Breakout clone

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A screenshot of the Breakout clone LBreakout2

A Breakout clone (also known as a Breakout-style game,[1] block-breaking game, brick buster, or brick smash, brick break, brick destroyer/destruction, or ball-and-paddle game) is a sub-class of the "bat-and-ball" genre.[2][3] The genre is named for the dynamics of the player-controlled block, called a "bat" or a "paddle", upon which the game is based, which hits a ball towards another player's bat or different objects such as colored tiles (called a "brick"). The term brick buster, coined in the early 2000s, mostly refers to more modern games.[citation needed]

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, and Super Breakout two years later,[4] there have been many clones and updates for various platforms. The profusion and notability of such games has been enough for them to also be referred to by some as a genre in their own right.[1] 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.[5]

In 1986, Arkanoid revitalized the concept by adding power-ups and a feel of depth to the visuals. Many Breakout clones since then have been styled after Arkanoid. In 1991, Atari Games released a remake of Breakout called Off the Wall. It modeled "spin" on the ball.[6]

While the original Breakout has the paddles laid out horizontally, a number of clones have changed this concept: Krakout on the Commodore 64 has the paddles vertically, with most of the gameplay happening in a horizontal layout, while TRAZ offers levels (complete with a level editor) that can have both paddles that move horizontally and paddles that move vertically.

In Japan[edit]

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 breaker) 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.[according to whom?]


  1. ^ a b c Nelson, Mark. "Breaking Down Breakout: System And Level Design For Breakout-style Games". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  2. ^ "Good Old fashioned Ball-Bashing Fun!". dooyoo. Archived from the original on 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  3. ^ "Eidos Announce Nervous Brickdown". Kotaku. 2007-05-05. Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  4. ^ "Super Breakout". Arcade Museum.
  5. ^ Wozniak, Steve (2014-05-01). "How Steve Wozniak Wrote BASIC for the Original Apple From Scratch". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  6. ^ Off the Wall at the Killer List of Videogames