Blockout

From Sega Retro

n/a

Blockout Title.png

Blockout
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Electronic Arts (US, Europe), Sega (Japan), Tec Toy (Brazil)
Developer:
Original system(s): PC
Sound driver: Electronic Arts/Rob Hubbard
Genre: Puzzle[1][2]

















Number of players: 1-2
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega Drive
JP
¥6,0006,000 G-4059
Sega Mega Drive
US
$49.95
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49.95
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[4]
705501
Sega Mega Drive
EU
E175SMX
Sega Mega Drive
UK
£34.99
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34.99
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[7]
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[8]
E175SMX
Sega Mega Drive
AU
Sega Mega Drive
BR
Non-Sega versions
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Blockout (ブロックアウト) is a puzzle game developed by California Dreams and published by Electronic Arts for the Sega Mega Drive in 1991. It has also been released for other consoles and computers.

Gameplay

Blockout, 1P Gameplay.png

Blockout, 2P Gameplay.png

Gameplay

The game is a falling block puzzle game that can be seen as a 3D Tetris. The game uses a top-down perspective, looking down into a three-dimensional rectangular pit, with the objective being to clear "floors" rather than lines. Like Tetris, the player is given a series of shapes made up of cubes, which fall one at a time into the pit. The player loses if the pit fills with pieces such that additional pieces can no longer be dropped.

Pieces can be repositioned using the D-Pad or rotated on all three axes with A (x-axis), B (y-axis), or C (z-axis). Grid lines appear on the walls of the pit to help the player position the shapes, and the pieces are rendered as wireframes that can be seen through. Pieces can be dropped with  START , and the game can be paused with A+C. Once any part of a piece comes to rest on the floor of the pit or on top of an already-placed cube, the player has a moment in which to move the piece before it is frozen in place and the next piece starts to drop. Each layer of placed pieces in the pit is colored differently to indicate their depth (with a bar appearing to the side of the pit showing the level of each color). Once a solid layer of cubes is formed with no gaps, it disappears, and all cubes above it drop toward the bottom of the pit to fill the space.

There is a single-player endless mode as well as a two-player competitive mode. In the single-player mode, the player plays to achieve a high score, and the game continues until lost. Clearing multiple floors with a single pieces awards more points, and completely clearing the pit awards a "Blockout" bonus. Pieces drop more quickly as the game progresses. In the two-player mode, each player has a separate pit. When one player clears a floor, the floor of the other player's pit is raised by one level. If the player completely clears the pit (achieving a "Blockout"), the number of layers sent to the opponent is doubled. Layers can cancel each other out if both players clear floors at the same time. A player wins the match by being the first to clear a set number of floors (15 by default) or if the other player's pit fills and can no longer fit additional pieces.

In either mode, players can determine the dimensions of the pit and the block set. The dimensions that can be set are the depth (between 3 and 12 in single-player or between 3 and 10 in two-player), the width (between 3 and 7), and the height (between 3 and 7). The block sets are Flat, Basic, or Extended, with each set increasing in complexity and difficulty. The Flat set contains 8 shapes and resembles the tetrominoes from Tetris, but with the addition of a three-cube "L" shape and with one-, two-, and three-cube straight pieces replacing the "I" shape. The Basic set is similar to the Flat set and contains 7 shapes, but some of the pieces are three-dimensional rather than flat. The Extended set contains 41 shapes, many of which are three-dimensional.

History

Release

Though the game resembles Tetris, it is not a licensed Tetris game. A similar game, Welltris, was designed by Tetris designer Alexey Pajitnov and released in 1989 (the same year as the original PC release of Blockout). It also involves blocks falling into a pit from a top-down perspective, but it follows different rules (with pieces falling on the walls of the pit rather than inside).

Legacy

Like Tetris, the formula behind Blockout has been recycled and rebranded numerous times, including by Nintendo and T&E Soft as 3D Tetris for the Virtual Boy in 1996.

