Slydris ($1.99) by Radiangames is a refreshing and fun new take on the classic game of Tetris. You'll be using blocks to make and clear lines, but it won't be done in the way that you've known all these years.
Rather than rotating various shaped blocks and fitting them together to create lines, what do you do? Slydris has an even simpler premise: just slide and drop blocks on the screen to make lines of blocks. It sounds easy, right? However, once you get going in a game, the gameplay proves to be even more difficult than you thought.
There are three game modes in Slydris: Infinite, Zen, and Survival.
With Infinite mode, you basically play and advance through levels until the no more blocks can end up on the screen, just as you would in Tetris. But after you make a move, more blocks fall from the top, so you have to plan strategically.
The Zen mode is a more relaxed mode of play, as you don’t have to worry about achievements or scores, and the game never ends — even if there is no more room for blocks.
Survival will be the most difficult of the three. You are only given 10 seconds to make as many moves as you can to clear the current blocks — then a barrage of new blocks will drop from the top, and the cycle starts over. While it may not seem too difficult at first, once the blocks start piling up, you’ll be in a frantic rush.
The game is already challenging, but the developers don’t stop there. Throughout Slydris, you will encounter special block types, such as the immovable block that can still be used in lines, and others that will shatter blocks they land on. There are plenty of different unique block types for you to discover during your time with the game — these are just two of the ones I’ve encountered so far.
As you clear blocks, you will fill up a meter on the right-hand side of the screen. Once this is filled up, you are able to use the bomb, which can detonate three lines of your choosing. Just pick the line, and it will clear it as well as the two adjacent ones. Refill the meter to get another bomb.
To award tactical players, there is even a Color Burster bonus if you can get lines consisting of only one color. The Color Burster bonus will break up all other blocks of that matching color into single blocks, which can be easier to deal with. Combos are earned by clearing more than one line at once, and will net more points.
Each time you start a new game in any mode, you can choose between three different music tracks and a dark or light background color. If you can’t make up your mind about the background, you can even have both alternate. With Infinite and Survival, you can also choose to continue from the highest level that you left off on.
Slydris features iCloud sync so that you can have your game progress across multiple iPads. I wish that the game was also available on the iPhone, since it seems like it would have been a great fit. There is also Game Center for leaderboards and achievements. If you take a look at the achievements, there are a lot of them to obtain, so there is even more replay value to Slydris, although there was plenty to start with (all puzzle games have replay value).
While Tetris may never get old, it's always great to see unusual takes on the classic concept that spin it to something that is all their own. Slydris is one of those games. I'm a sucker for puzzles, and when I first heard about this one, I knew that I had to check it out. I am definitely not disappointed. Slydris is fun and challenging, and I'm pretty sure that I'll be playing this for quite some time.
Make sure to download Slydris for yourself, and slide your way to victory.