I don’t know what Arkanoid is about. I really don’t. It has a story, and I’ve even beaten the game and seen the whole story once or twice thanks to some luck and perseverance, but none of it sticks with you. All I remember is that the enemy is named Doh, and he manifests as a giant space face that you have to defeat by hitting him with balls. For real.
Weirdness of all that aside, the game’s basically a more refined Breakout clone. You’re unfamiliar with Breakout, you say? Oh, you’re familiar with it, all right. It’s everywhere, one of those go-to games that pops up whenever someone wants to make a game, but doesn’t really want to put any effort into it. That’s not to say that it’s not fun, but it’s been done so many times that it’s stale. It’s not even beating a dead horse at this point, because that metaphorical horse is now a fine pink mist from all of the blows it’s sustained.
The whole idea is that you have to destroy all the blocks in each level using a ball, because your planning against Doh apparently didn’t take into account the huge number of space blocks lying around. You’d think that your spaceship would come with some guns by default since you’re apparently going after your giant-faced nemesis with the intention of destroying him, but nope, you’re evidently the worst spaceship captain in existence. This becomes especially obvious during the infrequent boss fights, where your only method of beating your enemy is by hitting it with your ball. Outside of boss fights, your main concern is destroying all the blocks as quickly as possible, because the more the ball bounces around, the faster it goes. Why? Because physics are for nerds, and you’re a hardcore spaceship captain who has no need for such nonsense. Or something. Anyway, Arkanoid is basically Pong for people without friends.
On the other hand, it at least makes an effort to freshen up the whole concept by adding the ability to create custom levels. There are even different kinds of upgrades and blocks to keep things interesting. Some upgrades make it easier to manage the rapidly-accelerating ball, others let you skip ahead to the next level, and still others cause your ball to erupt into multiple balls. You can even get an upgrade that gives you guns with which to shoot the blocks above, which is personally my favorite one. Some blocks have to be hit multiple times to disappear, while others are indestructible and have to be avoided to keep the ball from traveling too fast to keep up with.
If all of this is sounding dirty to you, then yeah, I totally get it. It’s difficult to remain at a mature level of thought when you’re talking about beating a giant face by repeatedly smacking it with a ball. What can I say? Space warfare was different in the 90s.
On the topic of music: does Arkanoid even have music? I just played it and can’t even be sure. There’s a good chance that means “no,” though it could just be rare. The graphics, on the other hand, are kind of pleasant. Simplistic, and there’s really no denying that, but the backgrounds and colors switch up enough to provide the illusion of progress.
This is a game I enjoyed long, long ago, but even I have to admit that it’s not really worth playing anymore. There are so many free games out there that can provide the same kind of entertainment value that buying this particular game would really be a waste of time and money. That’s not to say that the game isn’t fun, but it’s not fun or original enough to recommend to any sane individual nowadays.
Here’s what you should do: