A highly addictive computer game
, similar in most respects to Arkanoid
. Paranoid was coded by the Bit Bucket Brothers
(Ben and Tom North
) in 1992. The story goes that it was created out of boredom during their time off from school
The object of Paranoid, much like that of Arkanoid, is to use a paddle and a ball to destroy various blocks. Once all of the blocks have been cleared, the player can proceed to the next level. If the player is unable to hit the ball with the paddle, one ball is lost.
Power-UpsBlue, a white line - the paddle will increase in length
Red, a white line - the paddle with decrease in length
Green, black dots - the ball will stick to the paddle and can be released with the space bar
Blue, white face - the ball will fly right through the bricks on the next hit, rather than just hitting one and heading back down towards the bottom
Red, yellow line - a protective shield forms on the bottom of the screen, preventing the ball from falling off of the screen. Once the shield has been hit once, it disappears
Blue, flashing white circle - a free ball.
Red, flashing yellow target scope - the player may release lasers which can eradicate the blocks with the space bar, in addition to using the ball. Four lasers can be on the screen at a given time
Green, black 'B' - 500 bonus points
Blue, rotating 'X' - allows the player to warp to the next level
Red, flashing checkmark - the ball slows down
Blue, flashing 'X' - the ball speeds up
Blue, small rotating white circles - when the ball hits the paddle, it splits into two balls
Several blocks also contain "power-up" squares that can either help or hinder the player. A legend follows:
In order for the player to reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of these squares, they must 'catch' the square with the paddle without losing the ball. Their effects only last until a level is cleared or until a ball is lost. Some power squares also contradict each other, such as the 'stick' square and the 'laser' square. Since it would be all too easy for someone to leave the ball on the paddle and shoot lasers to their heart's content, a player can only possess one of the powers at a given time. If a player has one and then collects the other, the second will supercede the first.
There are also several different types of blocks used throughout Paranoid, each with different point values. Some blocks, such as the neon pink ones marked with the Roman numeral 'II', require two hits to destroy. Others, such as the blocks that are divided into fractions using different colours, require three or four hits to destroy. Later levels include blocks that spell out the word bonus; players receive bonus points if they destroy the letters in order. Some blocks are unbreakable and players must work around them in order to complete the level.
There are two ways for players to earn more balls. The first, as outlined above, is to obtain an extra ball power-up. The second is to rack up 4000 points. A new ball will be added to the total with every 4000 points earned.
Paranoid is shareware. The trial version is free for download. After a 30 day evaluation period, a licence is necessary in order for continued use. Licences are available for £10. The licensed version includes a level editor and 30 extra levels.
Paranoid runs on MS-DOS. It works fine on the MS-DOS Prompt that is often packaged with more modern operating systems. The only difference that I've noticed is that the sound doesn't always work, but the game runs fine.