Blockout is a game, and it doesn't pretend to be educational, but the skills required to master it are not unrelated to mathematics, particularly geometry. You must manipulate blocks falling into a pit so that they fill the layers at the bottom, rewarding the player with the best and swiftest sense of spatial relationships.
If that sounds like Tetris, or its sequel, Welltris, it's because it is similar to those two addictive exercises. They were created by a Soviet mathematician. Blockout also comes from behind the formerly iron curtain: it was developed by Aleksander Ustaszewski of Warsaw for California Dreams, 780 Montague Expressway, No. 403, San Jose, Calif. 95131.
After you have mastered the standard Blockout setup, almost 1,000 variations are available.
Blockout is available for I.B.M.-compatible computers, Amigas and the Macintosh. The suggested retail price is $39.95.