Breakout is one of Atari's oldest and most iconic games and it's back with yet another Recharged release; possibly the best one yet.
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As with all of the Atari Recharged games, Breakout: Recharged takes the classic arcade game and modernizes it in clever ways. If you're unfamiliar with the 1976 original, you're tasked with controlling a paddle in order to bounce a ball at a wall of bricks at the top of the playfield. Every time the ball collides with a brick, it disappears and you get points. Whereas this modern release has you control the paddle by pressing left and right, the original had you turn a dial which actually makes the gameplay far more intuitive and satisfying. In fact, I still have my paddle controllers for Atari 2600 and remember playing Super Breakout with them for hours when I was a kid. Although controlling it on a modern console isn't the most optimal way to play, it's still handled quite well here so that's good news. v1d30chumz 3-238-199-4
The presentation of Breakout: Recharged is as you would expect from the modern series complete with neon visuals that subtly and gradually change hues and a pumping soundtrack that complements the onscreen action beautifully. I also appreciate the gratifying sound effects; some of which are quite bassy. My only complaint with the graphics is that sometimes, they mess with the gameplay. For example, the screen will pause for a brief moment upon collecting certain power-ups which is disorienting. Also, whenever you trigger a chain reaction of explosions, it can be hard to spot your ball due to excessive visual noise and screen shaking. 🥴
When it comes to gameplay, Breakout: Recharged is a fantastic modern interpretation of the classic brick-breaking formula as it not only features nifty new power-ups, it also has different brick types. Some stand-out ones include bricks that generate more bricks once struck, turrets that occasionally try to shoot your paddle, and explosive bricks that destroy surrounding ones whenever you hit them. The power-ups are very cool, too, and do nifty things to complement the gameplay such as launching homing missiles, having the ball slow down when it approaches the bottom, and showing a handy line where the ball will move next; they're all very well thought-out.
Revisit the origins of Breakout
Breakout has been around a long time and thankfully, you can enjoy the original Atari 2600 version (also known as Breakaway IV) as well as the enhanced Super Breakout for Atari 2600, Atari 5200, and arcade; all available as part of Atari Flashback Classics. 😊
Breakout: Recharged includes some welcome extras as well such as a co-op mode for 2 players, leaderboards for each mode, and a list of enjoyable challenges. I found the challenges in particular to be incredibly fun as there are many unique scenarios that are presented such as giant walls that you have to chip away at and a firing squad of turrets. The main arcade mode is worthwhile, too, but I found that each run took a little too long to start getting interesting as the first few minutes are always rather unchallenging and repetitive.
I can easily say that Breakout: Recharged is my favourite Atari Recharged game so far. From its tried-and-true core gameplay that has been duplicated countless times over the decades to its clever modernizations, it's a must-have for anyone who loves breaking bricks.
- + Classic Breakout gameplay blends well with power-ups and new brick types
- + Nice music and neon visuals as usual
- + Challenges are rewarding and unique
- - Each arcade mode run takes a bit too long to start getting interesting
- - Some graphical issues occasionally get in the way of gameplay