After countless I had a wicked thought: What if those maddening little blocks that relentlessly fall from the top of the screen were three-dimensional? Would the game be even more fascinating to play, or merely impossible?
Now there's an answer. Recently, a few 3-D variations of Tetris began appearing (none from Spectrum Holoby te, the U.S. company that popularized Tetris after importing it from the Soviet Union). So far, the best of these second-generation Tetris derivatives is Blockout, from California Dreams. Blockout not only captures the spirit and fascination of Tetris, it also proves that one-upmanship is an even more sincere form of flattery than imitation.
Tetris fans will recognize the basic concept of Blockout immediately: Blocks of various shapes begin falling from the top of the screen, and your job is to rotate and steer them into position at the bottom of the screen. Each time you complete a layer without leaving any gaps, that layer disappears, and you get points. The remaining layers collapse downward, and the game continues. As the blocks fall faster and faster, however, they eventually overwhelm you.
Blockout successfully extends this concept by transforming the two-dimensional screen of Tetris into a three-dimensional pit. Now, instead of merely steering the blocks left or right, you can steer them in four directions (left, right, forward, and backward).
But there's more. In Tetris, the blocks can be rotated in two different directions — clockwise or counterclockwise. In Blockout, the blocks can be rotated in six different directions — clockwise or counterclockwise around all three axes.
This simple twist results in a quantum leap in complexity. As each wire-frame block begins to fall, you've got to instantly solve a spatial problem that strains every available brain cell.
Blockout is a well-conceived, well-executed puzzle game. You can adjust the size of the pit, the rate of rotation, the speed of descent, and choose from three sets of block shapes. The game is logically thought-out, and the 3-D animation is almost instantaneous. If you liked Tetris, you'll find that Blockout adds a whole new dimension to an old favorite.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP