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There are games whose appeal lasts for years and years and always seem to pop up at some stage in a computer's development. Breakout is one of these. Invented some nine or 10 years ago, it now appears on Goldstar's disk #G43 and has been renamed Megaball.

There always seems to be someone willing to code versions of this popular game for the PD scene and there are a number of versions available on other disks, but Megaball is worth a look.

There's no point in explaining this game because everybody knows what Breakout or its clones such as Arkanoid and Giganoid are like, except to say that the use of colour is excellent, and there are a number of pieces you can collect for extra options within the game, such as magnetising your bat and enlarging it to practically the same width as the screen. Marvellous!

The music and sound effects are also brilliant and it all makes for a splendidly entertaining time.

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Breakout is still a popular PD game. There must be dozens of versions, but this one has all the features you would expect plus something sadly lacking in many others - speed.

The bat is mouse controlled, and can zip from one side of the screen to the other. The idea of the game (in case you don't know) is to wipe out all the bricks on each level by knocking the ball around the screen.

Sometimes tokens float down the screen, these have various effects when collected, including: lose a life, move to the next level, laser fire, move all the blocks down (slow but very nasty) and various ball effects - magnetic, slow down, speed up, random angle plus others.

Megaball plays very well. The only slightly abberant factor is the ball - this wobbles sometimes. Mind you, it just makes the game that bit more random and enjoyable. I love it.

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Fische, Lamas und Mambas findet man im Zoo, für Megabälle und Reversie könnte die Spielwarenabteilung zuständig sein. Aber alles zusammen und noch viel mehr? Unmöglich? Ach was, dem Redakteur ist nix zu schwör!

Wer bei der Einleitung gut aufgepaßt hat, der ahnt es schon - wir haben wieder Fred Fishs Aquarium durchsiebt. Zunächst mal wünschen wir aber "Mister PD" alles Gute und weiterhin viel Erfolg, denn seine Diskettensammlung hat mittlerweile die 500-Stück Flutmarke überschritten! Daher erneut unsere Frage: Are you ready for Freddy?

Ready solltet Ihr schon sein, denn gleich auf der Nr. 477 beschert uns der Mann ein Game der Superlative. Nicht nur, daß es Mega Ball heißt, es ist auch megamäßig, und das, obwohl es sich "nur" um die 1134ste Breakout-Variante handelt. Aber wichtig ist halt immer, wie ein alter Stiefel präsentiert wird, und da hätten wir hier z.B. Feinheiten wie unsichtbare Steine. Oder Gravitationsbälle, die auf gekrümmten Bahnen fliegen. Oder superduperbreite Paddles, die dem Breakouter das Umgehen unerwünschter Extras oft ganz schön schwer machen.

Dazu sorgt massenhaft Musik für beschwingte "Break-dance-Stimmung", die Grafik macht auch keinen schlechteren Eindruck als bei den 1133 Vorgängern. Und das alles dürft Ihr auch zu zweit erleben, daher: Die Mauern müssen fallen!

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Beat Disk 12, Shareware, A500 only

Typical. Megaball is one of the best PD games I've seen for months and it only works on the A500. No amount of fiddling with boot options on my mighty A1200 could get this one running. It's enough to make a grown an cry (well, maybe not - urse under his breath, maybe).

Basically it's a spruced-up Arkanoid, which in turn was a spruced-up Breakout, which in turn was a spruced-up... er... squash-type of thing.

You have to destroy all the coloured bricks on each level by bouncing a ball off them. There's a paddle at the bottom of the screen which you can move from side-to-side; if the ball falls below the paddle you lose a life (Yes, thank-you Dave We get the idea. - Ed).

Well that's yer basic, run-of-the-mill Breakout, anyway. But Megaball has got more little extras than The Wizard of Oz. There are pick-ups that fall your way when you hit certain bricks - these do all sorts of wonderful things, such as making your paddle twice as wide, magnetising it or giving it fire power. Other bricks will drop bombs at you, which you need to avoid.

There are also invisible bricks and bricks that need to be hit twice.

It's fast (apart from when you get the slow ball pick-up), looks gorgeous and even sounds great. It's about as addictive as pickled socks aren't and badly deserves an update so it'll run on the A1200. Okay?

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Here's another playable clone, this time of Ocean's Arkanoid. Put together by Ed and Al Mackey, Megaball has a massive fifty levels as well as five in-game tunes. As you would expect, there are numerous extra weapons, lives and power-ups to be had as well as a few surprises.