App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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I was one of those kids who played a lot of Tetris. I mean a lot. So much that I dreamt of falling blocks and line clearing for a while. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising to know that I’ve since gotten rather burned out on the whole thing. Then a game like Dream of Pixels comes out and starts the whole cycle all over again.
The way I’ve been describing Dream of Pixels to everyone I’ve been recommending it to - and it’s been quite a few people - is “similar to Tetris.” Or rather, “It’s Tetris, but upside-down and backwards.” Rather than slotting together blocks that fall from the top of the screen and clearing multiple lines in order to keep from wiping out, players have to remove pieces from a large mass that slowly creeps toward the bottom of the screen. At least, that’s how the main game works. There are several other variants that can be unlocked that are just as habit forming.
Dream of Pixels is one of those puzzle games that’s simply awesome. The core mode goes on and on until there are too many mistakes, and the longer a player can last the better the chances of them unlocking more modes. Granted I’ve yet to unlock the last three variations (Pro, Nightmare, and Shattered Dream) because the main game can get pretty crazy, but I have unlocked Puzzle. Puzzle Mode is practically another game in itself and quite possibly even better than Classic. In this variation there are no time limits but rather blocky images that need to be deconstructed. A specific set of pieces is available in a particular order and the goal is to strategically remove each one in order until the image is gone. It’s kind of like Picross, also backwards.
And yet, with all this awesome Dream of Pixels has two major drawbacks. First, the controls for lining up pieces (dragging) are a bit finicky and can occasionally lead to a few missed opportunities and flubbed withdrawals.
The second and far bigger problem is that any play session of any game type almost always results in a staggering amount of lost time. Seriously, this game is a menace to subway commuters with any intention of getting off at a particular stop.
It’s amazing how fresh a classic puzzle game can feel with a little change in perspective. Dream of Pixels successfully revitalizes one of the most popular styles of puzzle, turns it on its head, and changes the rules while still keeping everything familiar. The sheer addictiveness is more than enough to warrant a purchase but the wealth of bonus modes (especially Puzzle) make it a no-brainer.