Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for BreakThru

BreakThru was an odd mid-1980's side-scrolling vehicular combat video game which I spent quite a bit of time playing in my youth, but not for reasons you'd originally expect.  I first encountered the game at the local A&W Rootbeer establishment.  Over the course of several dollars worth of quarters, I eventually was able to master it.

I found the game interesting initially because your car could both shoot things and jump up in the air, which when combined with speed variance could result in jumping the from the top to the bottom of the screen.  Thus, there was strategy involved as to when to go fast versus slow, when to jump, knowing when and where certain bonuses were available to both maximize your score and in some cases to just plain survive a tough enemy.

Like many mission-based games which were out at that time (Bad Dudes, Double Dragon, Altered Beast, etc.) there were a total of five stages.  However, one odd feature that intrigued me was the end of game continue.  Upon successfully getting through the final stage, the player had the option to start the game over a second time beginning at whatever stage the player liked.  Successfully finishing the final stage a second time would terminate the game.

The game continuing feature was the thing that had me continuing to play this game when it arrived at the local skating rink.  I was always cash limited at the skating rink, so I looked to play games where I could maximize my playing time per quarter.  With the continuing feature and starting over at the first stage, I could make one game of BreakThru last over half an hour!  Call it a victory for frugality in the face of economic adversity (from a kid's perspective anyways, rolling my eyes).

I don't remember the sequence of enemies any more, so I'm sure it would take practice if I was to attempt the same feat on a BreakThru machine today.  Still, the memories of "beating the system" at the time, as it were, still make me smile.

Were you able to beat BreakThru, or other similar games to make your game playing money last?  Would love to hear other stories of conquering frugality.


  1. Hmm, not sure I encountered that one, but I hate driving. So, just imagine how I'd do with that game. Bahahahaha!

  2. I never played any videogames, but I do try to be frugal when it comes to shopping for craft supplies.

  3. I also did a lot of watching others play games...at least it was something.