Make-It-Yourself projects
Radio Electronics, September 1980

This issue features an article about an easy project based on the General Instruments AY-3-8606 game chip.

Unlike the common PONG game variants, the chip plays ten variants of a the Breakout game for one or two players. These Ball & Paddle games differe in the sense that brik walls must be destroyed. In other words, a cut-down version of Atari Breakout and its successors (Super Breakout, Arkanoid, etc.)

The only real difficulty is in the solo games. The ball only bounces on the top and bottom of the screen, not the left and right edges. Therefore, as soon as most of the briks will be destroyed, it will be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to destroy the remaining onces. As a matter of fact, the system will start the ball in a random direction. If the direction makes the ball reach the left or right edge of the screen without touching a brik to bounce, it will get lost.

The article shows, once again, the simplicity of such circuits based around a dedicated game chip. As the chip contains most of the required circuitry, only a few external components are required to complete the circuit.

Click the photos to read the article.


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