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Draw that pesky "L" just when you need it.
Tetris for the iPhone and iPod touch carefully stays true to its iron roots, while innovating enough to feel built for Apple's tactile platform. Finger swipes steer those rapidly falling blocks, and you need to assemble complete horizontal lines to make them disappear. The craft and care put into this version makes it easy to recommend to any puzzle player.
Instead of trying to touch the blocks directly, you can swipe anywhere on the screen. A quick flick down slams the piece into place if a level's gravity isn't quick enough. And taps to the left- and right- side of the screen rotate counter-clockwise and clockwise, respectively. We were pulled in by the game's attention to detail; pieces make an audible click when moved, helping identify their position. The click sound even makes slightly different pitches when signaling a left or right push.
The Marathon game mode is like most previous versions of Tetris, speeding up slightly as you progress. But the iPhone-first Magic mode almost perfectly matches the touchscreen. You'll earn power-ups after clearing enough lines in Magic games. These temporarily pause the action to twist the moment. You can turn the whole board into bubble-wrap, tapping the screen to pop pieces for a few seconds; a vice tool compresses pieces into a single square with a pinch gesture; and bombs and an earthquake-like bonus shatter the board with screen-shaking. In our favorite, we drew the shape of the next piece we wanted, calling out any of the standard blocks instantly.With fingers all over the screen, the action occasionally becomes obscured, and lefties will accidentally activate those power-ups. But most of the time, well-planned controls make Tetris feel new again.
REQUIREMENTS: iPhone or iPod touch with 2.0 Software Update
Effective controls built around the iPhone. Magic mode adds iPhone-centric extras. Catchy graphics are bold and clear.
Two modes of play still can grow repetitive. Can’t swap the next-piece or power-up icons to opposite side of the screen.