Originally released in arcades in Japan in 1989, Quarth became a cult hit when it was released for the MSX2 in 1990.
Quarth is basically part vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up, and part Tetris.
You control a ship at the bottom of the screen and must shoot blocks up into descending rows of other blocks, to create squares and rectangles. Creating the correct kind of shape with your fired blocks allows the descending blocks to be destroyed, thus giving you points and time to make more points.
When the blocks reach the bottom, the player’s ship is squashed – or “Quarthed” – and the game is over.
Two players can also play simultaneously on single or split screens.
And – just like Tetris – Quarth is a compelling and challenging game. So much so that it has been re-made by Konami many times, for various different modern devices.
Note: Quarth is sometimes known as “Block Hole” outside of Japan, although I recommend giving that ridiculous name a wide berth when talking about this game.
More: Quarth on Wikipedia