May 27, 2017 Last Updated 11:41 AM, May 27, 2017

Quatros Origins Review

Published in Strategy
Read 2210 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

When I think about the games that have really affected me (emotionally or intellectually), it’s not very high on the list, but the game I’ve probably played the most in my life is Tetris.

As a teenager, I stole my family’s NES console (which was very old, even then) and hooked it up in my room, where I played it endlessly as a de-stressor in high school while listening to angsty albums. I played it obsessively again the awkward year I spent back at my folks’ after college, unemployed and adrift, desperately needing a distraction.

All of this is to say: I *know* block puzzle games.

And Quatros Origins, developed by God As A Cucumber, is a good block puzzle game (Also, bonus points for what might be the best name for anything, much less a game design company, that I've seen all year).

The basis is Tetris: falling blocks, fit them together to clear rows of blocks, repeat until the blocks start falling so quickly you'd need the reaction time of The Flash on six shots of espresso to stop them from piling up and ending the game. But Quatros Origins has enough neat tricks up its sleeve to feel different from, and just as fun as, its predecessor.

The major new twist is that the playing space rotates ninety degrees after every block drops (Get it? TWIST? ‘Cause it turns? BOW BEFORE MY MAJESTIC PUNNERY). This makes it so every block affects not only the plane it was placed on, but the other three planes, as well. It gives the game a somewhat more frantic feel, because it's much more difficult to plan where you want the next piece to go when you can't quite remember what the adjacent plane looks like. Quatros Origins is something you start playing more with instinct than tactics, but the more you play, the more you adjust to thinking in this new, multi-surface world.

It also messes with your Tetris reflexes. There are several new shapes, which are made up of five blocks instead of four. They don't come along too often, but these shapes, like a plus sign and a T-shape, can really throw you off when you've built your strategy around the standard Tetris shapes. That adds a nice bit of challenge to Quatros Origins, even for seasoned Tetris veterans.

The look and sound of the game are great, too. The graphics have a very nice, modern, three-dimensional design to them. The sound effects make every cleared line feel like an explosive accomplishment. As far as the music goes, it's well-composed and very fitting for the puzzle genre. If you play for long enough, you'll probably want to mute the music and listen to something else, but that says more about the nature of listening to the same song for an extended period of time than it does about the song itself.

One place where Quatros Origins is a little lacking is in gameplay explanations.

This is understandable, since everyone and the ghostly specters of their triple-great-grandparents have played Tetris, but there are a few quirks in the game that could use some clarification. For example, there are occasionally colored blocks within the shapes, but I'm not clear on their purpose. Presumably, there's some sort of point bonus involved with them? But I'm not about to take my eyes away from the falling shapes to figure that out. It's not a big thing, and it doesn't really affect my enjoyment of the game, but it was something that made me squint at my computer screen like Fry.

(At this point, I should note that I played an advanced copy of Quatros Origins, and it’s possible some changes will be made before the release! I was going to write a bit complaining about how the game doesn’t tell you what the keyboard controls are, but between the time I started writing this review and the time I’m writing this sentence, God As A Cucumber made an update to add a control configuration screen. So if this goes up and the game has recently been turned into an FPS, I take no responsibility for the accuracy of this review.)

Overall, Quatros Origins is just a really solid game. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does give the wheel a shiny new coat of paint and puts on some treads so the wheel can go to more exciting places.

8

The Verdict

Pure puzzle games aren’t the flashiest titles around, but they inhabit an important place in the gaming pantheon: they focus your thoughts while passing the time, whether you need a distraction from waiting for your frozen pizza to cook or from the ever-depressing news of the world. If you’ve enjoyed the time you’ve spent throughout your life rotating little pieces around and fitting them together, you’ll really like the chance to do it again on a larger scale in Quatros Origins.

Samantha Bister

Samantha Bister is a writer and editor from Wisconsin. Her earliest gaming memories are of playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with her mom, who did the boring stuff like collecting heart pieces while Sam beat the bosses. In addition to games, she also enjoys reading, making fun of terrible movies, and watching videos of cats and dogs running into things or falling over.

Related items

  • Empathy: Path of Whispers

    Empathy: Path of Whispers is an atmospheric and story-driven adventure game where you explore a seemingly abandoned world through the emotions and memories of the people who once inhabited it, trying to restore the world’s lost balance by journeying through its past.

  • Old Man's Journey Review

    In the brief time it takes to complete it, Old Man’s Journey plays out the calm yet deliberate journey of an aging man, set to right the wrongs of his youth once upon a time he chose the call of the sea to that of family. Here is a title that shines a positive philosophy onto a player’s path, reminding us that not everything about life must be hard and complicated. The Old Man’s Journey made me cry, but it also left me with a smile.

  • The Franz Kafka Videogame Review

    While The Franz Kafka Videogame ends up feeling a tad pretentious in its use of Kafka’s name, the artwork and some of the puzzles are worth appreciating. Bits and pieces can be frustrating, and the short play time is a downside, but fans of experimental point-and-click adventures might still want to check this one out.

More in this category: Fly, Glowfly! Review »

Latest Shows

Expeditions: Vik…

Circa 790 AD. A small band of Norse warriors lands on the shores of England. History may have forgotten their names, but their actions live on. As the chieftain of your clan, let a...

Mass Effect: And…

With AAA Anonymous, we discuss our latest AAA game addiction, until the next one replaces it. This episode covers what is to many the most anticipated PC release of the year: Mass ...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

The Golf Club 2

Rise to fame and fortune in the largest, most dynamic golf game ever created. Assemble and join onli...

Shootout on Cash…

Shootout in Cash Island it's an absurd action platformer and also a side story to HOT GUNS game. Bob...

TEKKEN 7

Discover the epic conclusion of the long-time clan warfare between members of the Mishima family. Po...

DIRT 4

DiRT 4 is all about embracing fear. It’s about the thrill, exhilaration and adrenaline that is absol...

Impact Winter Re…

Impact Winter may have just a few too many issues now, but the real reason it isn’t a must-buy is that it would be much more fun if you were just a lonely man wandering the wastela...

Farming Simulato…

The price point of the Farming Simulator: Big Bud DLC is pretty high for the content that it includes. While the models are fantastic and a cut above mods of the same machines in e...

Faeria Review

Faeria's gameplay shines, and what it lacks in narrative it more than makes up for in strategy. While Faeria won’t appeal to some casual players and viewers, players that enjoy del...

The Infectious M…

The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker delivers a fresh, memorable, and intricately woven tale of psychological horror. The developer's experience in crafting murder mysteries sho...