Ball Breaker was an isometric breakout style of game that was released back in 1987 by CRL for the Amstrad and ZX Spectrum platforms.
What of a C64 edition though? Well, there hasn’t really been any evidence to suggest that a C64 version was on the cards – however, contributor Martin Smith found that the released cover seems to show “CBM” screenshots on the back.
What is particularly odd though is that the screenshots don’t look particularly C64-like – there are too many colours not present in the palette. It’s not the CPC version either, as the colours are not vibrant enough, and again seems to be consisting of colours not in the CPC palette.
So was it perhaps a 16-bit version being shown that was also unreleased? Might have been too early for CRL to do a 16-bit title. One theory is that CRL may have got hold of an Amiga very early on, and mock up screenshots were produced on the platform. However, there are subtle changes occurring in each of the screens – suggesting they were taken from something that was running.
Graeme Mason has done an in depth feature on Ball Breaker, and mentions the possibility of a C64 edition. It is suggested that the C64 would have been too slow to have handled a conversion, hence no conversion was made. There is no suggestion though if a conversion was started, but it is possible that something was started to test the water and viability.
Interestingly, a C64 edition was apparently reviewed in Danish magazine RUN, back in June 1987. Was this really a C64 game reviewed, or did RUN magazine fake a review, anticipating a C64 version was coming?
Hopefully we will find out more soon to clarify, and also figure out exactly where the screenshots come from. If you know anything, please get in touch.
Contributions: Martin Smith, Stone Oakvalley (Magazine scan search)