Ball and paddle

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Arkanoid is one of the most popular ball and paddle games.

Ball and paddle is a genre of video game where players control paddles which are used to bounce or catch balls. It began in 1972 with several games for the Odyssey like Table Tennis, and a few months later with Pong in the arcade. The genre began expanding into block breaking games in 1974 with Clean Sweep, and 1975 with Take Seven, but the game that really popularized it was Breakout in 1976. The genre saw a huge boom in the late 1970s and early 1980s with a few standouts like Super Breakout and Arkanoid. Ball and paddle games have seen continuous development since then, but, by the 1990s, they had been mostly relegated to low-budget released by independent publishers.


Although my family had an Atari 2600 in the mid-1980s with dozens of games, we didn't own any ball and paddle games for the system. It wasn't until the late-1980s that I learned about Arkanoid, but I couldn't find it for the NES, so I had to be content to watch people play it in the arcade. The one time I did finally get a chance to play it, I very quickly got a game over. I remember playing Super Breakout on the Atari 2600 long after it was obsolete and briefly having a copy of Kaboom!. I had programmed a few Pong clones in QuickBASIC in 1996 and even Visual Basic in 1999 since they're pretty easy to make. Some time in the early 1990s, my mother got a shareware copy of Moraff's Super Blast, and, I liked it enough to buy it as part of a Moraffware collection. A friend of mine lent me a copy of Funpack in 1995 which included a game called Block Breaker. I finally got a chance to play Arkanoid on the NES in the late 1990s thanks to an emulator. Around 1999 or so, I bought a used copy of Arkanoid: Doh It Again for the SNES.

For the many years I've played ball and paddle games, I've never really developed a love for any of them because they all get boring very quickly. There's just only so much you can do with the concept, so game play is mostly mindless reaction.


This is a list of ball and paddle games that are important to me, for all ball and paddle games, see the category.

Title Released Developer
Alleyway 1989-04-21 Intelligent Systems, Nintendo
Arkanoid 1986-04-26 Taito
Arkanoid: Doh It Again 1997-01-15 Taito
Block Breaker 1993-??-?? WayForward Technologies
Kaboom! 1981-07-?? Activision
Moraff's Super Blast 1990-12-04 Moraffware
Super Breakout 1978-09-?? Atari
Wizorb 2011-09-28 Tribute Games