Blockade (video game)

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ReleaseOctober 1976

Blockade is a monochrome arcade video game developed by Gremlin and released in October 1976. It was the first of what would become known as "snake games". It was designed by Lane Hauck, Ago Kiss, and Bob Pecarero.[1] Using four directional buttons, each player moves their character around leaving a solid line behind them, turning at 90 degree angles. To win, a player must last longer than the opponent before hitting something, with the first person to hit something losing. The game ends after one player gains six wins.[2]


Several Blockade-style games appeared soon after its release, such as the Bally Astrocade game Checkmate in 1977,[3] Atari's Surround in 1978,[2] and the 1978 TRS-80 computer game Worm.[4]

Though Blockade did not reference snakes or worms, many variants were themed as such, including Nibbler and Snake Byte, both from 1982. The 1997 Nokia mobile phone version is simply called Snake.[4]

Midway's Tron (1982) included a single-player variant of the Blockade concept based on the Light Cycle game from the film. The player battles against one computer-controlled line-drawing cycle, and three on subsequent levels. This led to Blockade-style games sometimes being called Tron or light cycles.


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  2. ^ a b Blockade at the Killer List of Videogames
  3. ^ Rusel DeMaria & Johnny L. Wilson (2003). High score!: the illustrated history of electronic games (2 ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 48. ISBN 0-07-223172-6. Retrieved 2011-04-07.
  4. ^ a b Gerard Goggin (2010), Global Mobile Media, Taylor & Francis, p. 101, ISBN 978-0-415-46917-3, retrieved 2011-04-07