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The classic game: Slydris

The thinking person’s well-based puzzler

In this entry in our series on classic iPhone games, it’s time for a block party, with a superb spin (well, slide) on a much-loved action-puzzler.

Slydris for iPad, in 2012.

Slydris for iPad, in 2012.

What was Slydris?

A block-falling puzzler akin to Tetris, but refined for mobile – and with enough new ideas to stop lawyers hammering down the developer’s door. The main change was to make the game turn-based, which, to be fair, was a pretty big change.

During each turn, blocks hovered at the top of the well, and you chose which one to drag horizontally into whatever space was beside it. (Blocks could not be dragged through others.) Gravity would then do its thing. If you’d smartly positioned your blocks, complete lines would form and be destroyed. If not and you’d arrived at a point where no more blocks could fall, the game ended.

Slydris for iPhone, in 2023.

Slydris for iPhone, in 2023.

Why was it a classic?

The turn-based element was revolutionary. Official Tetris games for iPhone had been miserable, due to the iPhone lacking tactile controls. With Slydris, dexterity was no longer the core of the game – strategy was.

Beyond that, plenty of thought went into the finer details of how Slydris functioned. It encouraged you to think ahead and set up satisfying explosive chains that racked up high scores. Hazards like fixed, rising and shatter blocks shook things up as you played.

The app wisely catered for the widest range of players too, with its additional no-lose zen mode, and also an intense timer-based survival mode that periodically dumped huge piles of blocks on to the screen.

Slydris 2 for iPhone.

Where is it now?

Although not updated in a couple of years, Slydris remains on the App Store, works on modern devices, and remains compelling. Also check out sequel Slydris 2, which has many refinements, including more shape variation, and is better optimized for modern iPhones.

Visit the Radiangames website, or grab Slydris ($1.99/£1.99) and Slydris 2 ($2.99/£2.99) from the App Store.