Game Story

Grandpop Rohm’s

I was able to spend much of my early childhood with my grandparents. I lost my grandfather in 2006. One of the last "things" we did together was buy some games at an auction. This was one of those games. I moved to Arizona shortly after this buy and never got to restore this classic.

This was the game I wanted from the auction. The monitor died in transit and I could not find the parts. This was my only Nolan Bushnell classic.


Second Look

Another unit came my way in a bulk buy. This monitor is working! The boards and cabinet need help, though.

We did serious reconstruction and bracing work inside to make this leaning cabinet stand up straight and solid. The board was repaired. The art was cleaned and survived well. This unit is sold.


Technical Information


Breakout was released in 1976 by Atari. It features a monochrome raster display with a vertical orientation. The title supports up to two players but only one at a time with alternating game play.


LogicDiscrete TTL (No CPU)Atari
DisplayTVVarious Manufacturers


MoveKnob12Left, Right
FireButton12Chrome Cone, Unlighted
StartButton22Lighted Disc

Production Notes

Color overlays were sometimes used to provide some color interest int he brick field. This was possible in the Upright and cocktail versions. There was a bar top / wall mount version were the tube was exposed. Color overlays were impractical for that model.

Legend has it a young programmer named Steve Jobs took a contract to reduce the number of TTL chips in the design to lower production costs. He and a friend (Steve Wozniak) reduced the chip count from 80 to 30! A short time later those two would found a computer company named Apple. The legend has it Jobs collected a $5000 bonus, $100 for each chip removed from the design. That translates to about $21,000 today. Not a bad paycheck for 4 days work.