|Back in 1975, Atari Corp. hired a dirty kid who did not wear shoes, came to work in shorts every day, and farmed all his work out to his pal Steve. That kid was named "Steve Jobs" - and yes, it's THAT Steve Jobs, the same one who became the talking head for nameless engineers (except Wozniak of course) and the "face" of Apple. But did you know him and "The Woz" worked on the original Breakout in 1975, the arcade game where you are "breaking out" of somewhere by smashing a rainbow colored wall with a Pong ball? Yep, that's where this came from.
In 1978, Atari released this for the VCS along side a gaggle of other various games including official Atari Arcade ports. What I find interesting is the 2600 version actually looks way more "advanced" than the arcade version, which actually more closely resembles Arkanoid. The nice thing about Breakout though is there i s no actual plot to it - the plot was just a way to give context to the game, but did they really actually need it. Apparently the plot of breakout was breaking out of jail - but the plot of breakout to me was more like an Adventure Time episode involving breaking bars of color in space for sport, like Lazer Tennis or something.Today, few think of Breakout at all, let alone as some kind of arcade hit, but it actually was enough of a hit for Atari to release it for their 2600 in 1978. Another neat bit of trivia was that Breakout was released AFTER Super Breakout - go figure, you'd think with "Super" in the name, additional features, and whatnot, Super Breakout would have been the newer game (maybe it was), but the CX-26xx stock number is lower than that of regular ol' Breakout. Crazy huh? Today, I think most kiddies just toss it into the category of "boring ol' ball/paddle games from the 70's". So it hardly gets any mention, but then there's not much to it. It's basically just another "bat ball around till you lose all your balls for high score" things.
Rainbow Prison - My Experiences
This was the cartridge that seemed omnipresent in any 2600 collection I ever heard of or had since the late 80's. It also seemed to be one that never got as much play, and honestly, it's one of those games I put in a similar rcategory as Dragon Warrior, you need some MATURITY to appreciate it and have the patience and willingness to "practice" to get good at it. That time did not come until I turned 16 and got my hands on an original Sunnyvale Heavy Sixer (which may still be in my childhood closet, or not).
The original Breakout, to me, is actually a pretty good little game, and once I got older, I started to appreciate the variants within the cartridge more and more, which are a bit different on this one. In a way, it's hard to decide which game "looks" better - Super Breakout looked more crisp, but Breakout has this cool, almost "breaking radioactive luminescent bars thhat bleed into each other" quality that gives it it's own style. I mean, what more can I really say about it? It's a fun one, but it does pale a little by comparison to Super Breakout's extended sounds, variations, and crisper, less as blinding graphics (the bright rainbow wall in this one at times is fuzzy enough to bug my eyes).