Breakout clones...The formula is simple: move your paddle left and right, let the ball bounce off your bat and destroy all the bricks with your ball in order to reach the next level. Collectible power-ups help you on that task.
This genre offers hundreds of clones since Atari released the original Breakout back in 1976 and Taito improved the concept with Arkanoid in 1986 with power-ups and nice pretty graphics. Yet only a few freeware versions of the sport manage to offer enjoyable gameplay, where it is simply fun to destroy the bricks. Here I cover 6 worthwhile Breakout-type games with smooth controls, good ball movement, fun power-ups, good level design, nice graphics. matching sounds and more.
All Breakout Clones are controlled with the Mouse.
Go straight to the Quick Selection Guide
LBreakout2 is an extremely polished Breakout Clone which was originally developed for Linux but also has Windows and Mac ports .
The game features a two-player mode (local or over the internet or LAN), fine animations and graphics, excellent controls, the ability to save a game, a level editor, and a turbo key (press and hold C to make your ball move really fast).
This game in its current version 2.5.1 gets regular Level Set updates. Placing such add-ons in the Game Folder expands the lifespan of this great game. Therefore the fun continues well beyond when you have mastered the 50+ levels that come with the original game.
Beat Ball is a fun and stylish version of Breakout. With 120 levels and a medley of innovative features, this game will not disappoint. Graphics and sounds are exceptionally well done. Gameplay mechanics are excellent as well, though not necessarily easy to master. Ball spin is made an option that the user can switch off to simplify things a bit. Play is normally progressive but you can elect to enter at any level among those you've previously won. Unfortunately, the levels are not strictly ordered by difficulty ranking and this can be a source of disappointment. Until you win level 40 for example, you can never play levels 41 through 120. If that's too hard to accept, then cheat. Typing Ctrl-Insert while the ball is in play forces completion of the current level.
Beat Ball boasts a variety of interesting brick types and power-ups to enliven the sport, and the level designs are quite inspired. Power-ups, appearing as small shimmery quivering globs, fall occasionally from standard 1-hit bricks. Until caught, these are somewhat mysterious, as they bear no labels. That's okay though, because they go into effect only when and if you choose. The green and the turquoise globs are power-ups affecting the ball, and activate with a left-click of the mouse. The copper and the scarlet globs are paddle power-ups that you activate by right-clicking. Only one of each type can be in store at a time, so use it or risk losing it when the paddle contacts another such glob. White globs are different: when caught they immediately cause a small explosion around the moving ball, perhaps clearing some nearby bricks. The other exception is the rare slow-falling golden glob, which grants an added life when caught.
This outstanding free game is available in two variants, standard (32 MB download) and lite (4 MB download). The standard version is chock full of the author's original CD-quality music, of the Trance genre, which plays during the game. It's excellent material. The lite version lacks this musical background.
Jardinains is a very well-made Breakout Clone with smooth gameplay, fine graphics and a unique feature: gnomes are coming out of the bricks and attacking you with flower pots and other objects. Avoid these things because they cost you points and freeze your paddle for a sec.
Try to push the gnomes off the bricks with your ball and then let them bounce on your paddle 5 times in order to destroy them. As a sign of your victory over them they transform into a power-up, which you should collect (or avoid if it's a power-down...that's nasty).
Poing! PC is a very well made variation of Breakout which alters the classic horizontal movement (left-right) into vertical movement (up-down). While your paddle moves up and down on the left side, you deflect the moving ball not with the aim of necessarily destroying every brick, no. Instead, your goal is to blaze a path through the blockage and worm through to the far wall on the right. Each time your ball hits that back wall, the wall looses energy, until it disappears completely and you advance to the next level. That way you switch between several screens to the right, but you can also bounce back to the previous screens when you miss the ball with your paddle. It's a twisted pursuit alright, with lots of different brick types and plenty of intriguing power-ups.
Another distinct feature is that you can give your ball some spin when you slice it, like in Table Tennis (when the ball takes a curve and the opponent is wondering what is going on).
Also worth a look is the excellent old school shooter Millenipede from the same developer. Its a great tribute to the classic single-screen shooters Centipede/Millipede.
Block is a pretty insane take on the Breakout genre. You'll discover fun gravity physics that are changing in every level, and literally dozens of balls that will clear the screen very fast. You get 10 fresh Balls each level and can fire a new one with each right-click of the mouse. In the unlikely event that you lose anyway, the game is forgiving and you can restart from the level where you faltered.
There is no actual ability to aim deflections from the paddle, but you can kick the ball with your paddle by left-clicking, which often helps. There is also a power-up that grants you unlimited balls for a time, which means you can trigger the right mouse button so hard that the whole screen gets filled with bouncing balls. Craziness! That way some levels can be completed in under 5 seconds. Truth be told, the game is practically a no-brainer, as many of the levels are rigged to pretty much complete themselves with minimal user interaction. All that thundering mayhem can be good for a few chuckles, figure.
Note: you have to download the additional soundpack and place it into the “wave” folder, in order to have sounds included.
DX-Ball is now over 10 years old but is still a fine addition to the Breakout genre. Fine gameplay and good graphics make this Breakout clone an enjoyable game. Though sometimes it can take pretty long when there is only one tiny brick left and you are trying to hit it.
It's based on the classic Amiga game, Megaball, which also has become freeware status and can be downloaded here. (Note: Megaball is not a native Windows game. The free Amiga Emulator UAE - Win, Mac, Linux - is needed to run it.). This game has also inspired another freeware remake called SDL-Ball.
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