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Neonimo – real-time Tetris-inspired strategy

This complex and tactical turn-based competitive game can be a lot of fun

Price: $3/£3
Version: 1.0.4
Size: 67.2 MB
Seller: Chris Williams
Platform: iPhone & iPad


Neonimo could be called “Tetris reimagined.” The new title takes the essence of what we know and love about Tetris and updates it – adding turn-based competitive gameplay, weapons, special powers, and more. It all sounds great on paper – and could even be a lot of fun. But should you mess with a classic gaming formula? Let’s find out.

The aim in Neonimo is to build a path from your base to your opponent’s, across a large, square grid. The game borrows a lot from Tetris – you use Tetris-style shapes to build your path, and you often have to slot pieces together to navigate the board. The game also has a neon retro aesthetic, which includes an electronic soundtrack that oozes 80s Tetris vibes.

Building a path.

The pieces you get are randomly released on a rolling basis. In order to place them on the board, you need energy; one piece of energy is released every so often for each player. As such, the gameplay is staggered; you’re forced to be tactical, as you can only place one piece every few seconds. Turns on a timer.

Tactical gameplay.

An attack ability also recharges in the game – this lets you sever your opponent’s path, cutting them off from reaching your base and forcing them to forge a new route.

Then there are Neonimo’s economic buildings. This is where the game borrows from abstract city builders and real-time strategy titles. First, you can create a power generator by placing two four-by-four squares next to one another on the board. This boosts your energy production, letting you place shapes at a faster rate.

An energy generator.

It’s also possible to claim neutral buildings that are already on the board by connecting your path to them. These grant various perks, such as a 15% supply increase or an energy boost, and could be a real game-changer for you – or your opponent.

What emerges from all this is a tactical race to get to your opponent’s base while capturing buildings, severing paths, and creating power stations to maximize your energy production. And you know what? It can be a lot of fun – especially when playing against a friend who’s sat across from you, on the other side of your iPad.

The disappointment with Neonimo involves gameplay on iPhone. Because the game uses a square grid for its game board, there’s a lot of dead space at the top and bottom of the iPhone app’s screen. Everything else has to be shrunk down to fit in the smaller space, making icons and neutral buildings really hard to read.

It all feels a bit cramped, and so Neonimo is a game we’d only fully recommend if you can play it on an iPad.

Neonimo on iPhone.

Aside from that, Neonimo is a lot of fun. There are five different gameplay modes where you take on AI opponents in different scenarios and with increasing levels of difficulty. And as mentioned, you can challenge a friend or family member to play locally, too. Unfortunately, online play isn’t available yet. It’d be great to see this added in a future release.

Different game modes.

So for fans of Tetris and/or strategy games looking for something new to try, Neonimo could be worth its $3 price-tag – but only if you have an iPad at home.