Game Over Online ~ Tronix

GameOver Game Reviews - Tronix (c) Soft Agency, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Tronix (c) Soft Agency
System Requirements Pocket PC
Overall Rating 74%
Date Published Friday, November 30th, 2001 at 05:20 PM

Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

Tetris is one of those games that nearly everyone has had a chance of playing. It's so ubiquitous that it has gone on to nearly every platform including cell phones and handhelds. Its appeal is timeless. Though Tetris' Russian creator, Alexey Pajitnov, has gone on to develop more puzzle titles, like Pandora's Box for Microsoft, there simply are no other creations of his that can compare to the impact Tetris has had. It is one of the most popular titles on the Nintendo Game Boy, for example, and arguably helped in selling the Game Boy directly.

Like Tetris, Tronix is based on the same principle as well. It involves assembling pre-defined shapes together in order to create neat and tidy rows. At first glance, Tronix appears to be an exact clone of Tetris and this in itself is not bad. Like I mentioned before, Tetris' appeal is and continues to be timeless. Tronix introduces the concept of certain circular balls that descend in ones, twos, or threes in their own set of shapes. These special balls fall through the existing Tetris-style blocks. Ideally, they help you fill in the gaps, so say you have a row that is missing one block at the very bottom of your playing board then a timely release of a ball will put you back on your feet. On the other hand, the balls can come in specific formations and on the way down; they can break up, leaving you to control where the rest of the balls will land. This can have detrimental effects to your plan if your balls start filling the wrong holes or seed themselves in unfavourable positions.

With that said, Tronix is not exactly a radical clone from the Tetris paradigm. Some additions the developers have added included choosing various colour schemes for the Tetris blocks. However, there is not much in the way of options beyond that. For example, you can't set a starting level. One of the reasons why Tetrinet, a PC multiplayer version of Tetris, sustained itself so long was because it could rely on theme packs and of course, the thrill of playing someone else. These functions could add a lot more value to Tronix but are missing from this rendition.

One of the things that brought the Game Boy version into popular limelight is undoubtedly the memorable soundtrack. There were only three tracks but those who have spent any amount of time with the Game Boy copy will be able to hum to its tune. Mysteriously, Tronix is almost devoid of sound. Considering the Game Boy did not have a full digital sound synthesizer, it is a bit disconcerting that Tronix is all but mute. So for now, the best soundtrack is probably an MP3 or WMA in your Windows Media Player.

Altogether, Tronix is a clone of Tetris but not a radical departure from the game. Its small size and cheap entry price will buy you, basically, a solid version of Tetris. The lack of any expandability and limited options won't attract those looking for more though. Puzzle fans who enjoy twists and turns to canonical motifs will undoubtedly be a bit disappointed.

[07/10] Addictiveness
[14/20] Gameplay
[11/15] Graphics
[07/10] Interface/controls
[09/10] Program Size
[01/05] Sound
[05/05] Discreetness
[13/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer


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