On Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 09:47:31AM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> Adam Bolte <abo...@systemsaviour.com>
> > I was also surprised to see BlockOut there - a game I had long since
> > forgotten about. I've been playing that a bit tonight.
> BlockOut <URL:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockout> was a proprietary
> game in the 1980s; Adam and I (and many other kids) used to play it as a
> Japanese arcade game. It needed a joystick and seven buttons, six of
> which were used for rotating the blocks through three axes.

Actually, the version I played was BlockOut (v1) for MS-DOS on an 80286 with
640Kb RAM, a 40Mb HDD and 5.25" FDD - and that was apparently overkill for
this. :)


I just downloaded the DOS version to play in DOSBox for a quick comparison and
got hooked again... Anyway, aside from slightly nicer graphics and sound
effects in the free software version, the games appear almost identical.

> It was a surprise to me when I found a free-software game of the same
> name that is an almost perfect imitation. I would think this is a clear
> trademark violation, if the trademark holder hasn't given special
> permission; maybe they have!

In game, select Credits from the main menu. There it says:

Inspired from Blockout(r) (California Dreams 1989).
Blockout(r) is a registered trademark of Kadon Enterprises, Inc., used by
permission. This USA company produces hands-on sets of ploycubes since 1980.

So it would seem they were given permission, possibly in return for the
website plug (and the website design looks almost as old).

California Dreams... that's the same company that produced Street Rod - one of
the other games I played back in the day. Looks like somebody has been making
a free software Street Rod 3 game too! Too bad it's in alpha, and the
developers are rewriting the entire game from scratch - it will likely be a
long time before the next release (and it's already been years since the


The game also doesn't compile on GNU/Linux due to the old release being aimed
at Windows users (which I think won't be the case going forward based on what
I saw in the forums), but I briefly tested it under WINE and seems to work.

> The only thing it's missing is the end-of-level disembodied grey head
> shouting important-sounding things unintelligibly :-)

Perhaps that was only featured in the Japanese arcade version, as I don't
recall seeing this.

1989 was also the year the first Sound Blaster card was released (which as I
understand it was the first consumer PC sound card able to properly playback
voice). Sounds cards would also have been relatively rare in PCs until a few
years later. This might help explain its absence - if the head was not able to


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