Danni's picture

While I was playing around with a Fedora 13 Beta LiveCD (which seems to have a pretty good audio stack), I discovered this weird Linux game called TecnoballZ.


It's an Arkanoid clone with some oldskool flavor (it was originally written for the Amiga). There are many aspects of this game that make it rather... special.

First of all, the ball movement feels almost exactly like the one built into Klik & Play: you can't control the ball's rebound direction after it hits your paddle, and the ball seems limited to just 16 directions (down from KnP's 32!). As a result, your ball will probably frequently get stuck bouncing horizontally back and forth forever. Thankfully, the game offers about a zillion weird features that allow you to get the ball unstuck. In the four corners are these catchers that spit your ball back out diagonally. You can tilt (bump) the playfield on occasion by pressing the middle mouse button. "Monsters" fly around and send your ball off in some random direction when it hits them. I swear, it seems like half of the game's eccentricities were put in place to try and fix the problem of the eternal bounce.

There's also a special move accessible with the middle mouse button called the "Gigablitz" which, after standing still and charging up for ten seconds or so, allows you to shoot a giant laser that destroys every brick it passes through - including the unbustable bricks!

One powerup lets you control the direction of the balls simply by holding the right mouse button - but this is also the button you use to launch balls (EG. from the Glue Option), which will probably mess you up a bit.

You are able to obtain paddles for the left, right, and top sides of the screen, even though there's only a pit along the bottom.

Another powerup, called the Mega Option, basically gives you all four paddles, makes them giant, gives rapid fire for each, and floods the area with giant balls, allowing you to beat the rest of the level within, like, two seconds.

Much like Doom's Doomguy, there's an avatar representing your character in the HUD. I'm calling him the TecnoballZguy. His jaw drops at seemingly random intervals, and he obtains this somewhat creepy smile when you use the Gigablitz. The game in general has this somewhat goofy cyberpunk feel to it, and some of the text strings are in Engrish (when you choose the Size powerup in the shop, you get, "AH YEAH IT IS MUCH BETTER WITH A SUCH LONGER BUMPER").

I'm not aware of a Windows port, so to play it on the computer, you need to be running Linux or BSD, though there are also ports for the PSP and GP2X. Though theoretically you could probably compile it for Windows since it's open source and uses SDL...

leilei's picture

Technically it's originally

Technically it's originally a 1990 Amiga game just reprogrammed from scratch and using the old data, so the oldschoolness is justified. The authors are le french, so the engrish is justified as well.

I think it's one of the funnest arkanoids ever. Excellent soundtrack, typical ghetto demoscene atmosphere, and... an ITEMS SHOP!!!