Breaking Down Blocks: An Arkanoid NES Review

Arkanoid NES, a game created by Taito in 1986, gained immense popularity during the golden age of arcade games. Players love the simplicity of the game and the excitement that comes with each level. In this article, we will break down the various aspects of Arkanoid NES, including its history, gameplay, graphics and sound design, and legacy. By the end of this article, you’ll have a deeper understanding and appreciation of this classic game. So, grab your paddle and let’s take a journey back in time to explore the world of Arkanoid NES.

History of Arkanoid NES

Arkanoid NES is a classic arcade game that was developed by Taito in 1986. The release of the game was met with an overwhelming response from gamers. It has since gone on to become one of the most beloved games of its era. The game was developed as a successor to a previous Taito release, “Breakout.” Arkanoid NES built on the original game’s “paddle-and-ball” design concept by adding new challenges, power-ups, and levels.

When it was first released, Arkanoid NES was initially only available on arcade machines. The game quickly gained a following, and Taito began to port it to other platforms. The NES version was one of the most successful ports, and it remains fondly remembered by many gamers as an incredibly addictive and challenging game.

Arkanoid NES’s popularity stemmed from its challenging nature, which required players to have excellent hand-eye coordination and quick reaction times. Gamers loved the thrill of mastering each level and discovering the new power-ups and bonuses along the way.

In conclusion, Arkanoid NES has a rich history, from its development and original release to its continued popularity amongst gamers. Its success is a testament to the unique gameplay design and challenge that it presents to players.

Gameplay of Arkanoid NES

Arkanoid NES, a classic arcade game first released in 1986, offers players a fun and addictive gaming experience that remains popular to this day. The game is known for its simple yet engaging gameplay that challenges players to break through a wall of bricks using a paddle and ball.

A. Objectives and scoring system

The objective of Arkanoid NES is to clear all the bricks on the screen by bouncing a ball off a paddle. Each brick destroyed adds to the player’s score, and some bricks even release power-ups that can aid in gameplay. The game features 33 levels, with each level increasing in difficulty. Players can advance to the next level by successfully clearing all the bricks.

B. Power-ups and bonuses

Power-ups and bonuses are a significant feature of Arkanoid NES. Some of the power-ups include multi-ball, which splits the ball into two or three, making it easier to destroy bricks quickly. Another power-up is the laser, which allows the player to aim and shoot lasers to break bricks. Each power-up has its unique ability, significantly affecting gameplay.

C. Difficulty levels

Arkanoid NES has several difficulty levels, from novice to expert. The game also has four different play modes to keep the player engaged: tournament, challenge, double mode, and boss mode. The tournament and challenge modes feature a set number of lives, while double mode allows two players to take control of the paddles simultaneously. Boss mode challenges players to defeat several different bosses before progressing to the following level.

In conclusion, the gameplay of Arkanoid NES is simple yet challenging, providing players with hours of entertainment. The game’s scoring system, power-ups, and bonus features add to the excitement while the different difficulty levels and modes ensure that players remain engaged, leading to widespread appreciation and a place among the best classic arcade games ever created.

Graphics and Sound Design

One of the most striking elements of the Arkanoid NES game is its aesthetics. With simple yet captivating graphics, Arkanoid delivers an immersive playing experience. The various brick structures and blocks are displayed in a vibrant range of colors, making them easily distinguishable from one another. The characters are portrayed sharply, and there is fluidity in movement, making the game visually vivid.

In addition to the vibrant graphics of the game, the sound design adds another level of immersion to the player’s experience. From the sound of the ball bouncing off the wall and the varying pitch of the paddle’s movement, each sound creates an expressive atmosphere. Even the sound of the brick crumbling adds a sense of satisfaction, as it signifies that the player is one step closer to completing the level.

Compared to other classic arcade games, such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, Arachnid presented high-quality audio and visual design that enhanced the overall gaming experience.

Legacy of Arkanoid NES

Arkanoid NES has been an inspiration for future games and adaptations in the video game industry. This classic arcade game was able to establish a new level of progression in the arcade gaming world. The game’s simplicity, coupled with its engaging gameplay, speaks volumes about its legacy. In fact, till this day, designers develop retro gaming apps and use the concept to spice them up.

One of the most popular adaptations of Arkanoid is Alleyway, released in 1989, also for the NES. Alleyway was designed to be a combination of Breakout and Arkanoid and had similar gameplay mechanics to its predecessor. The game was an instant hit, and as a result, Alleyway inspired both versions of Breakout and many more games like them.

The cult following of Arkanoid NES is a sign of the game’s continued appreciation. The game is still popular among retro gamers, who relish the memory of the game’s colorful graphics and perplexing sound effects. It’s remarkable how a game that was released in the 1980s still holds a high standard today as one of the best in its class.

It is worthy to note that, aside from the game’s adaptations, it remains a fan favourite with high ratings in online gaming stores. This widespread appreciation of the game’s legacy is why Arkanoid NES will always remain a vital part of arcade gaming history.


Arkanoid NES is a classic arcade game that has stood the test of time, capturing the hearts of gamers around the world. In this article, we’ve explored the history of the game, its gameplay mechanics, graphics, and sound design, and its impact on modern-day gaming.

The development and release of Arkanoid NES marked a milestone in the gaming industry, becoming an instant hit amongst players. The game’s objectives, scoring system, power-ups, and difficulty levels added to its fun and addictive gameplay. The aesthetics of the game, including the graphics and sound design, perfectly complemented the fast-paced action, capturing the players’ attention.

In conclusion, Arkanoid NES remains one of the most iconic arcade games of all time. Its legacy has inspired future games and adaptations, gaining a cult following that continues to appreciate its unique charms. Whether you’re a fan of retro gaming or a newcomer to the world of arcade classics, Arkanoid NES is a game that should not be missed.


1. What is the objective of Arkanoid NES?

The objective of Arkanoid NES is to clear all bricks on the screen by hitting them with a ball using a paddle. Players must also avoid losing all their lives while collecting power-ups and bonuses.

2. Are there different levels of difficulty in Arkanoid NES?

Yes, there are three difficulty levels in Arkanoid NES: Easy, Normal, and Hard. The levels change the speed of the ball and the number of bricks on the screen, providing a different level of challenge for players.

3. What power-ups and bonuses are available in Arkanoid NES?

There are several power-ups and bonuses available in Arkanoid NES, including a laser that can blast through bricks, a catcher that allows players to catch the ball and use it to hit more bricks, and an extra life.

4. How is the scoring system in Arkanoid NES?

Players earn points for every brick they hit, with each brick having a different point value. The score also increases for hitting multiple bricks without losing the ball and for collecting bonuses.

5. Why is Arkanoid NES considered a classic arcade game?

Arkanoid NES is considered a classic arcade game because of its simple yet addictive gameplay and challenging difficulty levels. It also has a unique aesthetic with bright, colorful graphics and an energetic soundtrack that enhances the player’s experience.

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