Off the Wall (1991 video game)
|Off the Wall|
|Release date(s)||NA 1991|
|Mode(s)||Up to 3 players simultaneous|
|CPU||68000 at 7.16 MHz, M6502 at 1.8 MHz|
|Sound||YM2151 at 3.58 MHz|
Off the Wall is an arcade game produced by Atari and released in North America in 1991. A modern remake of Breakout, this game introduces many new gameplay features to the bat-and-ball genre, and it incorporates some elements from Pong as well. It supports up to three players simultaneously (though most cabinets only support two), and the game's graphics include many backgrounds modeled after modern abstract art.
The objective of Off the Wall is to score as many points as possible by destroying square blocks in a never-ending series of levels. The player controls a paddle using an analog knob or a joystick (depending on the machine configuration). The paddle moves along one edge of the playfield, and a ball flies around the playfield and bounces off the walls and the paddle. When a ball hits a block, the block disappears (unless it is indestructible). A square exit is placed on the screen, and directing the ball into this exit causes all remaining blocks on the screen to self-destruct, awarding bonus points and advancing the player(s) to the next level.
The ball occasionally splits in two (in multiplayer games, three balls may be on the screen at once), and the player can put spin on the ball, causing it to move in a curved trajectory. The player loses a life when the last ball on the screen moves past the player's paddle, though in some circumstances, the game gives the player a second chance. The game is over when the player has lost all of his or her lives.
As levels progress, the game introduces new features that make the game more complex and challenging. These features include blocks that move randomly or in circles, various powerups, indestructible blocks and bombs, blocks that parachute or fly in to replace destroyed blocks, objects that change the ball's speed and trajectory, and guns that can shrink the players' paddles. Depending on the number of players in the game, some levels may be skipped due to the exit being along one player's edge of the playfield. In multiplayer games, a bonus round occurs periodically where players compete directly against one another in an exact clone of Pong. The winning player earns an extra life.
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