ZX Spectrum Krakout
The Spectrum went through a spate of breakout clones, and this was yet another one from the folks that brought us the likes of Trailblazer and Avenger.
Okay, so it's basically Breakout or Arkanoid except turned on it's side. Here you bat from either side of the screen rather than the bottom. One cool feature of the game was the fact that you could select to bat on the left hand or right hand side at the beginning of the game.
You could also select from six 'speeds' of play which added a little variety to the gameplay. The highest speed was only humanly possible if you'd drank 2 litres of Jolt Cola.
There was some real 'clutching at straws' back story about an 'awesome ogre' who had to be defeated, but we won't even go there.
So we've got coloured blocks, a bat and a ball. Time for some classic arcade action. Game on.
As usual for an Arkanoid type game there were various powerups and block behaviour within the game.
For example some bricks when hit rolled over to reveal bonuses. Bonuses that could be got included:
Glue: The Ball sticks to the bat
Bomb: There is a massive explosion destroying adjacent blocks (wo-hoo!)
Shield: Makes a barrier appear behind you (nice)
Missile: Gives you one missile to fire (not very exciting)
Slow down: Slows the ball down slightly (handy)
Times two: Doubles scoring (More precious points)
Double bat: Gives you another bat in front of your present bat. (super!)
Extra man: Gives you an extra life
Expand: Makes your bat expand (no dodgy comments please)
Aside from all this you had the blocks that took multiple hits to destroy and the aliens floating around the screen which could divert the path of the ball if struck by it.
If you like Arkanoid then you will probably like this game. It's easy to pick up and play, the graphics are okay for the era and the controls are responsive enough. The fart noise that accompanies the destruction of an alien becomes a tad annoying after a while though.
Well this game perhaps came at a time when us ZX Spectrum gamers were becoming a little fed up with Breakout type games. I remember Crash magazine gave it less than favourable review - but this was a rare occasion where I didn't really agree with them. At only £4.99 this game represented great value for money and was a playable Arkanoid type variant. It ended up being a reasonable hit for Gremlin Graphics.
The test of time:
This classic game is easy to get into, playable and you know what you are getting. Not a bad way to pass half an hour and to be fair this game hasn't aged too badly at all.
We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Krakout for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Arcade game (Breakout Clone)
RELEASE DATE: 1987
RELEASED BY: Gremlin Graphics
DEVELOPER(S):Rob Toone, Andy Green, Greg Holmes, Ben Dalglish, Marco Duroe
PRICE: £4.99 - UK
Classic arcade action in this breakout variant:
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