The Arcade Video Game by Atari Games Corp. See Timeline

Klax screenshot


Emulated in MAME ! Coin-Operated Arcade Video Game

Klax © 1989 Atari Games.

The tiles klank end over end down the ramp. Catch them on the paddle, or they fall in the pit. Flip them from the paddle into the bins, matching the same-colored tiles horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Each line of colored tiles is a Klax. When you've made a Klax, you hear a fanfare. When you complete a wave, the crowd cheers. Let a tile fall in the pit, and you hear a scream as it falls in. If you fail to complete a wave, the crowd is disappointed. Stay alive, complete the waves and don't drop any tiles!

Catch the tiles as they come to the end of the ramp on the paddle. Flip a tile into a bin by pressing the start/flip button. Pull the joystick forward to increase the speed of the closest tile as it klanks down the ramp. Push the joystick back and toss the top tile on the paddle back on the ramp and gain a little time.

The paddle can hold up to five tiles. As long as the green light is on below the paddle, you can pile more tiles on the paddle. When the red light appears, you must flip at least one tile in a bin or toss it back on the ramp before you can collect any more tiles. You can flip tiles into a bin as long as the green light is on below the bin.

To succeed in Klax, make points and also complete each wave. Create a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal row of at least three tiles (just like in tic-tac-toe) in the bins to make a Klax and make points. You receive the most points for diagonals, less for horizontals and the least for verticals. When you create a Klax, the tiles in the Klax disappear to make room for more tiles in the bins.

Each wave has a different task to be completed, which is shown on the To Go Meter. This task could be making a certain number of Klaxes or points or surviving a certain number of tiles. Complete the task before too many tiles drop in the pit and you complete the wave. When you complete a wave, you receive bonus points for the tiles remaining on the ramp, on the paddle, and any empty spaces in the bins. If you fail, you can start again at the same wave.

Klax does not have a clock for you to race against, but as your playing time increases, the tiles klank down the ramp faster and faster.

Waves : When you first enter the game, you can start at wave 1, 6, or 11. Wave 1 teaches you how to play the game and use the controls. At every fifth wave you can choose to play the next wave, the fifth wave beyond, or the tenth wave beyond.

Klax has five different types of waves and more than five different backgrounds. There are five waves per level, and one hundred waves to complete.

Each time you begin a wave, the To Go meter shows what kind of Klaxes or how many points you need to accumulate to complete the wave. The different types of waves are :
* Klaxes To Go, which are the easiest. Just create Klaxes horizontally, vertically or horizontally. Create enough Klaxes to complete the wave before you drop too many tiles in the pit.
* Tiles To Go requires you to survive a certain number of tiles. Create Klaxes in any of the three ways to collect points and to clear the bins to hold more tiles.
* Points To Go requires you to make a certain number of points. Create Klaxes to collect points but make diagonals, four- or five-of-a-kind Klaxes, and simultaneous Klaxes for higher points.
* Diagonals To Go requires you to create diagonals. Create Klaxes in any way to collect points; but only the correct number of diagonals will complete the wave.
* Horizontals To Go requires you to create horizontals. Only horizontal Klaxes will complete the wave; but you can create Klaxes vertically and diagonally to collect points.

You see several kinds of information on the screen. These are the :
* To Go Meter which continuously calculates the number of Klaxes, tiles, points, diagonals or horizontals still required to complete the wave. The number depends on the type of wave you are playing.
* Drop Count, which shows the number of dropped tiles. The drop count is continuously calculated. When the number of tiles dropped is reached, the wave is over.
* High Score, which shows the highest score to date, regardless of the number of continues that player had.
* Wave Indicator, which shows what wave you are playing.


Klax Arcade Video Game
Click to enlarge
(members only)
Game ID : 136075

Main CPU : Motorola 68000 (@ 7.15909 Mhz)
Sound Chips : OKI6295 (@ 6.779 Khz)

Players : 2
Control : 8-way joystick
Buttons : 1


Even if title screen says 1989, Klax was released in February 1990.

550 dedicated upright were produced in the USA and 451 in Ireland for European distribution. The selling price was $1,895.
500 dedicated cabaret were produced in the USA and 306 in Ireland. The selling price was $1,695.
4,800 conversion kits were produced in the USA and 958 in Ireland. The selling price was $895.

