Klax (1990)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


Klax: A Colorful Classic from the Golden Age of Arcade Gaming

Released in 1990, Klax is a captivating puzzle game that has stood the test of time. Developed by Atari Games, Klax was designed by Dave Akers and Mark Stephen Pierce, who were inspired by the popular game Columns. The objective of Klax is to rotate and drop colored blocks into rows of similar colors to make them disappear. This simple yet addictive gameplay has made Klax a favorite among puzzle enthusiasts for over three decades.


Klax is played on a 10×10 grid. Blocks of various colors fall from the top of the screen, and the player can rotate and drop them into place using the joystick or keyboard controls. The goal is to line up three or more blocks of the same color either horizontally or vertically to make them disappear. As rows of blocks are cleared, the remaining blocks fall down to fill the empty spaces.

The game becomes increasingly challenging as the speed of the falling blocks increases and new obstacles are introduced. These obstacles include bombs that explode and destroy surrounding blocks, and flippers that change the direction of falling blocks. The player must think quickly and strategically to clear rows of blocks and avoid being overwhelmed by the incoming onslaught.


Klax features a variety of power-ups that can help the player clear blocks more efficiently. These power-ups include:

  • Bomb: Destroys all blocks in a 3×3 area.
  • Flipper: Changes the direction of falling blocks.
  • Laser: Destroys a horizontal row of blocks.
  • Time Warp: Slows down the speed of the falling blocks.
  • Extra Life: Grants the player an additional life.


Klax features a competitive multiplayer mode for up to two players. In multiplayer mode, players compete to clear the most rows of blocks and earn the highest score. The multiplayer mode adds an extra layer of excitement and challenge to the game.


Klax was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its addictive gameplay, colorful graphics, and catchy music. Klax has been ported to numerous home platforms, including the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis. It has also been included in several retro game compilations.

Klax remains a popular puzzle game today, and it is still enjoyed by gamers of all ages. Its simple yet challenging gameplay has made it a timeless classic that continues to entertain and engage players.

Cultural Impact

Klax has had a significant impact on popular culture. The game’s distinctive graphics and music have been referenced in numerous other works of art and entertainment. For example, the Klax logo appeared in the popular 1990s sitcom “Friends.”

Critical Reception

Klax received positive reviews from critics upon its release. It was praised for its addictive gameplay, colorful graphics, and catchy music. Many reviewers compared Klax favorably to Columns, and some even hailed it as the superior game.


  • Golden Joystick Award for Best Coin-Op Game of the Year (1990)
  • Arcade Game of the Year (1990)


Klax is a classic puzzle game that has stood the test of time. Its simple yet addictive gameplay, colorful graphics, and catchy music have made it a favorite among gamers for over three decades. Whether you’re a seasoned puzzle enthusiast or a newcomer to the genre, Klax is sure to provide hours of entertainment.

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