The Atari Breakout was conceptualized by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow, Breakout is an arcade game developed by Atari, Inc. It was released on May 13, 1976. It was built was Steve Wozniak with the help of Steve Jobs. Based on this game, many features and aspects were made for Apple II personal Computer. This game is influenced by another game, Pong, made by Atari, Inc. in 1972. During those days, Pong was ruling over the gaming industry. A lot of its clones were made. When this game was launched, it proved to be a great success. It gained a lot of popularity and profited Atari, Inc. heavily. After seeing its success, many competitors started to design its clones with variations of Breakout but not to the same extent as Pong. Gradually company released its upgraded version and people accepted it with great delight.
Atari Breakout History
Atari already had developed challenging video games using the hardware of their own created Pong game. It was done to counter the clones made by their competitors. Wozniak tried to make the design with a few integrated chips as possible. But it couldn’t be manufactured because it made the design too complicated and too compact. It was not feasible to Atari’s manufacturing methods. One of their creators, Bushnell, wanted to turn this game into a single player game. In this type of games, the player would use a paddle to keep the ball up in the space and destroy the bricks. It was the time when Bushnell asked Steve Jobs to design its prototype. Although, the game design and the previously proposed design turned out to be almost the same, without any major difference.
Atari Breakout – Game Insights
- This game can be played by two people alternate turn-wise.
- This game has a few layers of brick, a ball, and a paddle. The layers of bricks are of different colour.
- Breaking brick of a particular colour gives you different points such as one point for breaking yellow bricks, 3 points for green, 5 points for orange and 7 points for top layered red brick.
- The purpose is to keep the ball up in the space while breaking every brick in motion.
- To do that, there are side walls on the screen and a moveable paddle in the bottom.
- The ball bounces away as soon as it breaks a break and the brick gets destroyed.
- The paddle comes in use when the ball comes down after hitting a brick and need to ricochet back. The paddle needs to be moved to anticipate the direction of the ball coming down with speed after destroying the brick. If the paddle misses to rebound the ball, the player loses its turn.
- The ball shouldn’t bypass the paddle and touch the bottom of the screen.
- The level finishes when every brick on the screen is broken and the ball is still up in the empty space.
- There is two rounds screen of bricks and the player gets three turns to complete the game.
- The catch of the game is the size of the paddle, which reduces to one and half of its original size as the game advances.
- Also, the speed of the ball increases after regular intervals of four, twelve hits and as it makes contacts with upper layers of bricks.
Platforms of the Atari Breakout Game:
Breakout was initially ported to their own Atari 2600 console. Later it was converted to a pack-in game which could be played on Atari 5200. Super Breakout, the sequel to the game breakout, could also be played on Atari 5200 console. The initial game was published in 1976. But now, it can be played on Game arcade, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Gameboy advance, Apple II, MSX, Nuon. This game had only six rows of bricks and the player would get five turns to clear two walls instead of three. Later on its 37th anniversary, Google released this secret version of this game. All you had to do is type “atari breakout” in google images section and the screen will appear with coloured bricks and ball and paddle.
All about Developments of the Atari Breakout:
In the later version of this game, the ball didn’t bounce back after destroying the brick. The ball continues to go through them until it touches the wall. This concept is now used in many games of the same sort. Breakthrough got new heights with Arkanoid game made by Taito in 1986.
As Breakout was co-designed by Wozniak, the co-founder of the modern day Apple, Inc., he used a lot of its features in Apple II personal computer. He used its design of colour graphics circuitry, the concept of the paddle support and sound. He also wrote the graphics command language in a computer language Integer BASIC which he used to write games.
Where to find the Atari Breakout:
Pretty sure that our elders must have played this game in their time as it was so addictive and interesting during those days. But if they again want o to relive that era, they can play it on google too. Although these are some of the games that google call sneaky finds. One has to make some efforts, although very easy, to play this game. The instructions are:
- Open your browser and go to google.com
- Type “Atari breakout”
- Click on “search”
- Switch from web search from “All’ to “Images”. And you can start playing.
The main thing to remember is that the game is mouse controlled. As soon as the game starts, the paddle is controlled with your mouse. It will move in the direction in which you move your mouse.
If you want to play this game on mobile, Make sure that you search for the game in chrome app, not the search bar. Then:
- Go to the menu
- Enable Desktop site.
Every time you play this game, you will be given five turns to complete the game. You lose each turn as the ball touches the bottom of the screen.
Atari Breakout – Sequels and Upgrades:
This game proved to be a breakthrough and many upgrades and sequels to this game were made. Super break out was released in 1978. It had four different modes. Using the Visual style of this game, home ports included breakthrough as the fourth mode.
Breakout 2000, which had 3D visual played and more additional features, was released for Atari Jaguar console.
In 2000, Breakout, a 3D Breakout-inspired game, was released for personal computers and PlayStation by Atari Inc. subsidiary
In 2011, Breakout Boost was released by Atari SA. It had improved graphics, brick-types and power-ups.
If you have to play it on an original iPod, you have to hold down the centre button on the easter egg in the about menu.
Atari Breakout – Promotions:
Many movies were made to promote this game and to make people aware of the features of this game.
An autobiography, pilgrim in the microworld, was made on its creator David Sudnow. It was more of a documentary as it showed how he studies the mechanics of the game, interviewed programmers and contacted manufacturers in Silicon Valley to build this game.
Then another movie was made for kids. Super Breakout Story was made to tell the story behind the game Super Breakout. It was a science fiction story. In that, a NASA astronaut return from a routine mission transporting titanium ore from one of the Jupiter’s moon to the space station in California. During his voyage, he encountered a rainbow barrier that seems to have no end on either side. He had three missiles to break through that spectrum of the rainbow. The three missile signifies the three turns a player gets and the rainbow signifies the layer of coloured bricks. If he needs to go further, he needs to break this barrier with life supports system failing.
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Atari Breakout Game – Reviews:
This game was an example of Atari’s “easy to learn, difficult to master” concept. Though it looked very easy to play, keeping the ball up in the space was the hardest task to do.
The speed of the ball increasing at different intervals and the paddle shrinking kept the players engaged in the game. Apart from achieving the highest score, this game also focused on beating the higher score.
The drawback of the games was the programming error. The ball then hits the left wall, it appears to go through the wall and re-emerge from the edge of the screen, but this was not the case with the right wall.
This glitch would cause the player to break their concentration and lose their turn. It can be seen as a positive way to make the game difficult to play. But the challenge should come from the game within, not because of a programming error.
The other drawback of the game was the highest score. Even though it was difficult to reach the highest score, but once it is attained the game finishes. You have to restart the game for a new session. It doesn’t allow the player to play unlimited until the player runs out of their chances.
The concept of this game is now being used in making more attractive games with improved graphics and gameplay.
While according to few people graphics of the game, it doesn’t change for years that makes it less attractive and since other brick breaking arcade games are available this is less interesting for few users. Still, many video game players like the game.
The best thing is that this can be easily playing at Google and not need any particular device to play it. just watch this video to understand easily.
These are the things, you need to know about the Atari breakout game. Do drop a comment, to share your reviews over the game.