Jan 7, 2010

Tetris for Android

I was thinking the other day that I'd like a good Tetris clone for my Android phone. I've enjoyed the game since it's PC release with much time spent playing on the original Gameboy. In fact, I'd stake a claim to Tetris having contributed a lot to the initial success of the Gameboy platform given it's full color competition with the Atari Lynx, but I digress. EA has released an official Tetris on the Android, but at $5 I have a hard time justifying it given the countless times I've purchased the game... I was thinking free. So when I saw Tetris for Android from Bartolo Illiano in the marketplace for 99 euros I figured I'd give it a try. I can handle a buck if it's good.

But it's not. It's horrible. And it's sad. Everything is there, but the controls. Unfortunately, controls are among the most important aspect of game design. How many titles that look like quality games suffer from things as basic as poor control. In this case I am forced to click on a touch screen button to move a block left or right, but I have to wait for the button to visually flash (acknowledge my press) and for the block to move. All this feels like it takes a second when it should take a millisecond and in turn it makes getting a block all the way from one side of the screen overly painful. I remember rapidly clicking on my Gameboy's DPad to get blocks where I wanted them to be quickly, but no such luck here.

The description says that an update is coming. I ask that if you knew there was a need for an update then why was this released in the first place? I also question that architecturally there's something seriously wrong with the whole game input loop for play to be as it is so we're not talking update, but rather rewrite to fix this issue. In the meantime I guess I need to go dig up my Gameboy... I'm sure it's around here somewhere... didn't that version have catchy music too?


  1. Forget the gameboy, play Androtris.

  2. While I still think the GameBoy version had some hypnotic music I concur that this is a well done version of Tetris. I also like the vs. mode this one has. The "Tetris like" in the descrption threw me off as I didn't want something "Tetris like"... I wanted Tetris. - Alan