Radiangames today released their Quadtastic Launch Collection for $11.99. The collection includes updated version of Xbox Live Indie Games Ballistic and Fireball as well as Inferno+which is an expanded and remixed version of the original Inferno. What really jumped out at me though it the all new title Slydris. It is the first puzzle game Radiangames has released and that intrigued me from a company that normally does shooters and action titles. The core game play area is a lot like Tetris (as you probably guessed from the name) with blocks falling from the top and the goal of clearing lines from the screen. Beyond this though the similarities end. The blocks are all flat lines that are 1 to 3 sections long. Late in the game there are a few 4 wide blocks but those are not seen very often. Each turn you have the option to move either one of the blocks that are about to drop or any block in the play field. There is no time limit so you can take your time and pick your moves carefully. Later in the levels you start to get a few special block types that make things tricky but I actually enjoy the extra challenge these bring. To help you also fill up a 3 Level Bomb which you can use to clear 3 lines of the board. Don’t forget you use these because they can be a real game saver.
There are 3 game modes in Slydris: Infinite, Survival and Zen. Infinite is your standard game mode where the pieces drop after each move and if you fill the screen you lose. In Survival mode you have the added pressure of only getting 10 seconds to make each move. This makes things pretty tense as you have to constantly be surveying the board for the best move as quick as possible. Zen mode is on the other end of the spectrum where not only do you have no time limit but if the screen fills up the game does not end. Instead it just stops adding lines until there is more room for them to fall in. Because of this Zen mode is a great way to learn how to play. I also love to jump into Zen mode when I’m stuck on a conference call and have to be at my desk but don’t really have to be involved in most of the call.
It is hard to put my finger on exactly why I find Slydris so addicting. The graphics and sound fit the game really well. They are clean polished but simple enough not to be distracting. It has a mix of relaxed puzzle with the challenge of keeping your game alive. The lack of a time limit, other than in Survival mode, helps keep the game flowing at the pace I choose. Plus, you can leave the game at any time and come back and continue later. Unlike a lot of other puzzle games I never got frustrated because my lack of the ability to respond quickly since the speed is not an issue. Frankly, I’m pretty addicted to Slydris. It requires some strategy but not so much that one mistake is going to make you lose. If you like this style of puzzle game I would definitely recommend picking up the Quadtastic Launch Collection. Slydris alone is worth the cost, but you also get 3 additional titles that are also a ton of fun to play. You can check out reviews for each of the Xbox Live Indie Games version of them here: Ballistic Fireball Inferno
A copy of Slydris for Xbox 360 was provided to us for this review.