Konami's 1989 Block Hole

An odd mix of Tetris, spaceships, and guns.

Different shaped, Tetris-like block formations advance from the top of the screen down toward your ship which is placed at the bottom. Your ship is equipped with a cannon that can shoot blocks into the empty spaces of the falling formations. Once a block formation has been completely filled it will disappear. Formations that elude your block-spitting cannon and make their way to the bottom of the screen will end your game.

Missing Ingredient

It's own identity. While Block Hole does contain some engaging gameplay moments it comes across as just what it is -- a strange mix between a reversed Tetris game and a vertical scrolling shooter. Throw in the ability to have two players onscreen at the same time and you have the late-80's quarter-sucking formula. All it's missing is a horizontally scrolling Karate mode.

The game's intro does attempt to explain why you control a block spitting ship with a weird story of an advancing alien asteroid invasion or some such nonsense. But the fairy tale smiling planets and twinkling star graphics do little to support this back story or to provide Block Hole with it's own visual or thematic identity.

Thanks to Jeffrey Carl at ServInt for providing the space for CinemArcade


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