December 17, 2007

Idea: Tetris one brick at a time

Wikipedia lists dozens of variations on Tetris. I’ve played several of them, and still like the original version best. But I recently thought of a variation I haven’t seen before. It’s like a cross between Tetris and “Bubble Breaker” style games.

In this version of Tetris, which I call “Montris,” there are no falling tetrominoes (the shapes made up of 4 bricks that you’re familiar with in Tetris), and there is nothing to rotate. The shapes just drop one brick at a time, and it’s up to you to create tetrominoes when they land. When you create a tetromino, it disappears. Your goal isn’t to clear entire rows of bricks. You just clear tetrominoes. When you clear one and the bricks above it fall, this may create other tetrominoes that clear creating a chain-reaction. So thinking ahead is important.

If you drop a brick where it could potentially create more than one tetromino, you have to decide which tetromino to clear. See the animated example above for an illustration of how this could work.

Dropping one brick at a time means the well would take a long time to fill up, so there should be some other variation that keeps the game exciting. Maybe it’s as simple as a narrowing the playing field to only 5 or 6 bricks wide? Or maybe gameplay speeds up very quickly. Or maybe the next brick starts dropping when the current one is only half-way down.

One of these days, I’m going to learn enough about programming to be able to actually try my ideas.

(I call it “Montris” because it combines “mono” and “tetris.” Also, the word “montris” in Esperanto means “to show” in the past tense. That’s not really relevant, but now you know a word in Esperanto.)


Wow, this is a great idea… wish I could help you create it, but I have no idea how to create a game.

A simple game like this is a great excuse to learn a lot about a programming language. I think you could do this in a day if you were motivated.

This sounds like a really cool reversal.

A few ideas:

larger numbers of colors for difficulty

pairs of blocks perhaps, although that detracts from the game’s beauty (and increases difficulty by a huge amount, especially on small widths)

If you don’t mind, I’d like to implement this on my upcoming games site - pure javascript+css+xhtml, for maximal compatibility.

I’ve been wanting to learn Python lately… maybe I’ll give this idea a shot. If I do implement it, I’ll be sure to let you know.

I suspect that you came up with this whole game idea a ruse, just to promote the Esperanto agenda.

Hexic is a lot like this. It was even created by Alexei Pajitnov, creator of Tetris.

Great idea.

Tetromino colors in Tetris are standard (every game branded “Tetris” must follow it) since 2000 (or 2001) — eg Z-shape is red. Player could get bonus points for building a shape in its color.

Quibble: Never ever punish the player for doing better than expected. Breaking the flow, like forcing him to choose which shape should disappear is a kind of punishment. In your example there are 3 tetrominoes to choose from, so give the player points for all three of them.

I don’t understand what would stop one from continuously maybe long stick tetris pieces all sticking up on their ends… maybe you’ll need obstacle blocks?

I’m gonna make constant rows of sticks standing up. Neverending tetrises (sp?)

Easy games rock!

If you make more bricks at once you should get bonus points. Like in Klax when you make a four-in-a-row or a three-in-a-row in multiple directions, etc.

And as others have shown, vertical straights should not count.

A game very similar to what you describe already exists:

Back in the 90s, there was a version for the Mac called Skittles, and there’s the unix xpuyopuyo

The big difference with these is that they drop thingies in pairs, not singles, and that, along with some other obstructions, creates an appropriate level of difficulty.

There’s another similar one called Emeraldia, though it requires another level of interaction before the blocks disappear, and the arrangements can be quite irregular (as long as they are touching).

Sounds similar to one of my favorite games from Capcom, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo.

That’s kind of a neat reversal. I think I could program this. I’ll let you know if I do.

I agree that if there’s two possible blocks, it should remove both. But what to do to prevent people from just doing vertical straight blocks? Maybe tie blocks into colour. Maybe make it so you get no points for the same block twice in a row, and need one of each type of block to finish the level.

This is a great game idea! (And nothing like these other games that have been mentioned here already.) As far as I know, there is not a Tetris game like this one.

I had a similar idea about a year ago, and actually went to the trouble of learning ActionScript to program it in flash. (You can play my idea at ActionScript is not terribly hard to learn, and there are lots of resources out there. Harder, of course, is finding the time for a big project like this. And don’t believe anyone who says you could do this in a day. Maybe someone could do it in a day, but it’d be crap.

If you ever actually got the kinks ironed out and made this, I would so play it! Looks like fun!

Actually this was one of my favourite games when I was little. So - sorry - you’re probably not the first one who got the idea:) Too bad I don’t remember the name, but mayhaps the floppy is still on a shelf somewhere…;)