Tetris may have released almost 30 years ago, but that doesn’t mean that similar games cannot still hit the market.
One of the games that defined the puzzle genre is Tetris. It is the primary reason that the Nintendo GameBoy was a success, and it helped put handheld gaming on the map. All these years later, game developers are still finding ways to use those iconic Tetris-shaped pieces in new and exciting ways. Dream of Pixels is a puzzle game that takes the classic Tetris-style and literally turns it upside down to create gameplay that is both new and exciting.
Instead of pieces falling from top to bottom, a continuous wall moves down, and you use Tetris shaped blocks to actually cut away chunks of the wall. This means you can accidentally leave pieces hanging, which causes some interesting challenges. You will need to cut down pieces still attached to the main wall in order to merge the loose pieces with the larger game board so you can break them up.
As you can probably guess, if any pieces make it all the way to bottom of the screen, you lose, and it’s time to start over again. That is only for the main game mode, as there is also Puzzle mode, which gives you certain pieces on a set board with the goal of clearing everything completely. This mode does away with the frantic gameplay that comes standard on the Classic mode, and instead forces you to slow down and really think about how to place each piece.
Besides Classic and Puzzle, Dream of Pixels also comes with Pro, Nightmare, and Shattered Dream mode. To play these, you will need to complete certain goals in Classic mode, some of which are quite challenging. While these modes don’t change the gameplay too much, they certainly help shake things up a bit and extend the life of the game.
The controls work well enough most of the time. You simply touch the screen where you want the piece to cutaway the wall. Occasionally, sliding your finger and trying to get the piece in just right does not work as well as you would expect. It did not happen frequently, but when it did, it usually left me with some loose pieces, and ultimately led to my defeat.
Visually, Dream of Pixels is very whimsical, and it looks great. It has a colorful art style, and it keeps you interested while ripping through the puzzles in the game. As for audio, it’s a kind of mixed bag. The music did not blow me away, and it actually feels somewhat boring during a good portion of the game. That said, the sound effects are quite good, and when you clear a line, it feels epic every time.
Overall, this is a great puzzle game. It doesn’t necessarily rewrite the book on puzzle games, but all in all, it’s a solid package that is well worth a look if you are into the genre; especially Tetris-like puzzlers.
Dream of Pixels is available for $.99 on iPhone and iPad. Get it on the App Store.