blockdown intro screen 1 blockdown game screen 2
Blockdown intro screens 1&2.
blockdown intro screen 3 blockdown game screen 4
Blockdown intro screens 3&4.
Blockdown game screen 1 Blockdown game screen 2
Blockdown game screens 1 & 2
Blockdown game screen 3 - two player simultaneous Blockdown alternate character set
Blockdown 2 simultaneous player game screen & alternate character set

Blockdown is a port of more modern versions of the smash game Tetris. It runs in the Semigraphics-12 mode, given the Coco 8 colors+black in an effective 64x96 color mode. Some of the more modern features are the "shadow" block that it shows on the bottom (showing where it will land, even when your piece is up near the top), a simultaneous 2 player mode, and a cool easter egg when you hit CLEAR-F on the text based intro screens: it toggles between the normal and an "alternate" character set (that looks more Russian, using a mixed text character scanline technique similar to an earlier Tetris game for the Dragon). It also includes multiple skill levels, top 8 scores and speed and garbage options to tune the gameplay. It was a simultaneous released for the Coco and the Dragon computers.

Blockdown has some false credits in the game... part of a CoVid-era joke and easter egg hunt envisioned by it's real author, Ciaran Anscomb (who also did Dunjunz a few years earlier). The explanation, with some of the clues as to the games real author and origin:

"So this was intended to be a little lockdown joke. I'd hoped people would spot the unfamiliar name in the updates log of and have a look. The WAV upload was even... processed... to imply a recovery from some old tape.

Here were the clues:
- First and most obviously, the gameplay is much more like modern Tetris with ghost piece and wall kicks, etc. - no way was it released in 1986.

- Then, clues in the binary:
* '?TM ERROR IN 5' in cleartext. TM is a valid BASIC error message, but also the initials of Teipen Mwnci (the 'label' I've used for other stuff).
* The 'IN 5' part was supposed to lead to the fifth line of the SG12 play screen, which is all black. But spread across the colour bits was again the letters 'TEIPEN MWNCI'.
* If you probed really hard, you'd see that the state machine dispatch table was about twice as big as it needed to be. The unused entries when complemented formed my actual name in ASCII.
Lastly - and I did wonder if this was too much - 'Seismic Brains' is an anagram of Simian Scribes' - and not much else - which is somewhat synonymous with 'Teipen Mwnci'. Ah, vanity.

Title: Blockdown

Author: Ciaran Anscomb

Publisher: Ciaran Anscomb / Seismic Brains

Released: September 2020

Requires: Color Computer 1,2,3, 16K RAM.

Download cassette or disk versions here.

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