Production credits

  • Original Design by: Alexander Ustaszewski
  • Genesis Programming by: Edwin W. Reich, Jr., Steve Hayes
  • Graphics by: Gary Martin
  • Sound and Music by: Michael Bartlow
  • Technical Director: Richard Hicks
  • Produced by: Richard Robbins
  • Assistant Producers: Jeff Haas, John Manley
  • Special Thanks To: John Tomlinson
Source:
In-game credits
Blockout MD credits.pdf
[9]


Magazine articles

Main article: Blockout/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Mega Force (FR) #1: "Juillet/Août 1991" (1991-06-18)
Logo-pdf.svg
Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Velikiy Drakon (RU) #33 (1997-08-07)
also published in:
  • Velikiy Drakon (RU) #34 (1997-09-01)
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    [10]
  • Velikiy Drakon (RU) #35 (1997-10-18)
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    [11]
  • Velikiy Drakon (RU) #36 (1997-12-07)
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    [12]
Logo-pdf.svg

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
{{{{{icon}}}|L}} Division by zero.
Based on
0 review
Sega Retro Average 
Publication Version Score
1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
70
[13]
Beep! MegaDrive (JP) NTSC-J
65
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[14]
Console XS (UK) PAL
76
[15]
Cool Gamer (RU)
60
[16]
Computer & Video Games (UK)
86
[17]
Famitsu (JP) NTSC-J
68
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[18]
Game Mania (UK)
91
[19]
Gamers (DE)
67
[20]
Hippon Super (JP) NTSC-J
60
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[21]
Hobby Consolas (ES)
82
[22]
Joystick (FR) PAL
85
[23]
Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming (UK)
81
[24]
Mega Drive Fan (JP) NTSC-J
59
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[25]
Mega (UK) PAL
67
[26]
Mega (UK) PAL
65
[27]
Mega Force (FR) PAL
70
[28]
MegaTech (UK)
91
[29]
MegaTech (UK) PAL
91
[30]
MegaTech (UK) PAL
88
[31]
Mean Machines (UK)
91
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[32]
Mean Machines Sega (UK)
91
[33]
Power Play (DE)
74
[34]
Raze (UK) PAL
69
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[35]
Sega Power (UK) PAL
89
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[36]
Sega Power (UK) PAL
100
[37]
Sega Pro (UK) PAL
76
[38]
Sega Saturn Magazine (JP) NTSC-J
60
[39]
Tilt (FR)
70
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[40]
Tricks 16 bit (RU)
78
[41]
Video Games (DE)
75
[42]
Sega Mega Drive
76
Based on
30 reviews

Blockout

Mega Drive, JP
Blockout MD JP Box.jpg
Cover
Blockout MD JP CartTop.jpg
Blockout MD JP Cart.jpg
Cart
Blockout MD JP Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, US
Blockout MD US Box.jpg
Cover
Blockout MD US EU Alt Cart.jpg
Cart
Blockout MD US Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, US (cardboard)
Blockout MD US cb back.jpgNospine.pngBlockout MD US cb front.jpg
Cover
Blockout MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Blockout MD US Manual.pdf
Manual
Mega Drive, EU (Yellow Cart)
Blockout MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
Blockout MD US Cart.jpg
Cart
Blockout MD EU Manual.jpg
Manual
Mega Drive, EU (Grey Cart)
Blockout MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
Blockout MD US EU Alt Cart.jpg
Cart
Blockout MD EU Manual.jpg
Manual
Mega Drive, AU
Blockout MD EU Box.jpg
Cover
Blockout MD US EU Alt Cart.jpg
Cart
Blockout MD AU Manual.jpg
Manual
Mega Drive, BR
Blockout md br cover.jpg
Cover
Blockout MD BR Cart.jpg
Cart

Technical information

Main article: Blockout/Technical information.

