Triptych is a great falling blocks game from Chronic Logic. If you think coding another Tetris clone is an unworthy pursuit for a designer of such original games as Pontifex and Bridge Builder, rest assured: this is not your typical Tetris clone. |
While the game on the surface looks just like Tetris except with three blocks instead of four at a time, the gameplay is refreshingly original and unique. Your job is still to move and rotate blocks as they fall to make blocks of the same color disappear, but there are significant differences. The best way to describe the game is to think of how Tetris would behave if they were subject to realistic physics, including gravity and inertia. That’s right: in Triptych falling blocks bounce off the floor and each other. This means that you cannot simply align blocks of the same color with others to make them disappear, since blocks don’t automatically “stick” to other blocks when they are aligned. You can end up with a pile of blocks haphazardly placed on top of each other at all kinds of angles (as shown in the screenshot) instead of neatly aligned rows you are accustomed to in Tetris.
Naturally, the strong dose of realism in gameplay dictates some necessary changes, since the game would probably be far too difficult if your objective were to align whole rows of same-color blocks. Instead, all you need is to make 3 blocks of the same color touch each other to “energize” them. Energized blocks that are on the ground (i.e. not part of 3-block group you are moving) will disappear, while energized blocks you control will remain energized for a few more seconds, giving you the chance to energize other blocks of the same color. In addition to regular gameplay, there are “special” blocks that you’ll come across at higher levels, and special bonuses to collect.
Making a Tetris game that obeys the law of physics is one of those very cool ideas that aren’t obvious, but has a high “a-ha! Why didn’t I think of this before?” factor. That the idea occurred to the designer of Pontifex, one of the most unique games ever made, is only fitting. Whether or not you like Tetris, you owe it to yourself to try one of the most fun shareware games to come along in some time. The registered version costs only $14.95, and gives you unlimited play past level 3, activate expert level and high scores table, and removes the delay at start-up screen. Two thumbs up, way up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs