Klax is the port of the 1989 computer puzzle game designed by Dave Akers and Mark Stephen Pierce. The game features music composed by Brad Fuller. It was developed and published by Atari Games in order to follow-up Tetris because they were about to lose the publishing rights after a long legal battle with Nintendo. Klax was inspired by Tetris and Tic-Tac-Toe. It was originally written in several weeks using Amiga Basic, before it was ported to C, and later released on consoles.
This version features enhanced graphics over the NES port.
Klax features both 1 player and simultaneous 2 player modes.
The game has a vertical conveyer belt which drops colored blocks onto the play field where the player must arrange them in ways that clear them from the board. The player controls a movable tray under the belt which can be positioned to collect blocks. The blocks can then be moved and deposited in the 5x5 play area below. The player can also choose to push blocks back up the conveyor belt.
Blocks are removed from the board when vertical, horizontal, and diagonal rows are made of 3 or more blocks of the same color. Longer rows and combinations of rows award the player higher points and multipliers.
The game features 100 levels (an unreleased Atari 7800 version added three "impossible" levels). The first stage begins with orange, yellow, red, and green blocks; the second level adds blue blocks, and the third level adds purple and white blocks. At level 6, light blue tiles and flashing wild tiles, which can be used with any other color, appear. Dark green blocks appear at level 60, and grey blocks appear at level 90.
Each level requires a certain point score or a certain number of rows to be created in order to move onto the next level. Levels may specifically require horizontal, vertical, or diagonal rows. Each stage has a certain number of "drops" the player is allowed in the stage. If the player doesn't complete the objective before dropping that many tiles in the play area, the game is over.
The game also ends when the play area fills and there is no more room to drop blocks. The player wins if they complete level 100.
After each fifth level, the player can choose to skip 5 or 10 stages.
The player earns bonus points for blocks still on the belt, empty spaces in the play area, and points over what was needed to complete the level.
The game also awards points for completing a level after skipping 5 or 10 levels, or for building the X pattern on certain levels, which gives the player access to the secret warps. In Levels 6 and 11, the player can warp ahead 45 levels by building a large X with five blocks for each diagonal.
Atari was purchased by Midway in 1996 and Klax was included in several Midway compilations including the Arcade Party Pak for the PlayStation and Midway Arcade Treasures for PS2, Xbox, PSP, GameCube.