Title: Break Thru
Developer: Data East
Date Published: 1986
Platforms: JAMMA Arcade / Nintendo Entertainment System
Controls: 8-way joystick and two buttons

Break Thru was one of the original crop of JAMMA based arcade games released in 1986. In it you control a fast tank (or possibly armored car) that is capable of making giant leaps into the air. You are on a solo mission to penetrate deep into enemy territory and retrieve the PK430 secret fighter plane. To complete your mission you must go through five stages, Mountain, Bridge, Prairie, City, and Airfield.

This is one of those terrible games that I just can't seem to get enough of. Maybe it is just because the tank can jump over things, I am really not even sure what the attraction is, but I played the heck out of the thing on the Nintendo Entertainment System and later purchased a JAMMA circuit board of the actual arcade game. This is one of those games that kills you for one wrong move and then sends you way back, so in twenty years of casual play I have still never beaten the game. I highly recommend picking up the NES cartridge, getting a JAMMA circuit board, or simply loading it up in an emulator and giving it a try.

The arcade version of this game shipped as a conversion kit that originally cost arcade operators $995. Today a working example of that kit installed in a machine might set you back $100 or $200 if it is a really nice one. One little trivia note about this title is that in European advertisements they portrayed the vehicle as a dune buggy rather than a some strange cross between tank and car.

2013 Update. I currently have the game permanently installed in a cabaret cabinet and still haven't beaten it.

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