Blockout (World)




Sega Genesis


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Blockout (World)28 Downloads


Sega Genesis

Blockout (World)

Blockout is a puzzle video game published in 1989 by California Dreams. It was developed in Poland by Aleksander Ustaszewski[5] and Mirosław Zabłocki. American Technos published an arcade version. Blockout is an unlicensed, 3D version of Tetris.


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The player’s perspective is that of looking down into a three-dimensional rectangular pit. Polycube blocks of various shapes appear, one at a time, and fall slowly toward the bottom of the pit. The player can use three buttons to rotate the block around any of the three coordinate axes, and can also maneuver the block horizontally and vertically with a joystick. Once any part of a block comes to rest on the floor of the pit or in contact with an already-placed cube, the entire block freezes in place and can no longer be moved. The player can press a button on the joystick to quickly drop a block. Once a solid layer of cubes is formed with no gaps (a “face”), it disappears and all cubes above it drop toward the bottom of the pit to fill the space. Completing multiple faces with a single block awards higher scores, and the player earns a “Block Out” bonus for completely emptying the pit.[1] A set number of faces must be completed in order to end each round.

As the game progresses, the blocks begin to drop faster, the dimensions of the pit change from round to round, and differently-shaped blocks begin to appear. A bonus stage is played after every fifth round, in which the player has 30 seconds to form as many faces as possible in a 2×2 pit. The game ends if the blocks stack up to the top of the pit, with the exception of the bonus stages; in the latter case, the stage ends immediately and the player advances to the next round.



IGN8/10 (Lynx)[6]
PC Leisure[9]
MegaTechHyper Game

The New York Times reviewed the game in an article about educational software for mathematics, writing that Blockout “doesn’t pretend to be educational, but the skills required to master it are not unrelated to mathematics, particularly geometry.”[5] A 1993 study found evidence that playing Blockout improved the spatial visualization ability of 10- to 14-year-olds.[10]

In Japan, Game Machine listed Block Out on their March 1, 1990 issue as being the tenth most-successful table arcade unit of the month.[11]

Dragon gave the game’s Atari Lynx version a perfect score.[12] Robert A. Jung reviewed the Atari Lynx version of the game which was published to IGN. In his final verdict he wrote “This is a nice, addictive, no-nonsense strategy game. Without any patterns to memorize and several options to choose from, Blockout will keep its freshness for quite some time. If you thought Tetris was too simple, give this title a try.” Scoring the game 8 out of 10.[6]

Entertainment Weekly gave the game an A,[13] deeming it the #17 greatest game available in 1991.[14]

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