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Block'Em Sock'Em 7800


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Here is a demo of Block'Em Sock'Em, for the Atari7800. At the time that I started this, the Jaguar port had not been released, so this version more closely resembles the Genesis version. However, there are some new changes.


Basic Game Play

You start out with a star block, which can destroy any color block. It will change to the color you destroy. Once you have a color block, you can only destroy blocks of the color in which you hold. (It does not take on the color, like the more recent Jaguar version.) If you do not have any moves left, pressing Fire 2 and Joystick Down will escape the level. If you have enough points, you can "buy" a continue with your score.  (Novice, Normal, Expert = "1000", "2500", "5000" Points)


Here are some changes that are unique to the 7800 Version



The value per block destroyed doubles with each consecutive block, up to 75 points per block.

1st Block        = 15 Pts.

2nd Block        = 30 Pts.

3rd Block        = 45 Pts.

4th Block        = 60 Pts.

5th Block & Up = 75 Pts.



There are 3 potential ways to get bonus points

  1. Once the goal is met, John gets "Free Throws" on his way out the door. Try to solve the puzzles in a way that allow extra point grabs!
  2. Remaining Tosses left: Any unused tosses are worth 250 point, after John exits the round!
  3. Remaining Blocks on the board: If there are less than 4 blocks on the board, the following bonus is added
    1. 3 Blocks = 1,000 Points
    2. 2 Blocks = 2,500 Points
    3. 1 Block  = 5,000 Points
    4. 0 Blocks= 10,000 Points!!!




The Demo versions contain puzzles that are not present in the final version. That way, the final version is still fresh.


NOTE: Use Options to enable Yamaha sound and adjust the vertical position of your screen. These settings will save to your high score device.

AtariVox Users: In order to hear speech using the 7800GD, you must disable "Break"!


First Public Demo - 08/08/2023



Second Public Demo - 08/14/2023

  1. The game no longer saves the sound chip preference to the save device. (It will still save your screen adjustment!)
  2. The game now defaults to Yamaha sound, if the device is present. If it is not, it should no longer be selectable, defaulting to TIA.
  3. I added an extra level. I didn't have much time to make it too strategic, but I wanted to add a little something.


I've seen too many instances where the game was being played with TIA sound.



Third Public Demo - 11/17/2023

  1. Resets Yamaha as default sound if present, but updated TIA Tracker is available in Options.
  2. Title screen contains details Instructions menu option.
  3. Minor graphic tweaks
  4. Updated buggy quirks in John's animation, especially when running off of the screen.




Fourth Public Demo - 11/29/2023

I consider this a rather major update. I think these refinements are close, if not, to the final:

  1. The Demo levels have now been tacked on as the last 4 levels of the full game. This makes the game 29 levels long, but also means that mastering the demo levels will come into good use! (It is possible to clear ALL blocks in MOST of the levels, but not all.)
  2. Added "Show Pts" option in the options menu. The game has features that can clash with some 7800GD functionality. For example, the AtariVox does not speak unless the Break Menu is disabled on the 7800GD. There can also be slowdown on long runs with the 7800GD. I think turning off the Break Menu of the 7800 fixes the slowdown. I also found that disabling the points indicator at the top of the screen eliminates the slowdown. So, for those who do not have AtariVox sound and wish to eliminate the slowdown, while keeping their Break Menu, turning off the points indicator is a fix. I still did have an issue with the break menu, using AtariVox and Seagull Genesis adapter. The buttons didn't appear to work right. I imagine disabling break would fix that too. That is a good option, since the break menu doesn't work with that combination anyway. In short, the "Show Pts - Off" setting will help 7800GD slowdown in many cases, without sacrificing the Break Menu. This option saves on the high score device, so it doesn't need set every time. "Clear All Scores" resets this option with the scoreboards.
  3. Instructions updated for the above issue and tweaked elsewhere.
  4. This is the first official release with the, refined, dithered pipes.
  5. Updated John's sprite. I wasn't quite happy with John's sprite. I think this looks a little better.
  6. Eliminated some incorrect animations for John. For example, the box would move with the joystick at the beginning of the round, but John is still.
  7. Updated menu sound effects
  8. Cleaned up transition to high score display.
  9. Game end verbiage updated to match the number of levels played.


Find it Here!

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Thank you Darryl1970 for your hard work making this game.   We are pursuing a physical release of this and have some options to consider.   TIA music for the physical is an option which would keep the costs down but would like to hear from others.   Thanks!

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Now John Hancock is truly immortal.  Generations from now, Atari players will wonder what that furry thing is hanging from his chin. :)

Just joking around.  That is what I do. 


Seriously though,   

NICE WORK!  Darryl1970



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On 8/10/2023 at 9:16 PM, MegaManFan said:

Three levels is not enough, I need MOAR. :D

I don't have a lot of time right now to add extra levels to the demo. There are 25 in the final version.

Although the standard levels are the same as the Genesis version, the ability to point press, after the level is cleared, changes the game up. I fine that some levels can be played just right, allowing John to end the level with zero blocks on screen. This is due to the "free throws" after the level is cleared.


I am posting a new demo on the main thread. It contains an extra level. It also tweaks the way Yamaha music is selected.



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2 hours ago, darryl1970 said:

I don't have a lot of time right now to add extra levels to the demo. There are 25 in the final version.

Just so you know I was in no way complaining- I was just stating my enthusiasm for playing more levels once the retail version comes out. :D 

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  • 2 months later...

We're looking for some feedback. I am tagging @swlovinist here.


Here's an update for Block'Em Sock'Em. This version defaults to TIA sound. The regular versions will default to Yamaha if present. I altered this to be easier for sampling the TIA sound. The Yamaha sound is still present in this file, for devices that support it, and it can be selected from the options menu.


However this release is all about the TIA sound. This will allow compatibility with the Atari VCS and 2600+ from day one.


I have gutted the original TIA music and took my first stab at TIA Tracker music.  I would like to know how you feel these tunes fit the game play. Would you be able to listen to this music? Would you enjoy it?  Keep in mind that the TIA cannot replicate the Yamaha music. There are only two channels, so short notes allow for the bass, drums, and sound effects to have a "turn" at one of the channels.


There are a few TIA tunes:

  1. Intro / Title
  2. Odd Levels, in-game
  3. Even Levels, in-game
  4. Clear Level
  5. Game Over


Since some do not prefer any music, and TIA can get tiring in some cases, there are two options to disable the background music:

  1. Select "NO MUSIC" under the options screen. This silences music throughout the game.
  2. The background music can be toggled, DURING GAMEPLAY, by pressing the SELECT button. This leaves the attract mode intact, and it can provide a temporary break.



Thanks to anyone who can offer some feedback.







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