Professional, Originally Released On Cassette Only
Game Type : Arcade; Bat N Ball Style
Author : Ian Collinson
Standalone Release(s) : 1990: BLAST!, Audiogenic, £9.95
Compilation Release(s) : None
Stated compatibility : Electron/BBC Dual Version
Actual compatibility : Electron, BBC B, B+, Master 128
Supplier : AUDIOGENIC, PO Box 88, Reading, BERKS
Disc compatibility : CDFS E00, DFS E00
"Trapped in a world of fire and energy, you must battle for the most valuable prize of all - your life. You can escape only by using your magical powers to destroy the rocks that block your path or to create new blocks that act as stepping stones on the road to freedom. Don't forget to pick up the key to the exit door - otherwise your efforts will be in vain.
"There are 100 screens just waiting to trap, tease and test your powers of perception before you finally break through to the outside world. But beware, there are only 99 seconds to complete each screen!"
Each screen contains two types of blocks, light blue blocks which are indestruct-able, and red ones which can be smashed if you move next to them and press <RETURN>. If you press <RETURN> when next to an empty space, you will create a block that you can jump onto if you wish.
Move around the screen by pressing the Z and X keys. Press <SHIFT> and either Z or X to jump onto an adjacent block. To complete a level, you must collect the key for that level, then unlock the exit door.
Watch out for fireballs on some screens - they are lethal! Other dangerous hazards are spiders and their webs, ghosts and vampire bats which hang from blocks just waiting to drop on you when you walk below. With a little ingenuity, you will soon dsicover ways in which each of these hazards can be combatted.
Some of the blocks have strange rotating centres. These contain objects that you can collect. Collect three diamonds for an extra life (you start with three lives) or an hourglass to slow the timer to half speed. The crown and magic potion award bonus scores. Often there are two bonus objects to be found in the same place. Can you work out how?
When you complete five screens in a row, a password will be displayed allowing you to start the game at a screen other than the first. There are 19 passwords in all (no password is needed for the first five screens). Passwords are revealed at the start of the first screen that they represent - for example, to learn the password for screens 05 to 09 you must successfully complete screens 00 to 04.
When the high score table is displayed, instead of pressing <SPACE> to start the game, press <RETURN> to display the status screen. S and Q allow you to turn the sound on and off (these keys also function during the game). The status screen also allows you to start the game on a screen other than the first - provided that you know the password. Press C and enter the number of the screen at which you wish to start (00 to 99); you will be asked to enter the password for that screen.
Pausing The Game
Press P to pause the game, then O to restart. You can press R to restart the current screen - at the cost of a life - or else CTRL-R to start a new game.
Instructions' Source : BREAKTHROUGH (Audiogenic) Back and Inner Inlay
Review (Electron User) - "Reaching New Levels"
I always think that playability is the most important virtue of any game. The sound may be poor and the graphics crude but if it's playable, I'll keep coming back for more. Also, with a few notable exceptions such as ELITE, simple ideas often make the best games. BREAKTHROUGH from Audiogenic is one game that can be described in this way.
Although the title makes it sound like another BREAKOUT bat and ball clone, BREAKTHROUGH is totally different. It is basically a 100 screen platform game in which you are a little wizard. Navigate your way around each screen avoiding the fireballs, vampire bats and various other nasties, collect a key and make your way to a door. It's simple - or is it?
The controls are certainly very easy to use: Left, right, jump and create/destroy a block. It's this last feature that holds the key to the whole game. By destroying existing blocks and creating new ones you can change the shape of the screen by making doorways and staircases in which to gain access to unreachable nooks and crannies.
Certain types of block can't be destroyed and these are invariably positioned awkwardly just to make things difficult. When used in conjunction with fireballs and the other nasties they can produce some very tricky screens. However, there are certain compensations: Some blocks contain hidden goodies that can give you bonus points, extra lives, or half the speed of the countdown timer. Very useful.
The 100 screens are not linked, as in an arcade adventure. They are separate but in order of difficulty, and a useful screen skipping facility is provided so you don't have to start at the beginning each time. Each five screens you are given a new password which can be used to skip screens you have already mastered.
This is certainly an engrossing game, and is extremely addictive because of its simplicity. The graphics are rather small compared to those used in many other games on the market these days, and there is a strip of garbage across the top of the screen, but don't let that put you off - it's a great game.
There isn't any sound to speak of, just the odd effect here and there - and it runs fairly slowly, but this isn't a problem. In fact it positively helps, as I found it unplayable with my SLOGGER Turbo switched on.
BREAKTHROUGH is not too hard and strikes me as being an effective way to encourage children to think logically - there are certainly enough puzzles to ponder. If you are after something a little out of the ordinary, this could be right up your street.
* * * Second Opinion * * * (Electron User)
This is great for puzzle fanatics. The graphics are good and the screens are well thought out. The first presented no problems and took all of five minutes, but they get progressively more difficult. It's nice to play a non-violent game for a change. I think I'll just have one more go and see if I can crack screen 11.
Sound ........................... 3
Graphics ........................ 7
Playability ..................... 9
Value for money ................. 8
Overall ......................... 8
ELECTRON USER 6. 1