Block Five (DOS)

Block Five DOS Title screen


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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39516)
Written on  :  Jan 28, 2014
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
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I could never beat the computer at this game

The Good

Most of us growing up should have been familiar with Connect Four, a game in which you have to put four circles in a row before your opponent does. Each row can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. I played the game with my sister for years with my older sister and loved it. Now, as someone in my thirties, I am getting too old for this game.

I was introduced to another game called Go (or Gomoku), an ancient Japanese game which plays similar to Connect Four. However, you have to place five pieces in a row rather than four, the same way as Connect Four, but there is a bit of strategy involved in making sure that you block the computer from winning, and your opponent puts up a good fight.

I have played the Amiga version of this game that was distributed on a CU Amiga cover disks. There is also Block Five, which was distributed by Apogee Software. This version gives you a nice overview of the game, in case you are not familiar with the rules. Like Beyond the Titanic, the game gives you the option of using monochrome or color graphics. The color option makes the game more detailed, but the mono is there in case there were still users with Hercules cards.

The interface is laid out nicely, with a black grid where the actual game takes place. Each opponent's stones are represented by naughts and crosses, and I can understand why that is considering that 2D graphics were scarce back at the time Block Five was released. Among the three options to the right is a help key, which gives the player hints on where their next move should be. This is ideal for their next game because they will know how to finally beat their opponent.

The sound effects are minimal, but for a basic game like this, you don't need it anyway. Sound effects are heard when you move the cursor, when you put down your piece, and when the game has been won. That is all.

Since Gomoku is a challenging board game, this computer version can be replayed. As far as I'm concerned, this must be replayed by myself since I still can't win against my opponent.

The Bad


The Bottom Line

Block Five is a game based on Gomoku. There is a bit of strategy involve, and it is much difficult than Connect Four. The graphics are pretty basic, and there are minimal sound effects. However, for a basic game such as this the only thing you need to worry about is the gameplay.