Company: Atari
Model #:
Steve DeFrisco
Year: 1990
Was only released in PAL format.  Only 10 NTSC prototypes are known to exist.


Klax has the honor of being the last 2600 game to be developed and released.  It was released so late in fact that it only made it out overseas in PAL format.  Several years ago Best Electronics uncovered nine NTSC prototypes that proved to be the final version.  This proves that Atari was planning on releasing it in the US but the crumbling 2600 market made them rethink their decision.  It's a shame that we never got to see Klax in the United States, because it's one of the best games on the 2600.  

For a 2600 game Klax is very impressive, it mimics its arcade counterpart quite well only losing the detailed backgrounds and the digitized speech.  It's amazing that a machine from 1977 could emulate a game from 1989 so well.


Klax is a puzzle game along the same lines as Dr. Mario and Columns.  Colored blocks come down the conveyer belt at the top of the screen; you must grab these blocks with your player and drop them into the bin below.  If you line up three blocks of the same color you score a "Klax" (hence the name of the game).  Klaxes can be scored horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, and each type is worth a different amount of points.  Depending on the type of wave your goal is one of the following:

Klax Wave - You need to complete a certain number of Klaxes (verticals)
Diagonal Wave - You need to complete a certain number of Diagonals
Horizontal Wave - You need to complete a certain number of Horizontals
Point Wave - You must score a certain number of points
Tile Wave - You must survive a certain number of tiles


Your player can only hold six tiles, after that they will begin to fall off.  If you don't want a particular tile you can temporarily throw it back by pressing up, but eventually it will come back down the conveyer.  Every time a tile falls off a miss counter lights up, when all your miss counters are lit up it's game over.  To help you in your task occasionally you will get a special glowing tile, this tile is a wild card and can be used for any color.  Use these tiles wisely as they are few and far between.


One of the most impressive things about Klax on the 2600 is that it has continue feature, this allows you to see the higher levels where the action get really intense.  Klax is one of the few 2600 games to allow continues, and shows how far the 2600 had come since its early days.  It's simply amazing the amount of features Steve managed to cram into a 16K cart.  Klax is truly one of the most impressive games ever to grace the 2600.


Version Cart Text Description
6/14/90 2600 Klax 6/14/90 Nearly complete, has the Atari logo and copyright
8/18/90 Klax 8/18/90 Final version, but is in NTSC format


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