A Breakout clone (also known as a Breakout-style game) is a sub-class of the "bat-and-ball" genre. The genre gets its name by the games being based around the dynamics of a player-controlled block, called a "bat" or a paddle, which hits a ball towards another player's bat or game specific object.
Breakout-style games are characterized by the addition of a wall of blocks or similar objects, that the player chips away at with the ball as part of the main gameplay. Since the release of the original Breakoutarcade game in 1976, there have been many clones and updates for various platforms. The profusion and notability of such games has been sufficient enough for them to also be referred to by some as a genre in their own right. Among the cloners was Breakout designer Steve Wozniak, who wrote Little Brick Out, a software version for the Apple II of his own hardware game. However, since this is a fairly narrow definition of a genre, it is often not considered as such.
Breakout clones' status as a genre is slightly more established in Japan than in North America.Block kuzushi (ブロック崩し burokkukuzushi, literally block destruction) is the name given in Japan to these games, while Casse-briques (literally brick breakage) is the name given in France to these games. A number of block kuzushi games were released in Japan under the title Block Kuzushi, including members of D3 Publisher's Simple series and a Color TV Game system by Nintendo. However, this is a generic name referring to the genre (similar to a tennis game being called Tennis). The games titled Block Kuzushi are all distinct games and should not be considered as a series.
Arkanoid is a successful breakout clone that added power-ups to the traditional gameplay. This has since become a very common mechanic in breakout clones.