Casio CG-260 Block Burster

Casio CG-260 Block Burster

The legends of Atari came up with the original game of Breakout in 1976; Nolan Bushnell and the three Steves — Bristow, Wozniak and Jobs, the latter two who would go on to have some success with Apple Computer Inc.

Breakout was inspired by Pong, another Atari product from 1972. Since then it has appeared in one form or another on dozens of platforms, from handhelds to arcade games.

Casio jumped in with this calculator — the CG-260 Block Burster, and it’s non-calculator model the CG-200, in around 1983. Interestingly, a few years later, they released another calculator with a nod to the original Pong, the AG-130 Tennis.

Block Burster is a great version of Breakout, with the easier early stages soon giving way to rounds where the rows of ‘bricks’ move, the base gets smaller, immovable objects appear to throw off the trajectory etc.

This style of calculator, that looked vaguely wallet-like with its flip-to-open construction and membrane keypad, was used for three games; this one, the CG-250 Miracle Pinball, and KG-200 Champion Derby.

The weak point (like nearly all calculators) is the ribbon strip between the body of the calculator and the LCD screen. Moreso on these calculators, though, since the flip-top means it is being stressed every time the calculator is opened. Over time, the glue/gum holding the two ends together naturally breaks down, and no parts exist to repair them.

These model calculators are VERY rare, possibly for this reason. Casio may not have made them in great numbers too, since by the mid-eighties people had a plethora of options for handheld games, even when coupled with something useful like a calculator.

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