Alleyway is a video game for the Game Boy. It was developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo in 1989. It is a classic Breakout-style game that requires the player to delete all of the blocks above, without allowing his or her ball to go below the paddle. The box art depicts Mario controlling the paddle.
The goal of the game is that the player must control the paddle to break all the remaining bricks in the playfield by using a ball. When the player successfully breaks the breakable bricks, the player moves onto the next level. In the next level, there is the same block structure as from the previous level. The main difference is that there are three different types of gimmicks that make the levels challenging, though using the same level.
Every fourth round the player goes into a Bonus level; the bonus level feature various sprite pieces from the Super Mario Bros. Here is a list of bonus levels that contain objects related to the Mario franchise.
Additionally in the bonus level, the ball can destroy the bricks without bumping around the playfield; also there is a timer that contains 99 game seconds. If the player destroys all the bricks before the timer runs out, the player gains bonus points. After the bonus level ends, the rounds repeat, but with a new set of bricks.
Description from Nintendo eShop
Originally released at the launch of the Game Boy, Alleyway is a fondly remembered update to the classic ‘bat and ball’ style of games.
Alleyway sold well during its production run, but it was not released as a "Player's Choice" title, and the reviews have been mostly mixed to negative.
Mean Machines gave the game a 33/100%, and they criticized the game's repetitiveness and they stated "this variant doesn't have much more to offer than the original Breakout". They also added "once you've finished a couple of screens, you'll be bored stiff." They also compared it to Arkanoid, and regarded a lack of power-ups in the game.
4 reviewers from Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game scores of 6/10, 6/10, 5/10, and 3/10. All of them compared it to Arkanoid, and they complained about the lack of enhancement over the Breakout format. However, two reviewers who gave the game a 6/10 said it was perfectly designed for the game boy, and one of them added that "it's also a very good game that combines some new features ... with the original Break-Out theme," and they concluded with the game being good, but a bit long.