Amstrad Action


Author: GBH
Publisher: Audiogenic
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #34

AA Rave


If you count all of the breakout clones that have come out in the past year then you'll be approaching double figures. The best of them up to now has been Arkanoid and its sequel Arkanoid II. Can Audiogenic take the title from Imagine?

There are no prizes for guessing that on the screen you get a row of bricks at the top and a bat at the bottom. To the right of the screen is a panel that shows the level, number of lives, score and a set of nine icons. You'll find plenty of levels to keep you occupied with this one. There are 80 in all and you also get a screen designer with the game to give you another ten levels of your own creation. You begin play with five lives; bonus ones being awarded every 50,000 points.

The icons are what make the difference in this game, because rather than having random capsules falling from the blocks when they're destroyed, like in Arkanoid II, you get staples. They're special staples though because when you collect them the icon pointer moves along a place. Icons are activated by pressing a key, the pointer is then reset to the start. The nine icons are: slow, magnet, divide, wide bat, torch, laser, smart bomb, missile and forcefield.


There are several different sorts of block in the game: indestructibles, reflective, invisible, bonus, multiple hit and normal blocks. The reflective blocks are dangerous because they bounce laser bolts back and reflected bolts destroy the bat. Invisible blocks can be seen when they're hit by the ball and also when the torch is active. The bonus blocks each have a letter in them, if you spell out the word "bonus" in the correct order then you receive an extra life.

Another thing makes this different is that the 80 levels are split into groups of ten. Once you've completed every tenth level you're given a password that allows you to begin a game from a more advanced point. It makes it a little easier to complete, but at least you don't have the frustration of reaching the level you're stuck on and losing all your lives so quickly. The screen designer is a nice touch too, because it means that you can design the last ten levels and when you solve them you can redesign them all over again.

The animation of the ball and staples is a bit dodgy - they flicker a little - but the blocks and bat are fine. Sound is what you'd expect for a breakout game; it consists of bouncing balls and the occasional other effect crops up.


One thing that this has over Arkanoid II is that the ball doesn't get trapped in an endless loop at any time. There's also the screen designer which is a plus and there are loads of screens to complete. If you want a breakout variant then this is currently the best.

First Day Target Score

Complete 10 levels.

Second Opinion

OK so it's just another Breakout clone, but it is the best! Simple arcade action like this will always have great appeal and personally I would still play the original if I could lay my hands on a machine. The most impressive thing about this variant is the number of screens and the fact that you can design your own. Mix that with fast, exciting action and you've got a very addictive game.

Green Screen View


Some blocks, especially the dark blue, are almost invisible!

The Verdict

Graphics 65%
P. Bright and colourful blocks.
N. Poorly animated ball and staples.

Sonics 38%
N. Sound effects are simple.

Grab Factor 86%
P. The icon system is much better than random capsules.
N. Unoriginal game concept.

Staying Power 78%
P. The difficulty factor increases slowly to keep you interested.
P. 80 levels to master and you can also design your own.

Overall 81%
P. Good fun to play even if it does lose out on originality.


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