It is no secret that I love testing out the sort of fun WordPress blocks that hark back to my early days of the web. I have written on the subject once or twice. Imagine my surprise when I came across a side-scrolling dinosaur game that users could simply plop into the block editor and provide something fun for their visitors to do.
Block-a-saurus is a simple game in which you play a T-Rex whose goal is to survive a course of obstacles such as jumping cactuses and ducking birds. To play, you merely need to control the T-Rex via your keyboard’s D-pad. It should also work via touch control on mobile devices.
The only bad thing is that I did not notice this gem eight months ago when it was first released to the public.
Give the game a whirl. Let us know your high score in the comments!
Using the Block-a-saurus Plugin
The plugin is straightforward. Once installed, it adds a new “Block-a-saurus!” block in the common blocks section of the block inserter. The block currently has two options under the block settings panel:
- Dino Speed: Allows you to speed up or slow down the movement of the T-Rex in the game.
- Mute Audio: Allows you to enable or disable the game audio.
By default, the front-end output is bland. Do not expect a graphical powerhouse. However, sometimes, the simplest games can make for hours of fun.
I wanted to spruce up my game’s design on the front end. Therefore, I first inserted a cover block with a dinosaur background, as can be seen at the beginning of this post. I then dropped the plugin’s block within the cover block.
This works well with a variety of image backgrounds. Plus, it allows users to put a unique spin on their game.
There is at least one missing piece that I would like to see in a future version of the plugin. It would be nice to integrate alignment options for the block, such as center, wide, and full alignments that are common with many other blocks.
On the plus side, the plugin developer took the few moments necessary to load scripts and styles only on pages where the game is in use. If you want to run the game, you do not have to worry about it loading unnecessary files on every page of your website.
Future Plugin and Block Plans
“Work is moving along pretty steadily,” he said of new features. “It’s nice to have something relatively small and self-contained to work on in between larger client projects. The saving of scores has been the majority of the work so far, and I’m hoping to have that released in the next couple of weeks.”
Koppenhaver and his team primarily work on more serious endeavors. “We have been working on some other block experiments to allow for things like integrating data sourced from Google Drive as D3 visualizations as well as a block to allow agencies to create better case studies by creating those responsive screenshot mockups you see everywhere and being able to create them completely in Gutenberg,” he said. “We’re very excited about the experiences the new editor has allowed us to create and are always experimenting and trying to learn more.”
More than anything, I want to see other plugin authors launch a few more games for the block editor.