Arkanoid: Classic Arcade Game Video, History & Game Play Overview


Arkanoid is a popular video game created by Taito in the same tradition as Pong, Breakout and similar titles. Debuting in 1986, Arkanoid has since been developed for game consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, the Super Nintendo and the Xbox 360. Both one and two player modes are available on this title. The original arcade version of Arkanoid also received several upgrades, revisions and alternations over the years.

Akira Fujita worked at the lead designer on Arkanoid. Publisher Romstar is responsible for manufacturing and porting Arkanoid for all home based video game console versions of this arcade classic.

In all versions of Arkanoid there is a final boss that goes by the name Doh. This is the only part of the game where players will have no access to special features. Doh looks like a tiki god and is red in color.


Game Play Overview

Basic game play consists of a single paddle which is used to deflect a ball. Groups of colorful blocks must be cleared by using the paddle, also dubbed the Vaus, which is the main character's spaceship. Arkanoid is actually the name of the obliterated spaceship from which the Vaus emerges. While the main goal is to keep the ball in play, players must also fight against moving enemies while simultaneously picking up bonuses.

In Arkanoid, enemies don't pose a threat to the Vaus spaceship. Instead, they will attempt to change the direction of the game ball and make it more difficult for you to keep it in play. Enemies in Arkanoid include; flying saucers, molecules, prism cubes and red balls.

Every stage consists of a color coded pattern of blocks. Some blocks only require one 'hit' to be destroyed, while others will need to be struck multiple times by the game ball in order to be eliminated. There is also a single boss that you will have to beat in order to win Arkanoid.

Special Features

As you progress; you will find lots of special features. Referred to as 'pills,' you will need to hit them with the game ball and then catch them with the paddle in order to activate their powers. Each pill is coded by color, and comes labeled with a coordinating letter. The blue pill marked with the letter E increases the size of the paddle by 100%, making it easier for players to keep the ball alive. The red pill marked with the letter L gives you two special features. A laser will be equipped on the paddle, making it possible for you to destroy block by shooting a short and rapid succession of laser beams. The red pill also gives the paddle a layer of protective armor.

There is a bright bluish-green pill marked with the letter D that transforms one ball into three. It will be difficult for you to keep up with all three balls, but you can quickly clear a stage by activating this special feature. The orange pill marked with the letter S will decrease the speed of the game ball. This feature will come in handy when you are working to complete a difficult stage. Activate the green pill with the letter C to hold the ball. Normally, the game ball can only be hit with the Vaus spaceship, but the green pill special feature keeps it in place until you are ready to send it back into action.

A purple colored pill with the letter R on it allows you to immediately advance to the next board. This special feature will allow you to quickly go to the next level and pick up a bonus of 10,000 points. The gray special feature pill with the letter P gives players an extra man. Depending on where you are in the game, there are some pills that you will want to avoid. It will take you some time to instinctively learn when to catch a pill and when to let it go by, but you will have plenty of opportunities to make up for lost opportunities.


Pills -Small, oval shaped pills that drop from broken blocks and give you various power-ups.

Vaus – The main character in Arkanoid, which doubles as the main controller. It is silver in color with two small red blocks on each side. Attached to either side of Vaus are two blue lights that blink. The Vaus is a small paddle that appears toward the bottom of the screen.

Doh – The one and only boss that appears in Arkanoid.

How to Play Arkanoid

Use the action button to fire when you have a power-up pill and control the paddle with the left and right arrows. The game ball has to stay above the paddle or you will lose a life. There is a total of 32 levels that you have to beat, not including the final boss, named Doh.

Level 1
The first level consists of six layers of colored blocks. This will mark your very first encounter with silver bricks. At first, silver bricks take two hits each, but this will increase as you go on. A couple of random power pills should appear after you make it through the first level of blocks, making this a fairly easy stage to clear.

