You remember Tetris, right? That 1980s classic where you get rained on by odd shaped blocks against the clock? Of course you do. Well, what if all those blocks were trapped on a brightly coloured island with only stars for company? If you can imagine that scenario, you’re not too far off understanding the concept behind TETRA’s escape.
And an interesting concept it is for a puzzle game too. The premise is this. You control little squares/ cubes with legs, called Tetras. To free them from their strikingly drawn prison, one of the Tetras on any given level must reach the portal at the end. Said gateway is always visible from the start; it’s just a matter of actually getting to it. Your biggest issue from the start is that Tetras can navigate levels only in very small steps and jumps.
To aid you with your lack of mobility, you are joined by slightly more complicated Tetras call Tetrominos (keep up!) As well a basic movement, these guys can transform themselves into different shapes. Each of these is instantly recognisable (from your nightmares) in chasing that impossible high score in the original Tetris. Choose a position, lock your Tetronimo(s) in place andm with good planningm one of the titular characters will have a path to level’s end.
There are a few complexities of course. You begin the level with only a certain number of Tetras and once you lock a Tetra into it’s Tetronimo form you can’t change it back – it’s lost to you on that level completely. Also, not all Tetras change into every different form, so picking and choosing when to use which shape is key.
Don’t expect any of the panic associated with a game of Tetris. This is a sedate affair; allowing you to think about each level before committing to any moves and an infinite number of instant restarts. World 1 eases you in but, even as early as World 2, you’ll be scratching your head for a solution and calling your significant other over for help.
And they’ll be happy to come over to the screen to assist. Tetra’s escape is easy on the eye and the worlds are laid out like Super Mario on the Nintendo DS. There are a few visual glitches noticable at this stage, with that said. In game, everything looks as it should. But, while navigating the menus and level select screen everything takes on a little bit of a blur; like you’re looking at a photograph that’s just out of focus. The culprit here is most likely graphics designed for a mobile title that don’t upscale as well as the developer’s would have liked.
For the completionists among us, each stage has the traditional 3 stars to collect. Beyond that, once the stars have been hoovered up, a little trophy appears to be gathered. This is where Tetra’s Escape will take hold in your mind. You’ll finally have found a solution to a level which just manages to get your one remaining Tetra to the portal. Then the trophy will apear on the other side of the map and you’ll be one step away from perfection again.