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Tetris Syndrome

Also known as the 'Tetris Effect'. But importantly, not just Tetris! This is a list of the games that I've experienced it in.

Mostly games I've played recently, since it's not the kind of thing you remember for years. Also not included: Tetris, since I just haven't ever played it that much.

List items

  • It's a puzzle game about drawing continuous lines between dots. With only a few different puzzle pieces to imagine and simple rules, it doesn't take long to start making up tiny puzzles whenever I get distracted.

  • The game (there's a series of them, I didn't play this particular one) is turn-based, with the player able to either move or rotate on a grid system each 'turn'. Enemies move and attack predictably, making it easy to imagine simple encounters and wonder how to win them.

  • One of the stranger games to produce the effect, perhaps.

    Pros: Getting to play Hotline Miami even when away from the computer; good loading times

    Cons: Maps and enemies changing when I got distracted,; no music; gameplay often having little resemblance to the actual game

  • Another puzzle game with simple rules. Flipping a tile around cubes is an easy concept to worm its way into your head.

  • Tasks in the game like changing brake pads are straightforward but (especially for that example, since cars have four tyres and two brake pads per tyre) fairly repetitive. While playing this I'd often find myself going over the steps to replace various parts in my head, which benefited me in no way whatsoever in the game, or in the real world.

  • My personal introduction to the Civ series, and probably the oldest personal example on this list. The daydreams were mostly limited to figuring out unit paths (e.g. how quickly can I get a unit that can move two tiles per turn around this imaginary mountain range?).

    I don't remember if this version had autopathing or if the effect was actually useful here.

  • Not actually the animal - the Snake I'm referring to was the version that used to be included with pre-smartphone Nokias.