aka: Block Out
Moby ID: 498
See Also

Description official descriptions

Blockout is a Tetris variant with an added twist: it's in 3D. The player can rotate the blocks in 3D in order to fit them into the pit they are being guided into. Advanced users can play this game with odd three-dimensional pieces, or change the size of the pit, for depth of between 6 and 18 piles, and width and length of between 3 and 7.


  • ブロックアウト - Japanese spelling

Groups +



Credits (Commodore 64 version)

5 People



Average score: 73% (based on 26 ratings)


Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 53 ratings with 2 reviews)

3D Tetris on a Portable

The Good
Block Out has the distinction of being "The" 3D Tetris game, but I wonder why it was never as popular as it's 2D counterpart? I think some of it has to do with the spacial recognition required to manipulate the pieces, and the need for variants in the play fields (boxes) to keep the game interesting. Tetris just keeps getting faster and faster, which I think gave it an advantage as being a tournament ready application. Block Out was a bit more diverse, and required that added level of thinking making it more of a brain teaser than a sport. Either way, Block Out was one of my favorite games on the Atari Lynx. It utilized a button+D Pad configuration for moving the pieces on different axes and this worked well on the system since it had limited buttons. The sound effects were just like the PC versions I've played and the Lynx's bold colorful graphics made the game easy to look at for long periods of time.

The Bad
This criticism more or less goes out to every home version of the game that I've played, but it would have been nice if there was an arcade mode that duplicated the board variants and challenging gameplay of the coin op. It had very cool music and would move you to the next challenge after clearing so many levels. It saddens me they didn't do a complete port of this on any system because it was truly addictive.

The Bottom Line
A colorful twist on Tetris in 3D.

Lynx · by FireHorsePrime (21) · 2013

The Tetris innovation to beat.

The Good
After the moderately disappointing release of Welltris by Spectrum Holobyte, Blockout showed us how true 3D Tetris was done. A very fast and capable simulation, it solved the problem of hidden surfaces by displaying each block as a wireframe before dropping it down.

Blockout is also very configurable. You can rotate blocks forward and backward along the x, y, and z axis (although all you really need is the x and y axis), and you can specify how many levels deep or high/wide when you play. A seperate high score is kept for each configuration for fairness.

Support for multiple graphics modes is also well done, making Blockout playable on almost any machine.

The Bad
My only complaint with Blockout is that there's no way to see empty spaces underneath the top layer. This is a hard provlem to solve visually, so I'm not really blaming the designers (who did a great job). I guess I'm just lamenting my own memory's inability to keep track of 4 or 5 stacks of blocks. :-)

The Bottom Line
The first 3D Tetris variant and still the best.

DOS · by Trixter (8946) · 1999



The graphics from the game are stored directly in .LBM files (a format supported by Deluxe Paint), thus can be modified directly.

Tetris variant

Unlike Welltris (which billed itself as Tetris in three dimensions), Blockout was the first true 3D Tetris variant.


  • ST Format
    • Issue 01/1991 - #9 Best Puzzle Game in 1990

Information also contributed by Trixter

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Related Sites +

  • BlockOut
    Online BlockOut with global scoreboard

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Olivier Masse.

Antstream added by firefang9212. Lynx added by Lars Norpchen. PC-98 added by Kabushi. Apple IIgs, Atari ST added by Martin Smith. Macintosh added by Eli Tomlinson. Arcade added by vedder. Browser added by Magnus Ivarsson. Commodore 64, Genesis, Amiga added by Katakis | カタキス.

Additional contributors: Alaka, j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】, Patrick Bregger, GTramp, Jo ST, Magnus Ivarsson.

Game added November 30th, 1999. Last modified August 17th, 2023.