SETTRIS Review

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You are either going to ‘get’ SETTRIS from the start, powering through the eighty levels it brings to the table. Or you’re going to struggle big time, resorting to an online guide to walk you through. And it’s that which may well dictate how this one goes down. 

SETTRIS takes the age-old Tetris formula and flips it on its head a little, taking us under the waves (there’s a sea theme going on here, but don’t ask us why!) in hope of populating play areas with delightful little Tetriminoes and the like. It never shifts from that idea either, throwing no less than eighty levels your way, tasking you with completion of each in order to move onto the next. 

SETTRIS review 1
SETTRIS starts off easy

There’s no time limit to worry about in SETTRIS’ Stage mode either. This means you can take your own sweet time, grabbing pieces, spinning them this way and that, flipping them in order to fill every last playspace. Do so, get everything lined up neatly, and you’ll see yourself as some kind of SETTRIS god, powering through the stages in place. 

A decent level of spatial awareness is key with this one. We’ve found that we’re pretty good at these kind of games, and that has rubbed off on the younger ones in our house; our daughter can grab the controller and chuck Tetrominoes down without a care in the world, completing levels with ease. But other members of the household have struggled; left to be frustrated by SETTRIS and its ‘stupid’ nature – their words as they threw the controller down and left the room. 

Come to this as a simple little game that will help you while away an evening or two, and you’ll find a smattering of joy. Expect more, and SETTRIS will fail you, unable to ever really shift up from the ‘stick those blocks down and hope’ formula it employs. Admittedly, a few of the stages mix things up a teeny tiny bit by placing coloured squares that only specific blocks can sit on, but these are very few and far between. Honestly, we’d have loved for this slight change in mechanic to have been the start of a whole new outlook that SETTRIS was taking, building it into latter levels more and more. But alas; that idea is gone in an instant. 

Instead it’s the shape, feel and size of each play area that brings some variety – that and the different blocks you are left to work with in each stage. With many levels completable in a number of ways, there’s no real hard and fast ruling to how each should be approached either. We’ve found that we prefer to start slotting bigger pieces – squares, a cross, a stepped piece and the like – in first, working smaller pieces in and around them and any ‘blockers’. You’ll find your own way of completion though. 

SETTRIS review 2
Work around those blockers

Yet at points, SETTRIS gets seemingly easier. We’ll pick out some stages around the mid-40’s mark which have so many solid, immovable blocks in place initially, that any variations on the solved puzzle are minimal at best. When you’ve got multiple single-block pieces and a similar number of single-block spaces to slot them into, any test of the brain goes out the window. 

With each block running a variety of colours, it’s fairly simple to grab, rotate and place items anywhere you see fit. But perhaps a color-blind or more accessible mode would allow SETTRIS to be enjoyed (if enjoyed is the word for you) by more. It is what it is though – a cheap, easy-to-grab little game that will be done in a few hours tops. 

And whilst we’ve found SETTRIS to be reasonably easy to work through, the odd stage has seen us go about utilising the power of Google and the skills of others. It’s here where we’d have preferred the opportunity to skip stages, moving on to others with intentions of going back to trickier ones when more time – and maybe patience – allows. This is a very linear puzzling journey though, one that takes you from Level 1 to Level 80 with no fuss nor bother. 

Make progress and SETTRIS also offers up an extremely limited Time Attack option, doing away with the laid back nature of the Stage Mode. That Time Attack Mode may help extend the gameplay a little, but not by much. See, it tasks you with completing as many puzzles as possible across a five minute time limit, and there’s not really too much about it aside from that. Once you’ve placed on the leaderboards for 3-piece, 4-piece and 5-piece Time Attack puzzles, we don’t think you’ll ever be found going back again. 

SETTRIS review 3
All clear!

It’s also a game that happily chucks the achievements and Gamerscore your way. Every four levels or so will see a ping of the achievement system, adding to your monthly Gamerscore leaderboard as you go. That is until Level 60 when all 2000G (yes, 2000 Gamerscore on offer from Day One) will have been obtained. Reasons for moving on beyond that and through to the bitter end? Well, you’re going to have to muster up your own willingness there. Just make sure you switch the volume down if you do – the backing tunes of SETTRIS are enough to drive anyone mad. 

We didn’t expect much of SETTRIS and not much is exactly what we have got. If you’re spatially aware in terms of visual puzzling, then crack on and make your way through the eighty levels in place here, enjoying the ping of the achievements as you go. If not, this could well be one that turns you away from the get-go. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • 80 levels is decent value
  • If it clicks, a couple of hours of fun
Cons:
  • If it doesn’t click…
  • Time Attack is wasted
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Release date and price - 22 November 2023 | £4.19
Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>80 levels is decent value</li> <li>If it clicks, a couple of hours of fun</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>If it doesn’t click…</li> <li>Time Attack is wasted</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Eastasiasoft</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC <li>Release date and price - 22 November 2023 | £4.19</li> </ul>SETTRIS Review
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