, there are two things in the game which are really frustrating. First of all, the difficulty of this game is extremely high, which is made worse by the fact that you can't save. You get three ships at the beginning, and after you lose all of them, you have to start all over again. For most gamers this will be just too difficult, and they will get frustrated because it will be nearly impossible to reach the end of the game.
The second weak point is Stage 3. It is far too difficult to put it so early in the game. Most of the time, you will reach Stage 3 with all your ships, simply to lose them all, because it's just too hard to complete it normally. They should have put this stage at the end of the game, because that’s where it belongs, since it is an extremely difficult map that’s only suited for experienced Arkanoid players.
You have probably already seen that I gave the game a 4 out of 5, and that is because of those two weak points. If they had made a normal Stage 3, I would have given it an absolute 5 because the rest is great.
Use DOSBox with decreased CPU cycles to play this game properly, as it will be too fast otherwise!