Super Breakout

Super Breakout was released in arcades in September 1978 as the sequel to Atari, Inc.'s Breakout from 1976.[2] It was written by Ed Rotberg, who later designed Battlezone for Atari.[1] The game uses the same mechanics as Breakout, but allows the selection of three distinct game modes via a knob on the cabinet–two of which include multiple, simultaneous balls in play.[2] Both the original and sequel are in black and white with monitor overlays to add color.

Super Breakout
Developer(s)Atari, Inc.
Paradox (ST)
Publisher(s)Atari, Inc.
Atari UK (ST)
Majesco (Game Boy)
Designer(s)Ed Rotberg
Ed Rotberg
Atari 2600[1]
Nick Turner
Carol Shaw
Atari 8-bit[1]
Larry Kaplan
Game Boy[1]
David Lubar
SeriesBreakout Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s)Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Atari ST, Game Boy, Game Boy Color
Release1978: Arcade,[2] 2600
1979: Atari 8-bit
1982: 5200
1987: ST
1998: Game Boy
Mode(s)Arcade, 2600, 5200
1–2 players, alternating
Atari 8-bit
1–8 players alternating[3]
CabinetUpright, cocktail
CPU6502 @ 375 KHz[2]
DisplayBlack & white raster (vertical)

Atari published home versions–in color–for most of its consoles and computers, including as the pack-in game for the Atari 5200 console.


Super Breakout contains three different game modes:

Double gives the player control of two paddles at the same time—one placed above the other—with two balls in-play simultaneously.

Cavity also has two paddles, but initially only one ball. Two others are contained in pockets inside the wall and can be freed.

Progressive advances the entire wall downward step by step, gaining in speed the longer the ball is in play.


Rotberg developed Super Breakout after hearing that Atari founder Nolan Bushnell wanted Breakout updated. [4]

While the original was constructed with discrete logic instead of a microprocessor, Super Breakout uses a MOS Technology 6502 CPU. Like Breakout, Super Breakout uses a black and white display with overlays to simulate color.[2]


Super Breakout was released for the Atari VCS (later renamed the Atari 2600) the same year as the arcade game, 1978, but in full color instead of black and white with a color overlay.[5] It includes two "Children's Version" games that require less skill to play.[6] Super Breakout appeared as a cartridge for the Atari 8-bit family in 1979 with support for up to 8 players taking turns.[3] Four years after release, Super Breakout became the pack-in game for the then-new Atari 5200 console in 1982.

An Atari ST version developed by Pardox was published by Atari UK in 1987.[7] Majesco released Super Breakout for the Game Boy in 1998 and Game Boy Color in 1999. Both the Atari ST and Game Boy versions have sculpted bricks similar to those of the Breakout-inspired Arkanoid.[7]

All of the home ports also include a version of the original game simply as Breakout.[8]


In regard to Super Breakout being included with every Atari 5200, David H. Ahl of Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games, wrote in 1983:

We thought this a somewhat curious choice since it hardly uses the higher resolution of the 5200 to great advantage. The screen, for example, has the same number of bricks as Super Breakout on the Atari VCS. However, users of the VCS will like the much better representation of alphanumerics on the 5200.[9]


Glu Mobile released a licensed cellular phone version.[10] In 2008, Atari released the game for the iPhone and iPod Touch via Apple's App Store.


  1. ^ a b c d e Hague, James. "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers".
  2. ^ a b c d e "Super Breakout". Arcade History.
  3. ^ a b Super Breakout Manual. Sunnyvale, CA: Atari, Inc. 1979.
  4. ^ Chris Kohler (November 17, 2011). "Asteroids Designer Ed Logg Honored With Pioneer Award". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  5. ^ "Atari VCS Super Breakout". Atari Mania.
  6. ^ "Atari VCS Super Breakout Manual". Atari Mania. p. 8.
  7. ^ a b "Atari ST Super Breakout". Atari Mania.
  8. ^ "Atari 400/800 Super Breakout Manual".
  9. ^ Ahl, David H. (Spring 1983). "Atari 5200 Advanced Game System". Creative Computing Video & Arcade Games. p. 46.
  10. ^ "glu games - Super Breakout". Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2016-06-20.

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