Developer: Randall Li
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5s

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Tetris is perhaps one of the classic staples when it comes to talking about arcade games. It’s a game that has ultimately stood the test of time; not only for its simplicity but also its overall appeal, which appears to span the generations. Having been played by most in some form or another, one probably hasn’t encountered it in the form Randall Li’s Sirtet presents it.

photo 1photo 2Strictly speaking, Sirtet is not Tetris. That’s because the game instead reverses the normal aim with which players are likely familiar. Instead of starting out with an almost empty playing board and having to decide where the falling tetrominos will land next, Sirtet challenges players to find these tetrominos within a manually-controlled block of colored rows.

Aiming to connect up to 4 blocks of the same color in order to form the shapes of the original tetrominos seen in the classic arcade game, Sirtet is not a race but rather a logic drive to eventually clear the board. The game is set out on the same type of board that players would expect to see when eyeball-deep into a game of Tetris; the difference being that they can choose to insert rows from either side of the board in order to create more blocks for the formation of those needed tetrominos. Blocks are inserted by way of dragging either of the two eyedropper-shaped dispensers above or below the row players want to inject them into, and blocks contained in any one row can be seen prior to injecting them into the game board.

photo 3photo 5Once players feel they have enough rows on the board, it’s just a case of finding those hidden tetrominos. Tapping and dragging on top of blocks will connect them – and once they have successfully found a tetromino, it will disappear to make way for new blocks and rows. Described as featuring a “completely player-driven pace,” if they’re not careful, players will soon fill up Sirtet‘s board – causing it to overflow and losing the game.

I must say that while the overall visual presentation of Sirtet could do with some work – especially on the menu screen – it turned out to be quite fun. Some might argue that the lack of a forced pace is cause for diluted replay, but I would disagree in this specific case. Sirtet appears to know its intended audience, and that age-spanning crowd is sure to appreciate this unique and simple twist on a true arcade classic.

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