Breakout clone

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A Breakout clone (also known as a Breakout-style game[1][2]) is a sub-class of the "bat-and-ball" genre[3][4][5] introduced with the Magnavox Odyssey's Tennis and Atari's Pong.[6][7][8][9] 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.[1] Since the release of the original Breakout arcade 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.[1][2][10] 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.[citation needed] 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.

Notable Breakout clones[edit]

This is a selected list of Breakout clones.

Sortable table
Title Year Developer/Publisher Platform Notes
Gee Bee 1978 Namco Arcade A Breakout ball-and-paddle/pinball crossover.
Circus Atari 1980 Atari Atari 2600
Thro' the Wall 1982 Psion ZX Spectrum Part of Horizons: Software Starter Pack
Arkanoid 1986 Taito Arcade, various home ports A successful clone of Breakout, that spawned many clones of its own.[11]
Amegas 1987 Amiga
Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh 1987 Taito Arcade, various home ports
Batty 1987 Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
Bolo 1987 Atari ST
Krakout 1987 Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MSX, ZX Spectrum
Quester 1987 Namco Arcade
Woody Pop 1987 Sega Game Gear, Master System
HotShot 1988 Addictive Games Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, PC, ZX Spectrum
PopCorn 1988 PC
Traz 1988 Commodore 64, PC, ZX Spectrum
Alleyway 1989 Nintendo Game Boy
Egawalls 1989 Polik PC
Hyperball 1989 Acorn Electron, BBC Micro
Krypton Egg 1989 Amiga, Atari ST, PC
Fireball II 1990 Acorn Archimedes
Crackout 1991 NES
Cybersphere 1996 PC Freeware
DX-Ball 1996 Windows Freeware
Arkanoid Returns 1997 Taito Arcade, PlayStation
DX-Ball 2 1998 Windows Shareware
Ricochet Xtreme 2001 Reflexive Entertainment Microsoft Windows, Linux via Crossover
Beat Ball 2002 Windows Freeware
Acky's XP Breakout 2004 Isotope244 Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X
Block Breaker Deluxe 2004 Gameloft Java ME, iOS, N-Gage WiiWare, Windows
BreakQuest 2004 Windows
Ricochet Lost Worlds 2004 Reflexive Entertainment Microsoft Windows, Mac
Ricochet Lost Worlds: Recharged 2004 Reflexive Entertainment Microsoft Windows
Vortex 2006 Apple Inc. Click-wheel iPods Freeware
Beat Ball 2 2006 Windows Shareware
Break 'Em All 2006 Nintendo DS
Arkanoid DS 2007 Taito Nintendo DS
Brick Breaker BlackBerry OS[12]
Nervous Brickdown 2007 Eidos Nintendo DS
Ricochet Infinity 2007 Reflexive Entertainment Windows
Icebreaker 2009 SCEE PlayStation 3
Magic Ball 2009 PlayStation 3
Shatter 2009 PlayStation 3, Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
Wizorb 2011 Tribute Games Windows, Xblig, PS Minis, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS


  1. ^ a b c Nelson, Mark. "Breaking Down Breakout: System And Level Design For Breakout-style Games". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  2. ^ a b Durham, Joel (2005-08-02). "Breakout-Style Games - Download This! - Issue #3". GameSpy. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  3. ^ "Good Old fashioned Ball-Bashing Fun!". dooyoo. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  4. ^ "Eidos Announce Nervous Brickdown". Kotaku. 2007-05-05. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  5. ^ "Pulsoids for the Oric". Oldschool Gaming. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  6. ^ Hawkins, Matthew (2006-04-24). ""The Father of Home Video Games": Ralph Baer". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2007-12-06. 
  7. ^ "3d Ping Pong". Retrieved 2007-12-05. [dead link]
  8. ^ Maddox, Chris. "Ball Rush 2, Slowly moving towards mediocrity". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  9. ^ "What makes a true gaming classic?". Edge Online. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  10. ^ Balistrieri, Emily (2007-05-25). "Previews: Nervous Brickdown - We check out the latest "Breakout clone" on DS that isn't a clone.". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  11. ^ "Arkanoid". Archived from the original on 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  12. ^