Level 2
On level two, blocks appear in a pattern similar to a flight of stairs. The bottom level will be completely filled with blocks. Try to hit the bottom blocks toward the far right of the screen so that the game ball can quickly eliminate the rest. Since this layer is made up of mostly silver blocks, you will need to each block twice in order to destroy it.

Level 3
Stage three has eight layers of bricks with space between each level. You will see gold bricks on this level for the first time. They cannot be destroyed. Destroy the six light blue blocks on the right side of the screen. Using Vaus, you should be able to hit the ball at an angle, where the gold bricks will 'launch' it toward the left at a quick pace. You may need to play this level a few times to get familiar with gold bricks, but once you do, you will understand how to defeat future levels faster.

Level 4
This stage has two rectangles made up of multi-colored blocks, separated by a narrow column in the middle. There are also columns on the left and the right of the screen. Try to position the game ball so that it will go into the columns, allowing you to break the blocks at the top. There are no silver or gold bricks on this stage.

Level 5
The block pattern on level five resembles a giant crab. Almost entirely made up of silver bricks, you will have your work cut out for you. If a purple power-up pill is available, you may want to use it so that you can advance to the next level.

Level 6
Dark blue, light blue, red, green orange and light brown bricks made up level six. You can play this level as you would normally, or you can aim for a column and let the game ball do most of the work.

Level 7
On this stage, the bricks are arranged to take on the shape of a sphere. There is plenty of room on both the left and the right side for the ball to reach the top. You can elect to bounce the ball off of the paddle and hit the blocks from the bottom, or you can launch it immediately toward the top.

Level 8
Level eight is almost entirely made up of gold blocks. They are scattered throughout the screen, with just seven breakable blocks in the middle. You will need to take your time and aim carefully in order to get the ball exactly into the right space.

Level 9
Level nine doesn't contain a large number of bricks, but the setup makes destroying them all fairly tricky. Take care of the large rectangle of bricks in the middle, then focus on the two smaller rectangles on the right and left side. The smaller rectangles are surrounded by gold blocks on three sides, so you will need to maneuver the ball so that it gets to the very top. Completing this level will take more luck than skill.

Level 10
On level 10 you will start to understand how difficult of a challenge gold bricks can present. There will be only one small, narrow opening for the ball to get through. Place the paddle very close to the left-hand side of the screen, but don't touch the border. After the ball is launched, it should ricochet off of the gold bricks and the wall until it makes its way through the small opening. After that, the ball should bounce around destroying all of the blocks until the stage is complete.

Level 11
Level 11 looks more difficult to defeat than it really is. Only silver blocks are on this stage, and you will need to hit them three times each to destroy them all.

Level 12
This stage is setup like a maze. There's only one way to destroy the eight bricks scattered throughout as they are surrounded by unbreakable gold bricks. Send the ball up and toward the left so that it can get through the small passageway.

Level 13
There are three nearly identical groups of multi-colored blocks on level 13. Since there are no silver or gold bricks, you can pretty much choose how you want to formulate your attack.

Level 14
Level 14 doesn't appear to be difficult, but it is. Seven horizontal lines made up of block, silver, white and red blocks stand in your way. The silver bricks need three hits to be eliminated, which means that you will need to use the paddle with accurate precision. There are also two gold bricks on either side of the screen. After you have cleared the majority of the blocks, you will need to be very careful about how you launch the ball. When the last few blocks remain, a few well timed hits is all that will be needed to progress to the next level.

Level 15
The pattern on this stage is setup to look like a butterfly. A staggered pattern of gold bricks block access to a group of light blue blocks. A similar pattern made up of silver blocks appears near the bottom. Clear out the silver bricks first then go after the rest of the colored blocks. When all that remains are the gold blocks and the small group of light blue bricks, angle the ball so that it goes in the middle.

Level 16
There are a few gold blocks on this level, but thankfully, they are all in the middle. Keep your eye on the ball and clear out all of the colored blocks.

