In his never-ending quest to savor fine foods, the Romstar character Mr. Chin has sparked the ire of the god Thunder Warrior. "There are foods better left uneaten, answers better left unknown and places better left unseen," the god reasons with contrivance. As punishment for pursuing sensual delights of the taste buds, he imprisons Mr. Chin behind the "Thirty Walls of Regret."
There's only one way out for the food connoisseur. Mr. Chin must use a stick to deflect a ball (referred to as the "Demo Ball") to knock out the individual pieces of the Thirty Walls of Regret. Moving Mr. Chin side-to-side, if you clear away all the parts of the first wall, you'll be advanced to the second one -- and so on.
Wait a second. Doesn't this sound like Arkanoid? Yes and no. Yes in the playability sense, no in that this game is called Thunder & Lightning. Otherwise, this is indeed an Akanoid rip-off.
Let's look at the evidence, shall we? Hit one of three "power-up carriers" (flying saucer, submarine or airplane) with the Demo Ball, and it will release a special item. Catching on of these items as it descends will modify Mr. Chin's stick: extend the length of it, enable it to "catch" the Demo Ball or give it the capability to shoot projectiles. Other items effect the size and power of it, slow its speed down or split it apart into either three or six separate balls. There's an item that will give Mr. Chin an extra life, too.
There are four bad guys out to complicate Mr. Chin's breakout. Sea anemones spit out two balls if they get hit by the Demo Ball. This can be either a hindrance or a help. Another creature that can function as a help is the bird. Hitting this feathered friend will cause it to fly away, smashing through wall pieces. The octopus' only aim is to weigh down Mr. Chin's stick and, thus, slow his movement. Especially bothersome, however, are the turtles, which crawl into spaces and take the place of blocks. Then there's the Thunder Warrior himself. The only mildly interesting aspect of Thunder & Light is when he appears hurling lightning bolts at Mr. Chin.
Graphics are nice, but plain overall. Average would be a kinder way of saying it. The music is impressive, but it doesn't vary much. In fact, the soundtrack is so good that it seems wasted on the dull visuals and gameplay.
It might be true that this is the only game of its type for the NES. After all, Taito's Arkanoid is a little hard to come by these days. But so what? Thunder & Lightning doesn't present a different variation on the Arkanoid-style games -- it merely clones them and doesn't do an impressive job. There are so many better versions of this style of game on other systems; this very average game isn't worth tracking down.