Our next entry into the GTW64 database is a title which has been long overlooked for many years, and has been highlighted by Richard Bayliss.
The first time I heard of this nice looking Columns clone was from its release on Commodore Format’s Power Pack 37. It was listed as a PD game, and came from Hex Heroes public domain. However, it firstly wasn’t PD at all – and was also incomplete too!
I never noticed at the time, but when you run – there’s a crack intro from the group “Awesome”. Back in 1991, many different cracking crews had released a preview of the game and it seems it snuck into a PD library by mistake.
What is particularly funny is that the CF team clearly didn’t play the game that much, apart from to set some instructions and get some screenshots. The game is playable to a degree, but the score and bonus doesn’t work – and the game never actually ends. Once it fills up with blocks, they just continue to drop.
The question now though is about who was behind the game, and what happened exactly. Was it intended for commercial release and did it ever get any further than this?
What is interesting is that what looks like an earlier preview has been out there for some time called Futris (short for Future Tetris), which doesn’t include any of the status panel areas. It also doesn’t clear the blocks like with Blockie – suggesting that Blockie may have been someone trying to tidy up the Futris preview and finish off.
However, confusingly the Futris preview is from 1996 and not 1991 – so had this just been an earlier build of Blockie leaked at a later date when under a different name?
Talking about the game with Richard, it inspired him to have a go at tidying the game up and fixing some of the issues to actually make it properly playable. So, to fix the block disappearances, to make the game properly end and for all the scoring to work. Essentially – to try and finish the game off as much as possible.
After several months on and off, and with some testing work by Dirk S. and Simon Quernhorst, Richard finally finished his reconstruction work for Games That Weren’t. There might still be the odd glitch, but it is already in far better shape than it was all them years ago for Commodore Format readers.
So here it is, and a huge thank you to Richard for the amazing work that he has done!
However, the search still goes on to find out who was behind the original development. If you know anything more about the original game, please do get in touch.
Contributions: Richard Bayliss, Dirk S., Simon Quernhorst
- 25/02/23 – Fully completed edition of game created by Richard Bayliss and added to the archive!
- 06/07/22 – Link made with Futris, a preview released 5 years later, but an earlier preview. Very odd!