Have you ever played Tetris? Yes? Good. No? Go play Tetris, because Quatros Origins is like Tetris on steroids! As stated on its Steam Store page: “Quatros Origins is a block puzzle game that tries to reconnect with the good old days where classic arcade games were easy to play, but hard to master!” It brings the all well known mechanics of the iconic old school game and adds a third dimension to the whole experience, because every time you place down a block, the whole board turns 90 degrees and a new formation of blocks must be dealt with.
There are four different gameplay options. Normal, Hardcore, Raid and Fixate. Normal is the “normal” (duh) gameplay option and is also the easiest of the four. You simply try to place the different patterns of cubes in straight lines, so that they will disappear. As go on, the difficulty increases for two reasons. Firstly, as the board fills up with blocks, you have limited options and less time to think. To make matters worse, as you progress, more complex block formation are added to the palette, which prove a lot harder to correctly align with the other blocks. As for Hardcore mode, I can’t quite put my finger on exaclty how it differs from the normal game, nor any written description is available. In my experience, I’ve found that the blocks tend to fall a little faster and the complex formations that appear later in the normal mode, make their appearance quite earlier. Personally, I prefer Hardcore mode, because Normal “plays” a little too slow for my taste.
On “Raid” Mode you have a limit of 40 blocks which you can place, and after the limit is reached the game ends. Your goal is to get the highest score possible within the limit of 40 blocks, a nice twist to this already twist of a game nonetheless! And finally, “Fixate” is another twist, albeit a more hardcore one. You play as usual, but you can’t rotate the block patterns… Good luck with that! Multiplayer is also included in Quatros Origins, where two or more players can compete simultaneously in all of the above gameplay modes.
As stated in the introductory paragraph, each time a block is placed, the board rotates. That means that you have the bear in mind not only how the block will affect the side you see it that specific moment, like the original Tetris, but also the other three sides. Sometimes a correctly placed block will trigger multiple deletions of rows everytime the board turns! Oh, and if you erase multiple rows at once the game changes colors! Speaking from experience, the game feels “too much” when you first start off, mainly because of the rotating board which gives an element of uncertainty to the player. The more I played though, I slowly realised that as long as you keep placing your blocks correctly on each particular side, the rows start to erase in quick succesion. Just try not to make too many mistakes, since even if placed a little bit off, they affect the board for a long time. To sum up, I’d suggest no panic, no giving up on the first few sessions and trying to get multiple rows at once, because the change of colors, at least for me, was a great twist in the monotony of the blue color.
The game looks well polished and features a unique artstyle that gives off a “techy” or “futuristic” vibe. Personally, I’d prefer to see an artstyle closer to Tetris, with multi-colored blocks while keeping the “techy” feel. That’s just a personal opinion however, and by no means something that makes Quatros Origins less of a good game.
Quatros Origins is a block puzzle game similar to Tetris. Its unique twist is that each time a block is placed, the board rotates and a new pattern of blocks is formed. It features four different gameplay modes, each with its own twists and multiplayer support. In conclusion I’d like to agree on the developer’s statement, that Quatros Origins is indeed an easy to learn but hard to master game!
+ Clever twist to a classic game
+ Proves to be quite the challenge
– Takes a while to get used to it
Dimitris “Onel” Zarachanis