Title           Impact
Game Type       Sport
Company         Audiogenic Software Ltd.
Players         1
Compatibility   PAL, disable Cache
HD Installable  No
Submission      Hidehiko Ogata Profiled Reviewer (

Everyone should have his or her favourite breakout variant, and mine is
Impact (Audiogenic, '87).  Imagine my horror when my original disk died an
untimely death after only a few years! (what kind of CHEAP disk did they
use?) Thankfully I have recently learned of (and purchased) the '95
re-release.  Oh joy!

You might be wondering: what was so special about it?  It certainly didn't
have the polish of Arkanoid nor Crystal Hammer (contemporaries of the
original release), nor was it as system-friendly as MegaBall4 (ditto of
the re-release). But it had one major advantage:

Sounds! The authors obviously got carried away by the sampling technology
(still a novelty among home computers circa '87), and enhanced the game
with the wackiest assortment of sound effects to come out of Paula. I
don't know which of John Dale or Spiny Norman saw the parallel between
breakout and structure in music... but bless them anyway! Thanks
to them, the game sounds like the silliest muzak with lead guitar marimba
bricks and a rhythm guitar bat, accompanied by powerup percussions and alien
explosions. After all the mayhem, it's just icing on the cake that the
"death" note sounds like a piccolo screaming.

The game itself is a not-too-shabby Arkanoid clone with some nice tweaks,
such as good use of the second mouse button, the indirect powerup system
(a la Gradius/Nemesis), and the spell-out bonus (another forgotten fun
feature). 48 more levels can be added to the standard 80 with the
provided (if a little arcane) editor, and they were kind enough to fill
all extra slots with custom levels for the re-release.  Surely the
graphics are the weakest part of the game - it looks like your common
freeware actually - but who cares, when it has a dazzling sprinkle of
stardust, and those abstract THINGS that are there just to get in your
way: two more blatant quotes from the days of yore?

In short, a case in point that good sounds can liven up even the oldest
game. Isn't it funny that the yearn for "retro" already existed in '87?

(Trivia: the company "ASL" in the title screen stands for none other than
"Audiogenic Software Ltd". I, for one, didn't know they went back that far.)

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