Blockade © 1976 Gremlin.
This game was two player only, you must have a live human opponent to play against, or else the other players character will go straight into a wall, making for a very quick and boring game. Each player moves their character around leaving a solid line behind them. All moves are made on an invisible grid, so you can only turn at 90 degree angles. To win you must last longer than your opponent before hitting something (first person to hit something loses). The game ended after one player chalked up six wins, but this was operator adjustable down to as low as three.
This game came in an upright dedicated cabinet. The machine was decorated with only a marquee, which showed the game title. It did not have any other graphics or sideart. The sides were of a dark woodgrain, which probably went nicely in the average pool hall or bowling alley (where most early games were located). The game featured a control panel that was devoid of joysticks, instead you controlled the game using a button for each direction.
Upright cabinet dimensions : 67'' (170cm) High x 28'' (71cm) Deep x 26'' (66cm) Wide. Weight : 290 lbs.
BOARD # 807-0001
Prom stickers : 01-04
Main CPU: Intel 8080 (@ 2.079 Mhz)
Sound Chips: Discrete circuitry
Screen orientation: Horizontal
Video resolution: 256 x 224 pixels
Screen refresh: 60.00 Hz
Palette colors: 2
Blockade was released in October 1976. It was Gremlin's first video game and was very widely copied. It provided Gremlin with a big hit, winning the 'Best of Show' award at the 1976 MOA convention.
A good strategy is to try and box your opponent in to a small section of the screen, and then just move carefully until they crash.
Noval 760 (1977)
All in Color For a Quarter - Keith Smith