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"BreakThru!" (Game Boy)

Super enjoyable but catchy music soundtrack. Along with great graphics, this makes a perfect game you might find on mobile apps.

Puzzle, puzzle, puzzle. Possibly an excellent genre to fire up and/or exercise your reflexes while patiently waiting for whatever it is you're looking forward to. This game being programmed by the main man Pajitnov who went on to develop the world's most popular puzzle game Tetris, tells me this ought to "break through."

Let me tell you: the title screen features a very flat, uninteresting design, and since I played this game on the Super Game Boy, it was red text on a red brick background. The text is outlined by black and when lit, it turns beige/white. It is one of the most unexciting title screens I have ever seen:

BreakThru title screen on Super Game Boy

Anyway, with only two options in the title screen, let's look at the Options menu. In it, you have the choice of 1 or 2 players (one of them against the computer); Next is the difficulty setting to which you can increase the challenge to kick up your skills beyond Easy mode; After, you have the choice to have the music, sound effects and/or background on or off. The background shows a nice illustration representing the city you're playing at, or so at least I'm sure it does. For a Game Boy game, the illustrations are quite good, though I wish those skills were applied to having a better title screen—I mean, come on. Lastly, you have the game credits (all written on the CREDITS section below this page).

After running through that, it's time to play! The goal of the game is to use your square-lit cursor to eliminate blocks of the same color/gradient. You can only eliminate blocks that feature 2 or more of the same design surrounding its kind. While it is a huge board filled with tiny blocks, you'll eventually go through the challenge of, what I call, the "Checkerboard Problem." I use that name because when you've cleared enough blocks, you'll find that some blocks still yet to be cleared are in a checkerboard pattern making it harder to clear. Luckily, there are some goodies to help you out. There's Bombs which explodes ONLY when it's on the very bottom of the board, unless it drops onto another bomb unable to be detonated because of its elevated spot on the board. You also get an arrow-looking Rocket, in which wherever it is pointed at, up, down, left or right, it charges and wipes everything in sight. The 'Rocket' is your best bet when the bottom row is packed with random blocks and/or obstacles that are tough to clear. The next helpful item is a blinking block with a 2x2 grid in it. Click on it and then you hear a stall tone, telling you what colored block you like to clear. This is another good item to have when too much unmatching blocks are in the way to finish up the board.

The obstacles in the game are a stake and a spider/arachnid. That insect, surprisingly, doesn't attack you nor does alter the blocks to interrupt the flow of your gameplay. Other than that, it's not too difficult, unless you chose a more difficult setting.

While the music was well orchestrated and placed a great amount of effort in, it can get very repetitive to the point where you wished you turned off the music (more reasons why TV remotes have the MUTE button). With all due respect, it's fine to listen to for a few times until you wish you could look to choose another track to play; it's a natural thing to do when listening to music.

The graphics are really nice. I can't see this playing on the Game Boy itself, so I'd recommend playing this on a Super Game Boy or the Game Boy Advance Player for the GameCube. Again, it's nice but since this game requires concentration requiring excessive staring at the screen, it will strain and hurt your eyes. Take visionary breaks when you can, or better yet, get up, stretch and take a deep breath.

Each stage has 4 levels. Clear the board four times and you advance to the next city. The cities are as follows: Berlin, London, S.F. (San Francisco), Moscow, N.Y. (New York), and Beijing. Only 6 stages, and when you plow your way through all 24 levels, you go back to Berlin for the second round featuring a bit more difficult quest. I lost on the fourth level of London in the second round. My eyes were getting tired and I was getting dizzy too, so I had to completely stop.

In today's standards, this is one of those games you'd rather play on your tablet and/or smartphone (lots of imitation games similar to this, I'm sure), full with updated, eye-friendly graphics. Nevertheless, this is a great game for those who haven't tried it, let alone reviewed it. While it can be fun at times, the excitement can wear off and its replay value is a a bit on the low side. Still, it was worth a try and the developers and programmers gave it their all.

I have yet to see a tournament featuring this game. Good idea, but I doubt anyone out there in the classic/retro/PC gaming industry may consider such possibility.





  • Block-matching eliminating type of game (something that's mobile-app worthy).
  • Jolly, fun yet catchy music.
  • Graphics are quite neat.
  • Easy to play.
  • No game ending?
85% (B)
Fan Rating
Game Title BreakThru!

Get ready for a frenetic-paced puzzle that forces you to think fast. The fun starts with a clock and a solid wall of colored bricks. Eliminate the bricks by clicking on two or more neighboring bricks of the same color.
Tear down wall after wall as you race the clock to raise your score. Watch out! Pesky spiders, annoying soda cans and obnoxious boulders can make life rough. Knock them out of action with rockets and bombs before the clock finishes you.

• Fast-paced arcade play
• 3 time settings dare you to beat the block
• Multiple levels for greater challenge
• Link up with friends for awesome two-player action
ISBN / Bar Code number ????
Video Format 1.33:1 (4:3) Full screen
Audio Format Mono (Stereo via Super Game Boy)
Language(s) English
Disk/Cartridge One (1)
Region(s) NTSC
Genre Puzzle
Rated K-A - Kids to Adults (Ages 6+)
Released December 1995 (US)
Video Specification Monochrome (Color via Super Game Boy)
Licensed by Nintendo®
Developed by Realtime Associates / Spectrum Holobyte
Company Nintendo® of America Inc.
Product / Item / Catalog Number ????
Copyright Copyright © 1989, 1994 Zoo Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Published by Spectrum Holobyte, Inc. Developed by Realtime Associates, Inc. Seattle Division. Created by Zoo Corporation. Licensed by Nintendo.
Other Formats Super Nintendo, Sega Saturn, PC, PlayStation
Quoted Reviews --
Other --

Realtime Associates
Seattle Division

Douglas A. Schilling
Stephen C. Nguyen
Richard Van Fossen

Art & Animation:
Laura Raines Smith

Music Orchestration:
Eric Neilsen
Greg Turner


Spectrum Holobyte

Harvey Lee

Music Composition:
Paul Mogg
J. White
Andy Edlen

QA Supervisor:
Kurt Boutin

QA Leads:
Randy Lee
Glen Hendrickson

Quality Assurance:
Sergio Vuskovic
Duc Huu Le
Bing Crowell
Justin Vanderberg
James Green

Manual Writing:
Victor Cross
Robert Giedt

Manual Design:
Carrie Galbraith

Product Marketing:
Tom Byron

Marketing Services:
Kathryn Lynch

Art Contribution by
Presage Software

Art Director:
Steve Snyder

Brad Decaussin
Nina Chen Gentile

Additional Art:
Carolly Hauksdottir
Harvey Lee

Zoo Corporation

Design & Programming
Original Version:

Steve Fry

Music Composition
Shuusuke Fujii

Special Thanks to:

Pat Feely
Holly Hartz
Dan Irish
Gilman Louie
Daniel Lucas
Jinichi Miyajima
Alexey Pajitnov
Hiro Taguchi
David Warhol
Steve Weinstein


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