Dave Akers originally programmed this in Amiga Basic, then ported it line-by-line to C. It was written in just a few weeks on "Escape From the Planet of the Robot Monsters" hardware.


The prototype versions have different graphics, only one background with different palettes, and uglier tiles. Tiles sometimes look wrongly placed. When you throw the tile back, it's flying much further (approx. 6 seconds instead of 1). This version has 'By MSP and DSA' on the title screen.


3 Vertical Klax : 50 points
4 Vertical Klax : 10,000 points
5 Vertical Klax : 15,000 points
3 Horizontal Klax : 1,000 points
4 Horizontal Klax : 5,000 points
5 Horizontal Klax : 10,000 points
3 Diagonal Klax : 5,000 points
4 Diagonal Klax : 10,000 points
5 Diagonal Klax : 20,000 points
Large 'X' Klax : 80,000 points
Big Sandwich : 100,000 - 440,000 points



NEC TurboGrafx-16 usa (1990) "Klax [Model TTGX20001]"
Sega Mega Drive brazil (1990) by Tec Toy
Sega Mega Drive europe (1990)
Atari 2600 usa (1990) "Klax [Model CX26192]
Nintendo NES usa (1990)
Amstrad GX4000 europe (1990)
NEC PC-Engine japan (August 10, 1990) "Klax [Model TG90001]"
Sega Genesis usa (September 6, 1990)
Sega Mega Drive japan (September 7, 1990) "Klax [Model T-14063]"
Nintendo Famicom japan (December 14, 1990) "Klax [Model HFC-V6]"
Sega Master System europe (1991) "Klax [Model 301040]"
Atari 7800 usa (1992) "Klax [Model CX7888]" : unreleased
Sony PlayStation usa (September 30, 1999) "Arcade Party Pak [Model SLUS-00952]"
Sony PlayStation europe (February 23, 2001) "Arcade Party Pak [Model SLES-02339]"
Atari 7800 usa (2002) by ResQsoft Productions
Sony PlayStation 2 usa (November 18, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures [Model SLUS-20801]"
Microsoft XBOX usa (November 24, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
Nintendo GameCube usa (December 18, 2003) "Midway Arcade Treasures [Model DOL-GAKE-USA]"
Microsoft XBOX europe (February 6, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
Sony PlayStation 2 europe (February 6, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures [Model SLES-51927]"


Atari Lynx usa (1990) "Klax [Model PA2031]"
Nintendo Game Boy japan (1990) "Klax [Model DMG-KLA]"
Nintendo Game Boy europe (1991)
Nintendo Game Boy usa (July 1991) "Klax [Model DMG-KX-USA]"
Sega Game Gear usa europe (1992)
Nintendo Game Boy Color europe (1999) "Klax [Model CGB-ALXP-EUR]"
Nintendo Game Boy Color usa (April 1999) "Klax [Model CGB-ALXE-USA]"
Nintendo Game Boy Advance usa (August 16, 2005) "2 Games in One! Marble Madness + Klax [Model AGB-B68E-USA]"
Nintendo Game Boy Advance europe (September 16, 2005) "2 Games in One! Marble Madness + Klax [Model AGB-B68P-EUR]"
Sony PSP usa (December 13, 2005) "Midway Arcade Treasures Extended Play [Model ULUS-10059]"
Sony PSP europe (February 24, 2006) "Midway Arcade Treasures Extended Play [Model ULES-00180]"


MSX europe (1989)
BBC Micro europe (1990)
Commodore C64 usa europe (1990)
Amstrad CPC europe (1990)
Amstrad CPC+ europe (1990)
Commodore Amiga usa (1990)
Atari ST europe (1990)
Sam Coupe europe (1990) by Domark
Sinclair ZX Spectrum europe (1990)
Sharp X68000 japan (December 14, 1990) by Hudson
NEC PC 8801 japan (1990) by Hudson
NEC PC 9801 japan (1990) by Hudson
PC [MS-DOS, 3.5"] usa (1992)
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] usa (August 27, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"
PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] europe (November 23, 2004) "Midway Arcade Treasures"

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Game's picture.
Game's ROMs.
Game's screenshots.
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Page last modified on December 30, 2015