Review – Powertris

One of my favorite games for the Switch, one I bought right at the beginning of its life cycle, is Puyo Puyo Tetris. There’s just something about puzzle games that make them a perfect fit for a portable system like this one. It was easier to look for new puzzles for it in its early months, with titles such as Soldam and Tumblestone, but considering how messy the eShop is nowadays, with dozens of new games being released every single week, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. No Gravity Games’ Powertris seemed like an interesting concept that stood out from the rest of the saturated crowd, however.

The best way to describe Powertris is by using the same description uttered by its developers. This is Tetris mixed with pipe puzzle mechanics, such as the ones featured in Bioshock‘s hacking minigame. Pipe fragments are constantly dropping from the top of the screen and it’s up to you to connect them in a cohesive manner, in a way that creates one continuous line going from one side of the screen to the other one. When you do, every single pipe fragment connected to this system will be eliminated and you’ll earn points as a result.

Powertris

Welp, what you see is what you get.

It’s as simple as that. Pay attention to the sockets at the edge of the screen, create a pipe connection, and make it rain. Further levels feature more obstacles and different socket locations, as well as some explosive items that can either help you clear the playing field of some poorly placed pipes or ruin a perfectly crafted connection. That’s all it needs to be, honestly. Its concept is straightforward, it’s very easy to learn, and very hard to master.

When it comes to its gameplay proposal, there’s nothing wrong with Powertris. In fact, I really liked its simple yet effective gameplay loop. There are lots of problems with its overall presentation, however. It just feels cheap and unpolished. There are tons of ultra-casual mobile games that feature better visuals than this one, for instance. Its sound department is so undercooked, with a terrible (and constantly looping) background tune and bland sound effects, that the game actually starts off with both of them turned off, as if it was aware of how bad it is. Finally, while its gameplay is simple, it does suffer from a lot of input latency.

Powertris

Harder levels feature different socket placements, but as a whole, Powertris is not a difficult game at all.

Issues aside, Powertris is not exactly bad. Sure, its presentation is beyond lazy, and it does suffer from an annoying amount of input lag, but as a puzzle game, it’s quite decent. It features a simple but creative “Tetris meets Pipemania” gameplay loop, which is the most important thing for game in the genre. Despite being nowhere near as good as other puzzle games for the Switch, fans should definitely check it out. It’s dirt cheap as well, which is always a bonus. You could do a lot worse with a mere four dollars.

 

Graphics: 3.5

Puzzle games aren’t exactly known for featuring amazing graphics, but Powertris looks beyond lazy. There are tons of mobile games that look better than this.

Gameplay: 6.5

It’s Tetris with a pipe puzzle twist. The idea itself is actually pretty interesting and the gameplay is as simple as it can be. Sadly, there is a ton of input lag in here.

Sound: 3.0

Both the soundtrack and sound effects are terrible. The game even starts off with both of them turned off, as if it’s aware of how bad its sound department is.

Fun Factor: 7.5

Despite the janky presentation, it is a nice concept for a puzzle game. It’s easy to learn, hard to master, and it’s a perfect fit for a portable console like the Switch.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Powertris is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Powertris was provided by the publisher.