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Inspired by Tetris – more great block-dropping games

With the release of the new Tetris movie on Apple TV+, which retells the unlikely tale of how the most popular game ever made came to be, we thought we’d pay our own iOS-based tribute.

Without Tetris, mobile gaming as we know it would look very different indeed – and perhaps significantly less popular.

Here are four iPhone games that owe a direct debt to Alexey Pajitnov and his addictive 1984 classic.

Tetris [Free]

Let’s start with the source material – or rather, the iOS game that currently wears the Tetris name. While it might have gotten a lot more colorful since 1984, this is still the same game at heart.

You know the score: simple four-block shapes called Tetrominoes drop from the sky, and it’s up to you to rotate, shuffle, and slot them tightly into place, forming horizontal lines. Gaming wouldn’t be the same without it.

Slydris 2 [$2.99/£2.99]

As the hat-tipping name suggests, Slydris owes a great deal to the core mechanics of Tetris. Once again you’re sorting out dropping clusters of blocks and forming horizontal lines.

But the action here is turn-based, you can no longer rotate tetronimoes, and you can adjust blocks lower down in the settled pile. With these three key twists (plus the addition of special blocks), Slydris becomes an excitingly cerebral twist on Tetris. Slydris is considered such an iOS classic, we’ve written about it extensively.

Six! [Free]

Tetris is all very clever, but it requires a certain amount of concentration and brain power to play. Six! does not. It’s a familiar-looking block dropper that trades in strategy for physics-based mayhem, and it’s a riot.

In truth closer to Jenga than it is to Tetris, the game sees you delicately taking apart a tottering tower of blocks, one component at a time. The aim is to steadily lower a precariously perched shape without bringing the whole tower down in a heap.

Puzzlejuice [Free]

‘Tetris with words’ is the simple premise of Puzzlejuice, though in practice it’s far from easy. The idea is to form rows by stacking falling blocks, just like the great game itself. The twist is that those rows will then turn into word jumbles, which must be solved in order to erase them.

Add in a color-matching component, and you have the puzzler equivalent of patting your head whilst rubbing your tummy. It’s a brain tickler, alright, and a full-on escalation of the original Tetris concept.