Blocks Up iPhone app, by developer AppTouch, is the kind of Tetris clone we like to see for the iPhone. The title brings enough innovation to keep the ball rolling, but yet still serves as an homage back to everyone’s favorite falling brick puzzler. The game isn’t perfect—we might have liked to see even a bit more innovation—but at the end of the day, it’s a stellar attempt by a fresh developer. If you’re a fan of the genre and the original arcade classic, Blocks Up is a must-have, and we invite you to read our iPhone app review..
Concept and Gameplay
As mentioned, Blocks Up bears a lot of resemblance to the classic arcade title Tetris. Both games have players rotating falling blocks into congruent piles along the end of a tract. When rows are completed via the falling pieces, the bricks are knocked out, returning a point value. It’s the same gameplay you know and love, and Blocks Up even uses the same pieces. This isn’t a bad thing, however, especially as the app manages to mix things up with some unique additions. That being said, this is certainly a Tetris derivative, and if you’re looking for a totally unique puzzler iPhone app, you’ll come away disappointed.
There’s no timer in Blocks Up, as there are in a few other Tetris variants. However, we can’t entirely say we miss having one, especially with the app’s other improvements. Primarily, Blocks Up has the geometry-based pieces falling upward, rather than down. This seems like a small change, but it actually makes the concept a slight bit harder. The developers have also included various barriers, as well as a line limit and other restrictions, that must be contended with to complete each level. Oh, and the game also includes levels—thought we’d mention that! There is an “Endless” mode for the Tetris die-hard, but mostly Blocks Up has the player attempting to meet certain guidelines or goals. It’s a fun twist, and one that’s entirely appreciated.
Graphics and Layout
The graphics themselves are righteously retro, offering a pastel-toned look at a classic game through the iPhone’s Retina display. The music is a bit irritating (At least to our ears!) but it also fits the 1980’s feel quite nicely. We greatly appreciated the fact that the game board is lined, as this makes it infinitely easier to keep an eye on falling pieces. However, we aren’t so big a fan of the app’s touch controls: The touch sensitivity is often quite picky, meaning we frequently sent a piece careening to a section of the board on accident.
For the dollar Blocks Up costs, users can enjoy one of the slickest Tetris clones currently available on the iPhone. It’s not a flawless package, but it’s one that looks great, performs engagingly, and brings enough fresh innovation to be relevant.
Blocks Up requires iOS 3.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app reviews rating: