Atari 2600 and Arcade Game
Produced by: Atari
CX2622 (2600 Version)
2 Common+ (2600 Version), arcade version is very rare
Year of Release: 1977
Programmer: Steve Jobs
Beep, boop, be boop. Grab your paddle controllers kiddies. Its time to play the original Breakout.
In 1976 Nolan Bushnell hired Steve Jobs to create Breakout (yes, the Steve Jobs). Jobs of course has his pal Steve Wozniak help him out, but he screwed him over good. Steve Jobs got $5000 for creating Breakout, but he only paid Wozniak a pitiful $350 bucks, on top of that he took full credit for the game. It is worth mentioning that it only took them 5 days from start to finish to make the first Breakout machine.
The basic idea of Breakout is to knock out all the bricks from the wall at the top of the screen. Very simple, and very addictive. So many games followed this format over the years that "Breakout" is now considered a category all to its own (Arkanoid, etc). The Atari 2600 version of this game also had a "Breakthru" option in which the ball would go all the way through the wall instead of taking out one brick at a time.
From the manual
SMASH! POW! CRUNCH! A brick wall appears at the top of the screen, and
your missions is to smash two walls off the play-field -- one brick at
Use the controller to move the paddle across the bottom of the screen.
With the paddle, hit the ball into the wall. Each time the ball hits a
brick, the brick disappears and you score points.
A player or team receives five balls per game. When you miss a ball
with your paddle, the ball disappears from the screen. Press the red
controller button to serve another ball until all five balls are
When a team or player destroys the first brick wall, a second brick
wall automatically appears on the screen. Continue to hit the bricks
of this wall and score more points. The player or team, who can destroy
two walls, scores the maximum 864 points and wins the game. NOTE: If
both opponents destroy the two walls, the team who used the least
number of balls wins.
At the end of two-team games, the play-field of either teams or players
will flash on and off the screen. That way, players can compare
scores. Begin a new game and create a new brick wall by pressing the
console Reset button.
The arcade versions of this game are very hard to find today. There was an upright dedicated cabinet with sideart of the word "Breakout" in red letters, being smashed in by a ball. There was also a unique looking round cocktail version, the cocktail is easier to find today because people rarely did conversions on cocktail tables.
There were 3 different labels variations on the Atari 2600 version of this game. All of them are worth a few dollars at the most. Sears also produced a clone of this game entitled Breakaway IV, not that Breakaway I, II, or III were ever made!