Five years ago, the likelihood of finding a game that can be best described as 'backwards inverted Tetris with a watercolour style and dreamy ambience' on a mainstream gaming device would have been minimal at best.
But such are the changes brought about by the smartphone revolution that most people will barely bat an eyelid when reading that description of Dream of Pixels.
And while it may sound a little complicated, the end result is actually an engaging, and at times fraught, little puzzler.I dream of game genie
Dream of Pixels is all about cutting shapes from a larger whole that's constantly sliding down the screen. These shapes take the form of the famous tetrominoes, and for every row of the larger shape you cut away you're awarded points. Of course, the danger is that your excavations will lead to other blocks becoming stranded.
Luckily, every time you clear a row any blocks that have escaped from the main shape due to your slicing move up a line. If any of these stray shapes disappear off the bottom of the screen then it's Game Over.
It's entirely possible to spend a couple of minutes dragging yourself back from the brink of destruction by tapping away lines as a single block flirts with oblivion at the bottom of the screen. Glowing white shapes appear occasionally, and matching these with the correct tetromino gives you a points boost.
There are four modes to play through. Pro, Nightmare, and Shattered Dream are all variations of Classic, increasing the difficulty of the game with each step. Puzzle sees you given a set number of shapes to clear an image and offers a more sedate experience.Peaceful slumber
There's certainly plenty of content in Dream of Pixels, and the gorgeous art style, with its puffs and swirls of smoke and ever-changing vista of pastel colours, is an absolute joy to behold. Coupled with a fittingly trance-y soundtrack, every aspect of the package is polished and poised.
There are little niggles of frustration sometimes, and to begin with the positions you're allowed to put blocks in can seem a little unusual. But persevere and you'll find a wonderful, warm, and incredibly addictive puzzling experience.