Anything but your average Tetris clone
Slydris is a brand new puzzle game where you take pieces that drop from the top of the screen and place them into lines where they then get cleared. If you can’t clear the pieces effectively enough and they reach the top of the screen you lose. Sound familiar?
Let me start the review by easing your mind, this isn’t a Tetris clone. Couldn’t blame you for thinking it after hearing about it, seeing it, or looking at the cleverly spelled title of the game, though. While it’s true the point of the game is clearing lines, the way you go about making that happen has very little to do with that small, niche Russian game from the 80’s.
In Slydris you’ll be dealing with differently sized horizontal lines between 1 and 3 squares long. You’ll slide those pieces left and right on a grid to drop them down to complete a solid line. As you’re doing that, random groups of blocks will fall down on top of your pieces, no doubt doing their best to mess up your strategy.
It may seem pretty simple, and it is at first, since you have more single block pieces to work with and they’re easy to move around and complete lines with. But before long, you’re stuck with gaps that are blocked by 2 and 3-piece lines that you can’t shift out of the way easily because you can only move one piece at a time.
The modes you play determine how the new blocks get added to the playfield. One of the elements that I really enjoyed about Slydris was how contemplative I was while playing it. Most puzzle games of the clearing nature don’t give you time to figure out your next move. They lean on you with new pieces and obstacles to force you to make snap decisions to stave off defeat.
Slydris, in infinite mode on the other hand, gives you as much time as you need to make the best decision you can. Every time you slide one of the pieces on your playfield around, the game drops another few on you. So you have as much time as you want to make a move without more stuff coming down on your head, but you know that every piece you slide adds new ones to the mix.
In survival on the other hand you get a big dump of new pieces every 10 seconds, which is definitely more traditional for this kind of game. It’s interesting in its implementation though; you work like crazy for 10 seconds then need to stop while the new pieces fall. You’re then given a few seconds to see the new layout then you go back to it for a small window of time.In this mode especially it’s great that Slydris’ controls are so perfect. In those bursts of movements in between drops it’s comforting that the pieces always do exactly what you want them to. The game boasts a clean neon-drenched style that stays interesting without being distracting. The music fits well with the overall aesthetic as well.
I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying Slydris. I had severe fears about it just being a crappy Tetris clone when I saw the screenshots. Luckily the game isn’t that at all. It takes the basic little line clearing puzzle set-up and tweaks it just enough to give it a fresh feeling to make it feel new all over again. Not going to set the world on fire but definitely worth a look for friends of the genre.
- Perfect touch controls never let you down. Manages to find a unique twist on line-formation gameplay.
- The title and screenshots may lead you to think it’s just another Tetris clone.