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Krackout

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Released: 1987

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC

Publisher: Gremlin Graphics

Developer: Gremlin Graphics

Submitted by: Ashley Hodgetts

The breakout style of game has been around almost as long as any other computer game. The most famous clone of these is no doubt Arkanoid and it's many sequels. Back in 1987, Gremlin Graphics released their take on the game.

The main difference to Krackout and the many clones is that this game has the bat on the side of the screen and not the bottom. There are plenty of options once the game has loaded. Your bat can be on either side of the screen. One very grateful inclusion is that you can change the speed of the ball and the speed control of the bat. If there were complaints of the Arkanoid games, it was that they got hard very quickly. Being able to start off slowly makes this very playable from the start.

If you didn't know, the idea is to clear the screen of bricks and move onto the next. Some blocks may require more than one hit and some when destroyed reveal a letter. These are the power ups that drop down to you in most Breakout clones. The power ups include extend bat, bomb, catch ball and extra life. There are also different enemies that do their best to stop you. Some just get in the way and others will stop your bat from moving. Another will eat your ball and spit it back out which makes it unplayable. Another icon that appears will give you another ball. If these balls touch they will shoot off in different directions so some quick reflexes are needed.

Krackout is quite colourful looking but the graphics and sonics are inferior to Arkanoid. I did find this game perhaps more playable thanks to the options on offer. A Breakout game with enough difference and definately worth a go.