released on May 13, 1976
by Namco



The objective of the game is to destroy a multilayered wall of bricks at the top the screen. Upon hitting the bricks with a ball which bounces off of a paddle at the bottom of the screen the bricks are destroyed. If the player misses the ball with his horizontally moveable paddle the ball is lost. After loosing five balls the game is over.

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(Atari 50)
Once again I feel this is too simple to rate compared to a modern game, I enjoy arkanoid type games a lot. This one doesn't compare to those but it does lay an important groundwork so I definitely appreciate it

I mean, it's Breakout. You hit balls at bricks, they break, it makes good sounds, and it is a fun time waster. Pretty damn good for 1976. Bet most of you didn't even know this game actually had a plot. Fake Breakout fans.
Game #105

Whew definitely a bit more interesting than pong but so damn janky! Cannot be dealing with that these days.

I've been trying to play more of the older videogames, not SNES old, but Atari 2600/colecovision old. In particular I've found what I've always suspected from what little experience I previously had : these games are so charming and timeless.
In particular Breakout is so simple but so good to play some 37 years later, stimulating that simple part of the brain that gets joy from bouncing a ball against the wall. In truth I have already played Breakout many times before actually playing the OG in the form of Arkanoid and other "Block Breakers".
The story of Breakout's development is as interesting as the game itself. I'll admit however that in researching this myself I have seen several inconsistencies in the stories being told, a common thing in these kinds of oral histories and especially ones which involve interpersonal conflict and deception. I could have gone and read the Steve Jobs biography and other stuff but look, I aint no Detchibe/Cadensia etc who actually put effort into their reviews, so take everything here with a pinch of salt.
The idea for breakout came from pong designers Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow, who saw the potential to turn a 2 player game dependent on a skilled opponent to make the game interesting into a 1 player vertical pong where the at the time common high score mechanic would incentivize further play to max it out [1]. Bushnell was frustrated with newer Atari Games needing 150-170 chips, which were expensive and hired Steve Wozniak, mutual acquaintance of then Atari employee Steve Jobs; who had made a version of Pong requiring only 30 chips, promising a 700 dollar bonus if it was under 50 chips and 1000 if under 40 chips (according to this would be approx 3700 and 5300 dollars today respectively). [2]
Wozniak pulled a few all nighters to finish the game in between working his day job at Hewlett and Packard but was only able to get the number of chips down to 44 so "only" got his half of the 700 dollar bonus[2]. Unbeknownst to him, Jobs had actually been promised 5000 dollars and so pocketed quite the profit despite Wozniak having been the one to do most of the work[3]. Wozniak himself said he was hurt by the revelation years later of the deception even though [he] "don't hurt easily" but seemed to have gotten over it and let bygones be bygones by the time of the blogpost circa 2000. Whether or not this was genuine or a desire to not stir anything up knowing how the internet works is hard to tell, but personally Wozniak doesn't seem the type to hold a grudge.
I leave up to the reader to take what they will from the story, beyond the obvious that the practices of the game industry have seemingly been cutthroat from day one and that Steve Jobs was perhaps not the nicest person (well, that and a million other things he did but thats beyond the scope of this review).
Personally I would encourage everyone to try these Atari games out. There's a lot to learn from their simpler, more technologically constrained arcade designs. I have elsewhere been called insane for this but I genuinely believe these Atari Games have aged a lot better than a lot of early 3D games. Seriously if you don't believe me grab a random young person, get them to try asteroids and then the original tomb raider. Obviously this isnt bulletproof and a fully "fair" pair up of games from these two disparate consoles is impossible but I think my point still stands.
EDIT: I did not catch on to the fact that Detchibe actually already wrote a piece on this game, using pretty much exactly the same sources I did, which makes it look like I just ripped it off. I now want to jump off a steep cliff.
1. Lambie, R. (2011, May 12). The story of breakout. Den of Geek. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from
2. Williams, G., & Moore, R. (1984). The Apple Story Part 1: The Early History An Interview With Steve Wozniak. Byte - The Small Systems Journal, 9(13), 462–466. /
3. Wozniak, S. (2000, August 15). Letters-General Questions Answered. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

A title that builds upon the foundation of "Pong" by having an objective and an emphasis on aiming shots. Unfortunately, the extremely sensitive paddle controls make this fun, but frustrating in equal parts.