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
Sega Mega Drive
CRC32 5e2966f1
MD5 c324d9a3cbfa530996b6ad202686627b
SHA-1 f6620d3b712f3bd333d0bb355c08cf992af6e12d
128kB 1991-06 Cartridge (US/EU) EA version

References

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NEC Retro has more information related to Blockout
  1. File:Blockout MD JP Box.jpg
  2. 2.0 2.1 https://sega.jp/history/hard/megadrive/software.html (Wayback Machine: 2020-07-20 09:51)
  3. https://groups.google.com/g/rec.games.video/c/m4jqg-zVjc4/m/CtgIp_BuV7sJ
  4. ', "" (; ), page 46
  5. 5.0 5.1 File:SouthWalesEcho UK 1991-07-20 Page 14.jpg
  6. 6.0 6.1 Computer Trade Weekly, "" (UK; 1991-07-01), page 10
  7. Computer Trade Weekly, "" (UK; 1991-07-01), page 48
  8. Computer Trade Weekly, "" (UK; 1991-07-01), page 23
  9. File:Blockout MD credits.pdf
  10. ', "" (; 1997-08-07), page 2
  11. ', "" (; 1997-08-07), page 78
  12. ', "" (; 1997-08-07), page 89
  13. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 56
  14. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2001-xx-xx), page 38
  15. Console XS, "June/July 1992" (UK; 1992-04-23), page 127
  16. Cool Gamer, "9" (RU; 2002-10-13), page 36
  17. Computer & Video Games, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-06-15), page 52
  18. Computer & Video Games, "July 1991" (UK; 1991-06-15), page 38
  19. Game Mania, "May 1993" (UK; 1993-xx-xx), page 80
  20. Gamers, "Dezember/Januar 1993" (DE; 1992-11-19), page 101
  21. Gamers, "Dezember/Januar 1993" (DE; 1992-11-19), page 88
  22. Hobby Consolas, "Octubre 1991" (ES; 1991-xx-xx), page 46
  23. Joystick, "Septembre 1991" (FR; 1991-0x-xx), page 189
  24. Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 63
  25. Sega Mega Drive Advanced Gaming, "January 1993" (UK; 199x-xx-xx), page 101
  26. Mega, "June 1993" (UK; 1993-05-20), page 19
  27. Mega, "August 1993" (UK; 1993-07-15), page 83
  28. Mega Force, "Septembre/Octobre 1991" (FR; 1991-09-13), page 84
  29. MegaTech, "Xmas 1991" (UK; 1991-12-06), page 76
  30. MegaTech, "February 1992" (UK; 1992-01-20), page 49
  31. MegaTech, "August 1993" (UK; 1993-07-20), page 113
  32. MegaTech, "August 1993" (UK; 1993-07-20), page 68
  33. Mean Machines Sega, "October 1992" (UK; 1992-09-xx), page 137
  34. Power Play, "8/91" (DE; 1991-07-1x), page 128
  35. Power Play, "8/91" (DE; 1991-07-1x), page 48
  36. Power Play, "8/91" (DE; 1991-07-1x), page 22
  37. Sega Power, "October 1991" (UK; 1991-09-05), page 52
  38. Sega Pro, "April 1993" (UK; 1993-03-11), page 64
  39. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 87
  40. Sega Saturn Magazine, "September 1995" (JP; 1995-08-08), page 86
  41. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-03-20), page 27
  42. Video Games, "3/91" (DE; 1991-09-06), page 87


Blockout

Blockout Title.png

Main page | Comparisons | Magazine articles | Reception | Region coding | Bootlegs


Books:
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Music:
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Audiobooks:
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Videos:
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</di
Events:
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</di
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Tetris and Tetris-like games for Sega systems/developed by Sega
Sega: Tetris (1989) | Flash Point (1989) | Bloxeed (1989) | Sega Tetris (1999) | Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 28: Tetris Collection (2006) | Tetris Giant (2010) | Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014) | Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (2020)
Third-Party: Blockout (1991) | Tetris Plus (1996) | Tetris S (1996) | Tetris 4D (1998) | The Next Tetris: On-Line Edition (2000) | Tetris Kiwamemichi (2004) | Tetris The Grand Master 4: The Masters of Round (unreleased)
Unlicensed: Super Columns (1990) | Super Tetris (19xx) | Flashpoint (19xx)
Tetris related media
Music
Tetremix (1989) | Flash Point/Bloxeed (1990) | New Century (2006) | Puyo Puyo Tetris 1 & 2 Original Soundtrack (2020)