Noc-A-Bloc (Virgin Games) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

By Virgin Games
BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 1.07


Noc-A-Bloc is a version of the arcade game Pengo. Some of the characters have been changed, but the principle remains the same.

You control a big, fat, red, lanky-legged bird by using keyboard or joysticks, and you move it around a maze formed from boxes (or blocs!). He is chased by bug-eyed monsters, called Splods, who kill him if they catch up with him. The bird (who really deserves a name, but is not given one in the instructions - more imagination, please, Virgin!) has the ability to noc the blocks (!) around the screen, thus changing the maze. These blocks stop only when they hit another block or a wall.

Using this facility, you can squash the nasties by sandwiching them between blocks and walls. If movement in the direction in which the block is pushed is prevented by another block or a wall, the block disintegrates, and the bird gets a double hernia. If the bird tries to push a wall (?) the wall turns yellow, and any nasties by the wall are stunned for a few seconds enabling the bird to gobble them up.


Also featuring in the game are three blocks with stars on them. These have to be manoeuvred around the screen, and placed in a row. This gives the player bonus points as follows: If the blocks are along one of the edges: 5,000 points. If the blocks are away from the edges: 10,000 points.

When you have killed all the Splods from one game, you then get bonus points depending on how long you took. You then get another screen, with another Splod to kill, although there are only ever four Splods chasing you at any one time. You get a bonus man at 50,000 points, if you ever survive that long.

Noc-A-Bloc is written in machine code, and so the quality of the graphics is very good. The sound effects are above average, and there is a very good use of colour throughout. The instructions supplied with the game were written on the cassette insert, and were of better quality than most. All in all, this game is good value for money.

Dave Reeder

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