Level 17
The blocks on level 17 are formed in the shape of an umbrella. The handle of the 'umbrella' consists of six gold bricks. Go to the far left or far right of the screen, launch the game ball and clean out the blue, white and green bricks. There are also quite a few silver blocks, which will need four hits each to be cleared.

Level 18
The three columns of purple, light blue and green bricks can be destroyed easily. After you destroy the three columns, target the silver brick in the middle of the screen. The game ball can then clear away the yellow bricks one at a time until it gets to the top. Alternatively, you can eliminate one of the two columns of orange bricks, and then take care of the purple green and light blue columns at the end.

Level 19
Level 19 has a single rectangle of multi-colored bricks. The upper and lower layers are made of gold blocks. There is also a single column of gold blocks in the center with one yellow block in the very middle. Attack either side and clear away all of the bricks. Aim carefully to take care of that last yellow block.

Level 20
This stage also has a trick pattern of gold blocks with quite a few multi-colored blocks scattered around. The purple blocks won't stand much of a challenge. Try to get the ball as close as possible to the top so that you can get rid of those last few pesky silver bricks.

Level 21
Level 21 has a lot of gold blocks, but they shouldn't be a hindrance if you can quickly get the ball to the top. Clear out the row of orange blocks, then eliminate all of the blocks inside of the upside-down gold 'horseshoe.'

Level 22
There are two rows of yellow blocks at the top, two rows of white blocks at the bottom and three rectangles made of gold and red blocks in between. Clear the white blocks first. The ball will then bounce off of the gold bricks and eliminate the rest.

Level 23
It will take you a good amount of time to clear out level 23. Nine separate rectangles bordered by silver bricks make up the majority of this stage. Aim carefully as each silver brick takes multiple hits. Destroy the single row of light blue bricks at the top of the screen last.

Level 24
By this time, level 24 should give you welcomed relief. There are only blue and white bricks, which are easily breakable, on this board.

Level 25
Both gold and silver bricks stand in your way on stage 25. Take out one of the six silver bricks at the bottom, then watch the ball clear out some of the other blocks. You will probably need to repeat this problem several times before level 25 is defeated.

Level 26
On level 26, you will have to clear out three silver blocks at the top of an oval. The gold bricks that make up the oval will launch the game ball around until the stage is cleared.

Level 27
Because the bottom row of silver bricks on level 27 are very close to the bottom, you will need to quickly use the left and right directional keys to keep the ball alive. There is no specific strategy that you should use on this board, just try your best to conserve your extra men.

Level 28
Either clear out the blue bricks on the left or the right side, or target the blocks in the middle. Use the gold bricks to your advantage and proceed to the next stage.

Level 29
There are two columns of gold bricks separated by a narrow column on level 29. The four groups of silver bricks will be challenging to clear, but there's nothing else particularly special about this board.

Level 30
An alternating pattern of gold and silver bricks awaits on stage 30. Aim for the silver bricks and try to position the ball so that it can bounce around. Do not clear away too many silver blocks or else you will be forced to use your paddle to keep the ball in play.

Level 31
Level 31 is very difficult. Eventually the ball will find the right spot and get past one of the narrow spaces between the silver bricks. If this does not work, you will have to clear each brick individually. 

Level 32
Try to keep the bottom row of silver bricks intact. Go to the right side, launch the ball and let it bounce off of the columns of gold bricks. If you do it just right, you will only need to work to destroy the last few silver blocks.

Level 33 – Final Stage
The final boss, Doh, must be struck exactly 16 times to win Arkanoid. As Doh is the only opponent in Arkanoid that has the ability to destroy the Vaus, you will need to be extra careful. Although Doh is large in size, he will have lots of tricks of his sleeve. Move back and forth so that the Vaus is not struck by his attacks. If you are not successful, you will be able to use all of your additional lives. When Doh is defeated, you will have beaten Arkanoid.


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