Top out

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A top out occurs when:

  • a tetromino cannot be placed at least partially within the play zone.
  • garbage pieces are sent, pushing the top pieces above the spawn zone.

Top outs result in a game over.

Loss condition

There are several variations of what constitutes a top out:

  • Block out: a piece is spawned overlapping at least one block in the playfield
  • Lock out: a piece locks when it is entirely out of bounds (that is, in the vanish zone above the ceiling)
  • Partial lock out: a piece locks when it is partially out of bounds, even if it would clear a line
  • Garbage out: After lines are cleared and garbage is added, a block remains out of bounds, or an existing block in the field is pushed to 41st or higher row by garbage lines sent to the player

Different games have used different combinations of these conditions:

This list is incomplete.