SIMPLE game are often the most addictive. Tetris is a 3am, just one more game, unbearably addictive product. It was devised and written for the PC by Vagim Gerasimov, a Russian computer programmer. Of course he didn't write the Amiga version - Russians aren't allowed anything as high tech as a 68000, let alone the custom sound and graphics chips. The Amiga version was written by John Jones Steele, who has plastered his name all over the high score table to make sure you don't forget.
The idea is to interlock shapes. Each is made of four cubes. The cubes joined end to end make a brown stick. Three cubes in a line with one on the side at the bottom form a purple L. If the one on the side is at the top the shape is yellow and if all four cubes are joined together they make a big blue cube. Two staggered rows of cubes are either cyan or green, depending on orientation.
The shapes are dropped down the screen one at a time. You can shift them sideways or rotate them. The idea is to make all the tiles interlock so that there is a solid row across the full width of the playing area. When this happens the row disappears. If you leave a gap the shapes build up the screen. The game ends when the shapes have built up to the top.
As the shapes build up you have less space and consequently less time in which to manoeuvre the new shape into place. As you get better the game moves up through levels, faster and harder each time.
The graphics, credited to Dennis Harris, are contrasting. The sparkling mottled background is interesting and can be frozen, making the gaps easier to see. The picture of the Kremlin in the snow is beautiful, but the actual tiles are just a single colour with a badly done 3D shadow.
There is not much scope for sound effects, but the background tune by David Whitaker is haunting, and although not very long is atmospheric and does not become irritating.
There are some games I play, enjoy and review. There are others I come back to every so often.