Tetris is one of the most phenomenally popular games ever, with hundreds of versions released since the original game hit the Game Boy.
Many have tried to alter the experience, or enhance it in some way, with 3D levels, special blocks and modes of every description attempting to do something new with the basic idea. the problem is, the monochrome GameBoy version still remains the very best take out there, as the purity of the gameplay is perfect.
So, it’s refreshing to see a game take the Tetris concept and literally turn it on it’s head, and actually succeed in making the gameplay work.
Reverstris, at first glance actually looks like a standard Tetris clone, with its Tetrimonoes and side on 2D view. The difference here is that the level is already almost filled with blocks, and it’s your job to clear them by drawing Tetrimono shapes in them. Draw a successful shape and that set of blocks will disappear.
You can’t draw a shape if there are any vertical blocks on top of the shape, so you have to work your way down from the top, being careful not to leave any single blocks, as they can be difficult to clear afterwards.
Once you have completely cleared all the blocks, you move onto the next level. There is one big complication, in the shape of the phantom player, who will randomly drop set of blocks onto the level, scuppering your plans.
The phantom player’s blocks do not even score you points when you clear them, unless they are attached to other blocks you are clearing at the same time, which makes him a real pest, although his blocks can be handy for getting rid of the single blocks you may have mistakenly left behind earlier.
It’s a really addictive game, and can be really tough as the stages progress, and you will need to think quick to proceed.
The main thing I think is missing is another, more score focused mode, as although completely clearing a level can be satisfying, when you just have two blocks at the bottom and time is running out, you are too reliant on the phantom blocks randomly falling in the right places to finish the level off.
A mode where you just have to clear a certain score would be a great alternative, and if the phantom player was more aggressive in this mode, the action could be frantic but not frustrating.
Online high scores are included, which is a nice touch, and the game also has an innovative scoring system, where you get more points for using different shapes. It’s to stop you spamming the easier shapes, and its quite clever.
The graphics have some nice animation, but the basic look of the game is quite dull. If the blocks had more colour or even pictures and icons on them, with special effects going off when you clear each shape, the game would look a lot more appealing, particularly in it’s Android Market listing.
A graphical sheen such as the one found in Meteos could see this game take off. A thumping soundtrack would help too.
What we have here is an innovative puzzle game with a whole lot of potential. More modes and better graphics would make this an essential download, but even without all of that the core gameplay is so strong I can still recommend this as one of the better puzzle games on Android and a great take on the Tetris idea.
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