Arkanoid DS

There’s a Wikipedia article dedicated to Breakout clones – of which Arkanoid is the most notable. It’s hard to say what the first such game I played was. I definitely remember playing it on some sort of PC or Mac thing at a friend’s house when I was quite young, and I’ve still got Alleyway for the Game Boy somewhere. In any case, I’ve always loved it, to the point that I wanted – and probably still want, for that matter – a Quickshot Supervision, purely for Crystball. In fact, it’s the only properly ‘retro’ game I can really tolerate. But I can’t quite articulate why. Which is going to make this a super-excellent review, isn’t it?

Attempting to be remotely subjective though, Arknoid DS has at best niche appeal. If you’ve played a Breakout clone before, then effectively you’ve played this. There are some bells and whistles, but they’re not very loud. Little pixie bells and whistles, if you will.

There are blocks that take two hits to destroy, blocks that can’t be destroyed, blocks that move – that sort of thing. The selection of power-ups is pretty standard – wider paddle, extra balls, slower moving ball and so on. But the block types are combined in increasingly interesting – but not necessarily difficult – ways, such that certain power-ups are more advantageous than others. A few of the later levels are fairly evil, but the option to save at any point prevents frustration.

Quest mode is something of a bell and/or whistle: a little task for each level, like clearing so many blocks within a time limit. It’s fine, but in practice not markedly different to the main clear mode.

The branching structure of the main mode does mean that to see all the later levels you have to play the same early levels time and time again, which is a touch annoying, because they’re pretty basic. That’s about the only criticism I can level at the game, other than the fact that it’s ultimately just another Breakout clone. But it’s a perfectly good one.


Jake has been here since the beginning, with hundreds of reviews and countless other guff to his name. These days, not so consistent.

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