So how would one go redesign breakout? Simple, add a time limiter. On its own, that would mean that the player simply has to play more efficiently to progress further into the game. But then the game's uniqueness comes to play. The first time the ball bounces up, comes down, and then you are expected to hit it with the paddle. But as you hit it, the ball speeds up to a freakishly high speed, hitting all bricks and walls on its way almost instantly until it comes down again. So, with a bit of luck and training you can finish a level within milliseconds! There are no lives in this game, instead, if you miss the ball, it bounces back in normal speed, so this is a penalty in itself.
Simple but nicely animated wireframe graphics and nice "ping" sound effects with echo.
So, seems crap at the beginning, but it becomes addictive really soon :)