Author Topic: Block-Man  (Read 1180 times)

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Online namida

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Block-Man
« on: June 22, 2018, 12:50:19 am »
Wondering if anyone else ever played or heard of this game?

It's another puzzle game from around the same time as Lemmings (maybe a bit later), which was on DOS. I recently felt like playing it, having never got past the 7th level back in the day when I played it, so picked it up - already doing much better, I'm up to level 11 now. :) I tried to obtain it, only to find not a single website that actually provided the full version for download; a bit of investigating turned up that the reason for this is that the publisher still sells the game. :O

Basic concept, it's tile-based, and levels consist of basically four elements on any given tile - either a red block (unmovable), a blue block (you can pick these up, upon which they'll be carried above your head, you can take them anywhere as long as you have an open tile above you, and you can put them down which will place them on the tile in front of you - if there's already one tile in front of you, you'll place the block on top of it, but you can't stack them higher than 2 tiles high without building a ramp), empty space, or the goal (one per level), and you have to figure out how to move the blue blocks to get to it. With or without a carried block, you can move one tile in either direction, and you can step up a height of one tile. Usually, you cannot turn around on the spot, but you can if there's a tile behind you that prevents you moving forward, even if it's low enough to step up onto (as "move left/right" and "step up" are different keys). Fairly simple concept (I probably made it sound more complicated than it is), but the puzzles can be quite clever - if a bit tedious at times.

One major source of frustration, unfortunately, is that the controls do not respond nicely to being held. If you hold Left for a while and let go, he won't stop moving as soon as you let go, but will keep walking left for quite some time. This can be avoided by, unless your move is impossible to overshoot (or at least, overshooting it won't be fatal), sticking to one tile movement at a time.

http://www.soleau.com/dosgame.html
You can download the trial version there. It doesn't play nicely with FreeDOS, but works fine in DosBox. You can also purchase the full game, if you're so inclined. Or, it is possible to find a registration code for it on the web. How to actually enter that code into the game though, is something that isn't explained anywhere.

There's also a sequel, but from what I've seen of it (haven't actually given it a go yet) it looks very much to be the "we tried to do too much and ended up killing the spirit of the game" type of sequel...

EDIT: I made an open-source clone for Windows, CubeGuy.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 03:10:16 am by namida »

Offline nin10doadict

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2018, 01:40:34 am »
That sounds exactly like Blockdude, a game I and other students played on our graphing calculators in high school. I actually remade the engine in Game Maker and built some custom levels and boss fights for it, though I haven't worked on it in a while.

Online namida

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2018, 01:57:47 am »
From a quick google, Blockdude indeed appears to have much the same gameplay. Block-Man doesn't have boss fights though, it's purely a puzzle game.

I just beat the 11th level. Honestly, I think it's harder than the previous 10 combined - not in a bad way though, my reaction upon finding the solution (and noticing all the ways the level hides the solution) was "wow, what a brilliant level". I took a quick look at the 12th (didn't make a serious attempt yet) and I don't think I'd even know where to start on that one, but we'll see when I try it.

Level 11 (K) spoilers (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: June 22, 2018, 03:07:23 am by namida »

Online namida

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2018, 10:19:51 pm »
I beat Level 12 (L) yesterday. It was another pretty creative level, although not as amazing as the one before it - to be fair, Level 11 was downright amazing, and I'd be surprised if any level ends up topping it. I'd also say it was significantly easier than the previous one, although still harder than any other prior level.

Again, had a quick look at Level 13, but haven't made a serious attempt yet.

Offline ccexplore

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 10:35:04 am »
Ok, your latest comments enticed me to check out the website at least.  Haven't downloaded Block Man yet, but I noticed the Bolo Adventures series was also listed there, and I'm pretty sure I played a few of those levels long time ago (like more than a decade).

I'm amazed and happy that they are still around and selling, will have to download and try them out one day. :thumbsup:

Offline grams88

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2018, 11:04:30 pm »
I think that was the same company that done the game (mice men) an interesting game I think you guys will like. It sort of reminds you of like a board game the way it plays, you have to get your mice over to the other side of the screen. The Bolo games look quite good as well.

Online namida

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2018, 09:27:21 am »
I've beaten level 13 (M) now. I don't know if I can give my feedback without spoiling the trick of the level, so...

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I'm absolutely stumped on level 14 so far, though. I'm pretty sure (by process of elimination) I've got the right approach for the first half of the solution, but I'm completely clueless about how to handle the second half. This still means I got twice as far as I did all those years ago when I first played, though! :D (And don't get me wrong. I'm not giving up yet.)

Offline mobius

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 02:29:59 pm »
I also played 'Blockdude' on TI-83 Calculators (or whatever they were called). I got a free version for my phone. (and still can't get past level 5 or somewhere around there...).

I never knew it was based on a DOS game...

this is kind of similar but the opposite of sokoban; sokoban is top-down block pushing puzzles where this game is side scrolling.
"Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away."
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Offline nin10doadict

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2018, 05:41:39 pm »
I've mentioned my Game Maker Blockdude engine a few times before, so I made a video to show it off a bit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_LnucUmFvk&feature=youtu.be

Online namida

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2018, 08:51:03 pm »
I also played 'Blockdude' on TI-83 Calculators (or whatever they were called). I got a free version for my phone. (and still can't get past level 5 or somewhere around there...).

I never knew it was based on a DOS game...

this is kind of similar but the opposite of sokoban; sokoban is top-down block pushing puzzles where this game is side scrolling.

I don't know about Blockdude, but Block-Man has no scrolling. Every level is one screen. With that being said, the blocks / character are quite small, so this still allows for some pretty large levels. (Indeed, the early levels often take up about a third of the screen at most.)

Online namida

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 05:02:14 am »
Solved 14 and 15! Haven't had much of a look at 16 yet.

14 was a very cleverly hidden solution. 15 was a bit counter-logical, but not overly difficult, to be honest.

Just two levels, plus the "secret" levels, left to go.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 06:27:48 am by namida »

Offline Akseli

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 11:53:02 am »
Yes, I remember playing this in my childhood reaching level G (seventh) and this decade when re-playing games from my childhood I reached level I (ninth). Now today just resolved A-H again, and my previous save (access to these levels) was existing, still. It's a nice puzzle game, though yea it can get a bit grindy.

I wasn't familiar with Blockdude, though quickly googling it has some of the exact same level designs. Also I remember playing Mice Men like grams88 and Bolo Adventures like ccx, but quite briefly.

Online namida

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Re: Block-Man
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2018, 02:56:32 am »
I made a Windows (open source, will probably compile for Mac and Linux too) clone, with level editor and replay support.

See here: CubeGuy