What do you get when you take the word 'TETRIS' and read it backwards? You get 'SIRTET'. Now, what happens when you reverse the gameplay found in TETRIS of placing blocks in the right way to earn points and post a high score? Again, you get 'SIRTET'. SIRTET is a game that was created in just 48 hours as part of the Ludum Dare game competition and now, it's landed on Android. The game is a reverse TETRIS of sorts, as instead of arranging falling blocks in a blank window, you need to draw the shapes you're asked by coloring in blocks. Similarly to TETRIS, you can clear entire lines to get more points and you're told which block to draw next and the one after that. With SIRTET asking you to create the field by drawing the shapes, it feels like there's a little more strategy to SIRTET. Read on to see what I thought of it.
To get started, all you need to do is to download the game from the Play Store, or take a look at the Ludum Dare post here. Once you have the game installed, just go ahead and launch it. You'll be thrown in at the deep end with no introduction, but it's easy to figure out.
Like I said above, the aim of SIRTET is to draw the shapes that you're told to draw. To acquire the most points and to keep on going for longer, you should try to use all the squares in a single line or row. Here, I've been asked to draw a line piece.
So, you can see that I've drawn the line piece and the squares have been removed. The game continues in this vane until you have no moves left, just like TETRIS. This is where the strategy comes in; squares won't regenerate unless you use a full line or row. As such, it can become pretty difficult to keep things going, but with a little forward thinking you can make it happen.
When you can no longer make any moves, you're given a "Game Over" announcement in the top-right corner, and you can no longer continue.
I've long been a big fan of TETRIS, and I remember the original Game Boy game well, in fact I still have an original cart around here somewhere. The thing with TETRIS however, is that over the years EA has diluted the game and tried their very best to turn it into all sorts of different games. Often, the clones are much more authentic experience. SIRTET on the other hand is neither a clone nor a rehash, instead it flips the classic formula on its head to create something fresh and different. Drawing the shapes yourself gives the game a new level of strategy and you have to think a little harder about where you're going to draw your pieces. It's not just enough to randomly plump pieces on the board and hope for the best, you have to really think of the right place to put your pieces to keep regenerating new squares and give you room for certain types of pieces. It's a fun game, and while it's certainly simplistic it's hard to think of a game developed in 48 hours that wouldn't be somewhat simplistic.
- Speed (4/5) – The game ran fine on my Xperia Z2 and it ran quickly, too.
- Features (4/5) – While undoubtedly a simple game, the gameplay here is fun and taking TETRIS and flipping it upside down results in a pleasant result.
- Theme (3/5) – While not an ugly game, it's clear that there's work to be done here as the overall presentation is a little rough around the edges.
- Overall (4/5) For a game that was created in just 48 hours, SIRTET is an impressive effort and one that's not only a lot of fun to play, but one that could get a lot better with some more work.
- Simple and easy to play, without feeling like a basic game.
- TETRIS fans finally have something new to play that isn't another silly game mode from EA.
- Fun take on an old classic that really makes you think where to place your next piece.
- Marathon mode keeps on pushing people to beat their previous high score.
- Even though it was made in just 48 hours it does need some polish.
- An interactive tutorial might be a nice touch as well.
At the end of the day, SIRTET is a simple, yet fun puzzle game similar to TETRIS. It borrows mechanics that many will be familiar with, but it turns them on their head to deliver something fresh. I enjoyed drawing the pieces as it gave me some more control over things and i felt there was a definite strategy to the game that just isn't there in original TETRIS. This was created in just 48 hours, imagine what could be done with a few weeks of development? Then we might have a truly excellent puzzle game on our hands.