’B’ is for Breakout-style games (and their bat-and-ball buddies)
“Everyone does a Breakout game eventually” said DavidN when releasing his own take on the genre back in 2003. The Daily Click even has a whole category for ‘bat-and-ball’ games, and it is easy to see why. People can use their Clickteam tool of choice to create their own fun little game with little need for complex level design or coding based on a general formula which has entered our collective consciousness.
The 1976 game Breakout was a successful spin on the bat-and-ball genre which was established in 1958 by Tennis for Two and popularised in 1972 by Magnavox Tennis and Pong.
We’ve had hundreds of block breaker games since then, including the influential 1986 game Arkanoid which helped make power-ups a regular addition to the mix. Space Invaders has even been acknowledged by its author to have been an attempt to improve upon the Breakout formula by giving the targets a more interesting shape and turning it into a shooting game
Example bat-and-ball games
When the Klik & Play tutorial narrated by Brian Trueman (more about him later) introduces game creators to the step-through editor he does so by telling people how to recreate the funky K&P Breakout clone Toyland.
If you check out Kliktopia's Clickteam Game Demo Collection at https://www.create-games.com/download.asp?id=9389 you will see that a large number of them are bat-and-ball games: Toyland, Impact, Vitalize Your Bat and Ball, Orbit and of course the Chocobreak series:
Clicker-made bat-and-ball games
There’s no way I could even scratch the surface of how many bat-and-ball games have been released by Clickers over the years, but I can highlight some entries which are notable due to their unique spin on the genre, the reputation of their developers, or their widespread popularity or acclaim. Notably, many of what might be called Breakout or Arkanoid ‘clones’ do not seem to be trying to precisely replicate the original games; they are drawing on core established gameplay elements and conventions but are expressing them in their own ways.
Aquanoid by Fadex (TGF)
While msg has played many bat-and-ball games to get their screenshot for the Kliktopia archive, this Aquanoid 2 is the only one he put forward as a recommended game. As one YouTuber put it: “A surprisingly decent Arkanoid clone made in The Games Factory, which didn't have the most reliable bouncing ball mechanics. Features an impressive variety of power-ups and power-downs, the best of which involve annihilating the playing field, as well as a bevy of dance techno tracks.”
I’ve added this to the list because the look and feel is just so quintessentially Fusion, built-in transition effects included.
According to the author: “GNOP is a Pong clone for one or two players (or none at all!) that can be personalised to your liking. Change graphics, sounds, movement speeds, weather effects, the size of the playing field and more. Set up computer players and save configurations as ini files to reuse later or share with others!”
I came across Klik & Play in the late 90's and at that time a lot of software help was really cheesy trying to kiddify things to make it hip and cool (Clippy, 3D Movie Maker's MckZee, etc.), and then I played Klik & Play and there was a politely-spoken gentleman in his charming way treating everyone as a grown-up and using the same style he would use to introduce employees to a new workplace tool despite the silliness of the example game called Toyland which he was demonstrating. A true professional back at a time when most talent who appeared in computer software were just random members of the development team.
I later found out that the narrator is Brian Trueman, who turned 90 this year. I got in touch with Brian for this article and asked him about his role in Klik history, and he said that: “At the time, I will have been doing all sorts of freelance one-offs since my days writing for Cosgrove Hall had come to an end”.
Cosgrove Hall Films was an English animation studio. Brian worked as an English scriptwriter, voice actor and broadcaster. He voiced characters in children's cartoons such as DangerMouse, The Wind in the Willows and Count Duckula and has appeared in a number of public and corporate information videos. He also wrote the script for Chorlton and the Wheelies and a number of Thomas the Tank Engine episodes.
“Welcome to Monkgoo Island, a small island off the coast of Lo-Chi. Recently the disease called man has ravaged this island. The population of intelligent monkeys has been hunted to near extinction. Armed with the training to use bombs and learn other skills Dr. Bombkey has given you the means to escape.”
“Bananarama is a tile based platform puzzle game with influences from the likes of Lode Runner Bomberman and even Indiana Jones.”
“Battle blade 2 is a sequel that i made some time ago. It´s a horizontal shmup inspired by Cave games such as DoDonPachi DOJ and Progear. It contains five levels and has two loops. True boss apears after the end boss on second loop. You control one of two fighters in a counterattack on the invading forces and to end the raging war.”
