By Mento 1 Comments
|01/12/12 - Ballistic||05/12/12 - Mutant Mudds||09/12/12 - Slydris|
|02/12/12 - Band of Bugs||06/12/12 - Oniken||10/12/12 - Soulcaster|
|03/12/12 - Escape Goat||07/12/12 - Outpost Kaloki||11/12/12 - Squids|
|04/12/12 - MiniFlake||08/12/12 - Reprisal||12/12/12 - UnEpic|
December the Ninth
The source: Indie Royale Spring Bundle
The pre-amble: Slydris is a block puzzle game that superficially resembles that one block puzzle game everyone has played, but requires a bit more strategy and meticulousness than its inspirational source. The key is to shift around individual pieces to fit into full rows, with bonus points for setting up chains and instances where an entire cleared row of blocks are the same color. Radiangames also provides some soothin' smooth jams to help your brain muscle figure all this out. It's a far cry from their usual output of reflexive twitch shooters.
The playthrough: Yeah, I liked Slydris. I was brute forcing it until I figured out what was going on, and that the game pauses itself apparently indefinitely between dropping blocks so you can take your time and plan the best course to take. I don't know how much the provided screenshot gives away, but with each new row of blocks, you can choose to move one of the blocks on the top row or one of the blocks that have already fallen to the left or right, and upon doing so the entire suspended row at the top comes down and a new one appears. While the goal is to clear rows, you'll want to be setting up combinations and the aforementioned same-color rows to score more points, but it can often be difficult and finicky to pull this off and all the time you're piling on excess blocks that will eventually screw you over. So, very much the same Tetris "stack to one side and hope for a long piece" risk vs. reward set up, just handled in an entirely new way.
There's not really a whole lot more to say about Slydris. I mean, it's a new take on Tetris. Developers have been trying to top Alexey Pajitnov's nonpareil for years, perhaps as some sort of badge of honor. An insurmountable goal that challenges what it means to be a game designer. Or perhaps they just had an interesting idea for a puzzle game and I'm projecting all this "defeat the undefeatable" dramatic nonsense onto it, like I was making a documentary about falling blocks or a cartoon ape that throws barrels and wanted to spice it up a little. So yeah, Slydris: It's a puzzle game with blocks. And rad music. I'd probably suggest getting the iOS version, since I imagine touch controls would fit the game well.
The verdict: I have no idea what I want to do with this game. I'm generally not the type that'll play some tiny game for a few minutes while on the go; it's all massive story-driven adventures for which I can sink into a couch and play for hours, or nothing. But if you're in the market for one of these "waiting for the bus" games, Slydris seems like a pretty rad one?