Giganoid (Swiss Computer Arts) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing


By Swiss Computer Arts
Amiga 500

Published in Zzap #42


It is the year 2758, and the galaxy is suffering under the despotic thumb of a mighty Master Demon. In this Demon's labyrinth there are fifty caverns to explore and destroy by deflecting a bouncing bomb off individual units with your spacecraft (oh, so that's it...) Ultimately, you will face the Gatekeeper and Grandmaster, and only when they are defeated will the galaxy be liberated.

Giganoid (in case you hadn't guessed) is a variant on the Breakout/Arkanoid formula, with fifty screens of block groups to destroy. You steer the bat at the bottom of the screen wth the mouse, trying to bounce the ball onto an array of bricks above to destroy them, your aim being to clear the screen of bricks while keeping the ball in play.

Some of the bricks need to be hit more than once, and others release a bonus capsule when hit. If caught, capsules can help you by extending the size of your bat, giving you a magnetised bat, the ability to shoot bricks, or aid your quest in some other way, perhaps by advancing you to the next level.

Bonus rounds appear occasionally: in The Demons, you select a level of difficulty by pressing a key from one to four to choose the number of balls to be spat out by small Demon heads. If all balls are deflected, you advance the number of screens equal to your chosen skill level. It's a lot easier to play than explain, that's for sure.

The Gatekeeper and the Grandmaster mark the final stages of the game, and these ultimate adversaries spit out fireballs as the ball hits them. Repeated hits will destroy the Gatekeeper and the Grandmaster, and render the universe a safe place in which to live, have babies and build condominiums.


The number of Arkanoid clones on the 16-bit machines is already remarkable, and here, complete with '-anoid' suffix, is yet another. Indeed, Giganoid is the most blatant version yet, with an identical bat, bonus capsules, and screen surrounds.

Stand by for a possible joint Imagine/Taito legal case against Swiss Computer Arts!

The game of Giganoid itself, though, is unlikely to cause any ripples, as it is just the usual very competently programmed affair with no real improvements over Impact, my own favourite of the genre.

Anyone who hasn't seen the many other interpretations of the theme should be well impressed with Giganoid, but only an unusual high score table screen with impressive rotating coloured bars and didgeridoo sample stick in my mind.


This could cause a few legal wrangles! Giganoid is very similar to another game with a similar name, even down to the 'Vaus' type ship and the bonus capsules that fall down the screen. However, I actually prefer it to Arkanoid, mainly due to the excellent sound, from the opening 'Everybody out there ready?' sample, through the gunshots and pings to the didgeridoo on the high score entry.

The graphics are virtually identical to Arkanoid only really varying in the brick layouts - the addition of a bonus level does add a little to the proceedings, but there are no particular advances in gameplay.

If you already have the Imagine original or Audiogenic's impressive Impact, don't bother with Giganoid; it you don't, this is the one to check out.


Presentation 78%
Excellent high score entry screen and amusingly literal translation of instructions. Ability to use the mouse is good.

Graphics 71%
Familiar Arkanoid-style designs mixed with pleasing screen backdrop patterns.

Sound 72%
Unusual title screen tune and clear, effective in-game samples.

Hookability 72%
Attracts as strongly as most games of its type.

Lastability 66%
With so many Arkanoid games already around, little lasting interest is available from yet another.

Overall 71%
Worthwhile if your collection is short of bat and ball games, especially at the price.