Bernard & Hank: Springtime Again by The Peasants
“Hank Hoedown makes some pocket money by selling eggs, and plans to win the yearly egg contest with a huge egg. NationalLiberal, on the prowl for revenge, steals the big egg and sends out his minions to paint and hide the rest of the eggs. Hank, along with his old pal Bernard Buffalo, has to go through 27 levels, meet around 20 different enemies and search for hidden bonus levels to defeat NationalLiberal once again and get his egg back. Just like the first Bernard & Hank this is a straightforward platform game. The graphics are as simple as in the first game, but the gameplay, sound effects and music tracks are more advanced. Also included is the minigame Liberball (which was an unlockable in the first game) and a jukebox to listen to all musictracks.”
“In each level, your objective is to collect all the yellow stars (there's usually only one, and none should be hidden from view) and reach the exit. Reaching the stars and overall solving the levels requires using the main character to carry things around, and the mouse to interact with other things. Most levels require both methods of interaction. In every level, there's also a hidden blue star, which requires either extra skill or just common curiousness to be found.”
BI-NARY and BII-NARY: The War Against Pop-Ups by Spydaman / Natomic Studios
“2 mins before the launching of the Natomic Studios website, the database is struck down by a deadly techno virus, threatening to wipe out months of hard work. The virus has taken the digital form of tanks, drawing power from various conduits within the system. The Natomic Team realize they must launch the website in order to succeed in klik domination and so construct the perfect A.I programmed soldier to send in and rid the server of the techno terrorizing tanks. Enter BI-NARY! The ultimate digital lifeform with an appetite for kicking digital ass!”
“Bibly Revolution is a puzzle game. The point of the game is to move the ghost called Bibly to the destination, door. First you need to clear the way by using some tools and collect all the apples to open the door. Use your own mind to solve the levels. If you do something wrong you can always reload the level as many times as you want to.”
“Bloodbath sees cadet Quinn Kennedy, elite soldier of the futurisic SEAF military force arrive on the scene at the giant SCI-TEK facility to a gruesome finding and unspeakable terror. Will Quinn survive the ensuing bloodbath? This demo gives a look into the game that in 1999 paved the way for the survival horror genre in the Klik & Play community. Featuring terrific music from Craig Jardine and Jared Newman, gruesome visuals, genuine heart-pounding moments and an intriguing storyline, Bloodbath is one game that you'll be scared to play in the dark!”
“You are a lifeguard, equipped with specialized equipment: engine, for flying
laser, to fight underground enemies; and dynamite, for blowing up barriers. Your mission is to free all 14 wounded miners who are not able to get out of the ‘Wujek’ mine. GOOD LUCK!”
“Finally something that isn't purely a puzzle game! Bombing Room is a platformer, that resembles Jetpack (Adept Software, 1993), Tekkyuuman (Ikiki, 2007) and maybe a bit of N (Metanet Software, 2005). The idea is to lead a lonely sledgehammerman to freedom by collecting strange green orbs. The game features a level editor, and many campaigns.”
“The very first game that I released! A brutally hard platformer spanning over 30 levels of violence and mayhem. A 2d beat em up game with action, puzzles, and big boss fights. Use the bloodshed from your opponents as fuel to charge up the Bonesaw and unleash it upon your foes in battle.”
Some notable Click developers:
* Blackeye Software is the legendary group co-founded by Derek Yu and Jon Perry that brought us great (and often quite challenging) games like Eternal Daughter, Diabolika, Trigger Happy, and Snowbrawl. See http://www.derekyu.com/games.html and https://web.archive.org/web/20010413234606/http://www.classicgaming.com/blackeyesoftware/about.html and https://web.archive.org/web/19990125093711/http://www.blackeyesoftware.com/
* Beppo brought us the beautifully memorable games The Line and The Lines Continues.
* Brian Su (Black Rogue) gave us some old-school games like Alien Havoc and Macabre.
* Bibin has made some fun games like Hatman. Has taken part in some of the TDC competitions. Used to be quite active at The Daily Clicl.
* Bernie[FA] made the top-rated A Game with a Kitty series and other great games like Treasure Hunter Man.
* BROO is the master of klik custom engines, Fast Loop implementations and rag doll physics before they were 'drag and drop easy', an author of Mini game series ( https://www.create-games.com/download.asp?id=6939 ), sims (Żołądź tworzy grę, well-balanced reflex and logical games. Known for Bohater, Zniszczyciel, Otoczony with his quite recognizable graphic style. Back in his home country known since the appearance in the Computer Bild magazine, through leading game creation forums and The Games Factory Youtube tutorials. (Guest entry by msg)
* Barney Skirvin is credited with making Romeo, Condition Red and Racing Line with Richard Gale which came bundled with Klik & Play. Check them out: https://create-games.com/download.asp?id=9389
* BigAl0104 is an active TDC member who has created some nice games with his fun art style like Space Tyranny, Alex & Friends' Quest and most recently JJ's Ubermon Journey. https://www.bigalgames.net/