16
Jan
13

Blots for DOS

The Title screen

The Title screen

Blots is a simple puzzle game written by David Bright released for PC in 1992. He originally developed the game for the Acorn Archimedes machines which are the ancestors of the now common ARM processors. Blots has some similarities to popular games from early 8 bit machine such as Boulder Dash. I have the shareware version we got of a magazine cover disc. The game is meant to be played by two people sharing a keyboard.

Intermission screen

Intermission screen

It uses VGA graphics and PC speaker both of which are pretty good although the gradients on the title screen and intermission screen can make some text harder to read than it really should be. The only help and instructions you will get is some scrolling text at the bottom of the title screen. This was fairly common for small games such as this.

Simple Starter

Simple Starter

The goal of the game is to get both players (called blots) out of the level. Each level consists of a number of brick walls that can be destroyed with bombs, concrete walls that can’t be destroyed, boulders, and areas of dirt that will block the movement of objects. Boulders and bombs will fall if un-impeded, and bombs will explode when either something lands on them or they fall on something else. You have to be careful as exploding bombs can kill either player. In this way it’s kinda similar to Boulder Dash with out the larger levels and diamond collecting.

Cascades

Cascades

The puzzles are designed with two players in mind and some can’t be solved by one person alone. Depending on the situation you may need precise timing or need both blots moving towards a goal at the same time. A time limit prevents you from spending too much time, and in one level I played it was the main obstacle to completing it. Because of the two player requirement I found it a bit frustrating when I found a level I couldn’t complete alone. It would have been a lot more fun for me if there was a single player mode.

Run Forest Run!

Run Forest Run!

Aside from requiring a second player on occasion, Blots is a decent puzzle game. The full game had lots more levels designed by many people. Perhaps there was a level editor was available in the full version. I wasn’t able to find out much more information about either the DOS or Archimedes versions unfortunately. This surprises me a little bit as it seems from the long list of level contributors that it was quite popular on the Acorn machine.

 

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