Version tested: Retro
The original Breakout added a whole new twist to the bat 'n' ball formula back in 1978, introducing a fortress of bricks to bounce your sphere against. Its success in the arcades meant a sequel quickly followed and, while aesthetically identical to the original, the additional modes make it a more entertaining proposition.
In many ways, Super Breakout is reminiscent of playing squash without a partner, with the paddle becoming your racquet, the innocuous white dot representing a ball and the side panels resembling a squash court whose walls ricochet the ball with considerable realism. Unless your local sports hall is highly surreal, this similarity ends with the multi-coloured array of blocks which disintegrate upon contact. Oh, and the loss of life (and possibly sanity) which occurs after any failure to keep the ball in play.
As mentioned, this sequel added several modes to keep the Breakout formula fresh. Cavity mode triples the fun with three balls, two of which are trapped within a wall and can only be freed by dexterous skill. Once loose, mayhem ensues and it's a constant juggling act to keep all balls in play for as long as possible. Double mode makes use of two paddles and two balls, where losing a life only occurs when both balls have fallen out of play. By far the most enjoyable though, is Progressive mode. As intense as any level in Space Invaders, the bricks develop motion and descend down the screen constantly until you finally conceded defeat against the rock hard intruders.
The game's biggest drawback is the over-sensitive paddle, which at times makes it difficult to connect with the ball as fluidly as you would like -- but the simplicity of gameplay means that you'll always come back for a higher ranking. Resistance is indeed futile.
7 / 10