Slydris 2 obviously stands on the shoulders of the puzzle game giant that is Tetris. But it does its best work around the shins.
One of the most excruciatingly annoying things about Tetris is when you leave whopping great gaps in the lower grid. Mistakes made with the foundation of your block stack serve to constrict and spoil the rest of your game.
Slydris 2 gives you the power to correct those mistakes, and forms one of the best mobile matching games of recent times into the bargain.
Falling like tetrominosTetrominos drop into a tall, narrow playing field. You must shuffle those shapes them side to side in order to stack them neatly and form solid rows of blocks, which then disappear.
Yep, Slydris 2 follows the Tetris playbook alright. But it pretty swiftly starts messing with it, and to fascinating effect.
For starters, you can't rotate those tetrominos, only move them laterally. In fact, they drop in twos, and you can only shift one block per turn.
Ah yes, turns. Slydris 2 abandons the real time panic of Tetris in favour of a more considered turn-based approach. It's a far more tactical, cerebral affair as a result.
Southern blockBut the key twist here is that you can choose to move more or less any block from side to side. Even those blocks that have already settled on the grid.
This quite literally adds a whole new dimension to play. Your stack might be nearing the top of the screen and a game over state, when a small adjustment towards the base causes the whole lot to collapse in one glorious combo chain.
Needless to say, it feels absolutely glorious when you engineer/chance upon such a scenario.
There are special blocks too, which will take out additional clusters in various configurations, or else stay stubbornly still and force you to work around them. Negotiating each micro-challenge feels like a further triumph.
Back slidingSlydris 2 exists for these euphoric moments, and it doesn't concern itself with the flash and pageantry of modern mobile gaming. There are no cute characters or loot box drops here.
You can change the colour of its Tron-like retro blocks, and minimalist electronica track you want to listen to. That's about it.
All in all, Slydris 2 feels like a glorious portable gaming throwback, both to the early days of smartphone gaming and beyond that to time when stacking little monochrome blocks on our Game Boys was all some of us wanted to do.