A great smash hit and one of the most popular arcades ever released, Arkanoid promises plenty of fun even today! The game was converted to almost all 8/16bit home computers and consoles back in 1986!
STORY / GAMEPLAY In Arkanoid, your planet is invaded by an alien species and you control "Vaus". Vaus is a kind of an oddly designed spacecraft that you use as paddle that prevents any alien ball from falling out of the playing field. The Vaus re-bounces any ball towards a number of colored bricks. When a ball strikes a brick it causes it to break and when all bricks are cleared from the screen, you advance to the next level where another pattern of bricks appears. There is a number of more solid bricks that must be hit multiple times to break (like the metal ones) while there are also unbreakable bricks that can change the ball's direction. In more advanced levels, you will encounter some flying enemy ships and other creatures that can bounce back the ball when hit. You can collect power up capsules to enhance the Vaus in various ways: you can expand its length to cover more space, multiply the number of balls you strike, equip a laser cannon to shoot bricks and enemies, open a direct "portal" to the next level, make a ball to stick on your paddle and more (even make the paddle's length smaller -which is bad). Still the gameplay remains the same. Arkanoid is among the greatest video games in history and so highly accepted that it was released in almost every 8bit/16bit home computer and video game console; it is a really addictive -yet tricky game- that needs some skills to master but it never gets frustrating.
GRAPHICS / SOUND Technically, the game is good. The Amstrad CPC port looks great and offers some nice visuals comparable to the original (arcade)! The backgrounds are nicely done; nothing to complain about or to get overly excited about, actually. The colors are great and the sprites move relatively fast and smooth (at most times) and only when not too many sprites occupy the screen. (Note that the game runs faster on the C64 systems). Each screen offers very bright backgrounds that successfully resemble the arcade! In general, this is probably the best looking 8bit port, I think! The sound is also good, featuring memorable short tunes and sound effects, but the C64 version has an excellent intro music tune that's missing in all other 8bit home micro conversions.
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CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.