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Video Game / Breakout

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Breakout is a 1976 Puzzle Game by Atari. Originally designed as a single-player version of Pong, it involves moving a paddle back and forth to break bricks with a ball. When all the bricks are destroyed, a second wall will appear. Destroy that and you win the game.

The game was very popular in arcades, and inspired legions of imitators. Its creators, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, were inspired to go and found their own company, Apple.

It had four official sequels. Super Breakout featured multiple paddles and balls, balls trapped above the bricks, and an advancing wall. It was an Endless Game with infinite new walls. Breakout 2000 for the Atari Jaguar was a 3D version with powerups, unbreakable bricks, and multi-hit bricks. Breakout for the IBM Personal Computer and PlayStation had a character named Bouncer in a Save the Princess plot, breaking out of a prison, then traveling to Egypt, a farm, a castle, a factory, and space. Breakout: Recharged, released on Steam, has classic mode, recharged mode (with items), and Classic Recharged mode (classic mode with items).

Not to be confused with Breakout Character.

Breakout contains examples of:

  • Big Damn Movie: The Playstation 1/PC version might as well be a videogame movie about a paddle going through intense wall related obstacles to save his friends from the forces of evil.
  • Breaking Out: The Trope Maker and namer. The Ur-Example, however, was Exidy's TV Pinball from 1975, from which Breakout is derived.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: One of the earliest examples of this trope. The game speeds up as more bricks are destroyed. Super Breakout sets the ball to maximum speed instantly if an orange or blue brick is hit.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: If the ball hits the top of the playing area on Super Breakout, the paddle is cut in half.
  • Endless Game: Super Breakout.
  • Excuse Plot: In the Atari 2600 version, it's about a literal prison break. Super Breakout has a plot about an astronaut, with the Atari 5200 version expanding this plot to be about a planet surrounded by a force field. Breakout for the PC and Playstation had Bouncer rescuing Daisy.
  • Lost in Imitation: Breakout 2000.
  • Pinball Scoring: Notably absent.