Since medieval times, we have been playing games for leisure, to hone our skill and, well, win some cash. But out of thousands of games available both online and in the form of gaming boards, block games seem to take the top position. The game’s origin is traced back to Poland at the dawn of the 20th century when Klotski was created.
The original block puzzle, Kloski, was made up of ten blocks of different sizes, which were slid in predefined locations by players. However, as time went by, a computerized version of the block puzzle was invented in 1991 for Windows 3.1 operating system. The game was also included in Windows Entertainment Pack and solid under different names. Having said that, let us get down to the history of the block puzzle and see how time has forged the game to be a 21st-century entertainment block.
History of Block Puzzle
It is not clear who were the original inventors of block puzzles and which version of the game was the first to be played. Some sources claim the game was founded in Poland under the name Klotcki. On the other hand, some materials claim that ancient civilizations brought the game to life. Despite the lack of directional answers to trace the origin of block puzzles, we found reliable information quoting that the game was invented in Chicago, Illinois, in early 1900.
To fully understand the history of the block puzzle, let’s travel back to the 1800s. During the 19th century, block puzzles enjoyed huge fellowship, and around this time, the game’s patents started appearing. In 1893 Henry Walton filled for a patent for a puzzle block. His game was made of the same-sized rectangles. According to Edward Hordern, a renowned puzzle solver, Walton was the original inventor of the game.
A few years later, in 1900, Frank E. Moss patented another block puzzle. This sliding block puzzle was, however, different from Walton’s game. While Walton’s original game had identical rectangles, Moss’ puzzle had four and six squares and rectangles, respectively. This invention spelled the beginning of non-identical puzzles, which too are still in use today.
Nine years later, in 1909, another revolutionary patent was filed by Lewis W Hardy. Hardy was the inventor of Pennant Puzzle, which was heavily produced by OK Novelty Co., a company in Chicago in the preceding years. This puzzle shared many similarities with Klotski.
Halfway across the globe, the Chinese too were making steady advancements in the gaming industry. Similar to the Kloski puzzle was the Chinese version of the game known as Huarong Road. This game was more engaging since it was adorned with pictures of victors and villains of dynasties, especially the Han Dynasty.
The Chinese version of the block puzzle had 1 by 2 cells and measured 4 by 5. Though most people claim that the game was first spotted in Japan during the Showa period, some sources still hold on to the Chinese as the Asian founders of the game. According to online sources, the game was seen in Shaanxi province as being played by young gamers. These gamers used a piece of paper as blocks.
Backing the Chinese block puzzle story is a book written by Northwestern Polytechnical University professor Jiāng Cháng Yīng. This book (Science Pastime) was written to describe Kloski in 1949.
In Britain too, block puzzles were taking shape but in a different form. A patent was obtained by John Herold Fleming in 1934. In his patent, the game was described as the duplicate of forget-me-not only with a few differences on the horizontal lock. Also, in his patent was a step-by-step process of solving the puzzle.
From the USA to Asia to England, nobody really knows where the current version of block puzzles roots from. We can only speculate that all the above parties played an important role in pushing the game to world status.
The Software Version of the Bock Puzzle
The earliest computerized block puzzle was created by Jim Bates. This was in the late ’80s, and several years down the line, many versions of the game were graphically developed. Currently, you can get the game as free or purchasable versions. Furthermore, you can play the games on any device using android or Apple OS.
Block games are a mysterious game with a deep history spanning back to the 19th century across America, Europe, and Asia. Currently, you can download it online and enjoy it on any device; thanks to the many years of development the game went through.