ZX Computing


Publisher: Gremlin
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #38


This is another Breakout variant following soon after Ocean's Arkanoid tried to breathe new life into the old formula. Arkanoid succeeded but unfortunately the same cannot be said of Krakout whose new additions have left it devoid of the appeal of the original game.

Like Arkanoid, there's a poor attempt at a plot. In this case, you are trying to "outmanoeuvre the awesome ogre". Of course to accomplish this you must blast your way through wall upon wall of bricks.

The additions to the game include expanded bat size, glue bat (where the ball sticks to your bat) missiles, bombs, extra lives, etc. These are activated if you succeed in hitting the right block but as you have little control over which block you hit once the ball is on its way, it's all fairly arbitrary. In Arkanoid, the activating method was catching falling capsules which added to the complexity of the game.

Another change is that Krakout is played horizontally across the screen rather than the familiar vertical play of Breakout. I can't really see any advantage in this change. In fact, it seems to detract from the gameplay.

On the plus side, the graphics are very bright, you can vary the speed of the game and there are 100 screens worth of assorted bricks to batter, but in the final analysis it lacks an enduring addictive quality.