Blockout is a puzzle video game, published in 1989 by California Dreams, developed in Poland by Aleksander Ustaszewski and 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 game allows the player to choose the set of blocks they will play with and the size of the pit. Pits range from 3x3x6 to 7x7x18, giving a total of 195 possible pit sizes (counting e.g. 3x5x6 and 5x3x6 as identical). Three block sets are available — flat, basic, and extended — making a total of 585 possible game modes.
Under 'Main Menu', three of the possible 585 game configurations are recommended to the player. These are called 'Flat Fun', '3D Mania', and 'Out of Control', and use the flat, basic and extended block sets respectively. Other features of the game include:
Demo mode: This is not a pre-recorded game of an expert playing, but a well-programmed bot that plays a good game in any given setup. The bot finds smaller pits and more complex block sets more difficult, and achieves correspondingly lower scores.
Practice mode: A game where the pieces do not move down with time. The player can manipulate the pieces for as long as they like before dropping them into place with the space bar. This is very useful for beginners learning to navigate the 6 keys required to rotate in two directions around each of three axes. Practice mode scores are not recorded in the High Scores file.
This version of Blockout was designed for personal computers with operating system MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
which was operating system developed by Microsoft in 1981. It was the most widely-used operating system in the first half of the 1990s. MS-DOS was supplied
with most of the IBM computers that purchased a license from Microsoft. After 1995, it was pushed out by a graphically more advanced system - Windows and
its development was ceased in 2000. At the
time of its greatest fame, several thousand games designed specifically for computers with this system were created. Today, its development is no longer continue
and for emulation the free DOSBox emulator is most often used. More information about MS-DOS operating system can be found
Available online emulators:
4 different online emulators are available for Blockout. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Blockout are summarized in the following table: