|Publisher(s)||California Dreams (computer versions)
American Technos (arcade version)
|Designer(s)||Aleksander Ustaszewski, Mirosław Zabłocki|
The game is the logical extension of Tetris into the third dimension. In regular Tetris, the player manipulates a set of tetrominoes which fall into a two-dimensional pit (seen from the side). The aim is to solve a real-time packing problem by forming complete rows, which then disappear and score points. Poor play leads to incomplete rows, caused by inefficient arrangements of tiles; these rows do not disappear, giving the player progressively less space and less time to play subsequent pieces. Similarly, in Blockout, the player manipulates a set of polycubes which fall into a three-dimensional pit (seen from above; the pieces appear in the foreground and fall away). The pieces can be rotated around all three axes, and moved horizontally and vertically. The aim is to form complete layers.
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." A 1993 study found evidence that playing Blockout improved the spatial visualization ability of 10- to 14-year-olds. Dragon gave the game's Atari Lynx version a perfect score.
Around 2007 a modernized, authorized continuation/remake named "Blockout II" was released with a license from Kadon Enterprise to use the trademarked "Blockout" name. The game is open source and was ported to many platforms the original wasn't available before, like Windows, Ubuntu, and the OpenPandora handheld.
- L. R. Shannon: No-Frills Mathematics Instruction The New York Times, 23 January 1990
- MegaTech rating, EMAP, issue 6, page 76, June 1992
- Mega rating, issue 9, page 23, Future Publishing, June 1993
- Garth Sumpter (November 1990). "Blockout". PC Leisure (journal). EMAP (3): 62.
- NOSS, A. (1994): Förderung der Raumvorstellung bei 10- bis 14-Jährigen durch das Computerspiel BLOCKOUT. Diploma thesis, University of Vienna.
- Lesser, Hartley; Lesser, Patricia & Lesser, Kirk (May 1992). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (181): 57–62.
- blockout II - Downloads on sourceforge
- Blockout II on reloaded.org
- blockout2 on blockout.net
- The Blockout story on gamepuzzles.com (Kadon Enterprises) "Jean-Luc Pons, a self-declared addicted Blockout player in France, has created an improved C++ clone of the original Blockout version and offers Blockout II as an open source project for other addicted players. All these versions obtained permission from Kadon to use the Blockout name."
- blockout2 on apps.ubuntu.com
- blockout2 on repo.openpandora.org