Heptrix

Heptrix Review

The game that would make Alexey Pajitnov regret creating Tetris

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Wii U on

ESRB Everyone rating

Have you ever played Tetris and wondered if it would be better with bigger pieces? Of course you haven't. Heptrix takes the classic Tetris formula and uses pieces that have seven blocks instead of four. Why does it do this? Who cares? It's a terrible idea which resulted in an even more terrible game.

Heptrix screenshot 1
Are these the instructions or The Da Vinci Code?

Heptrix consists of one mode that almost immediately begins upon starting up the game. However, you are presented with the instructions before it does. As you read them, you will immediately regret your purchase as not only are they poorly written, but they outline some of the worst controls in puzzle game history. Basically, you can only rotate pieces in one direction, the B button makes pieces fall faster, and pushing up rotates pieces. Pushing down also makes pieces fall faster and the A button also rotates pieces, but why complicate this with the additional unnecessary controls? Why can't I rotate pieces in two directions? Nothing makes sense. Also, you can't hold left or right to slide pieces over since the game forces you to tap repeatedly instead and the analog sticks do nothing.

Besides the inherent problems with the basic controls, there are many other problems with the gameplay that are downright irritating. If a piece is flush against the side of the playfield, you may be unable to rotate it until you move it towards the middle. What if you don't have room to do this? I guess you're just screwed. If you want a piece to fall faster then your only option is to make it slam down to the bottom. This is okay when you just want to get the piece to the bottom as soon as possible. However, if you need to slide a piece underneath another one to fill a gap then you're forced to wait for it to slowly fall since controlling the pieces as they slam down is next to impossible. Why can't there be a button to speed up pieces and another button to slam them down?

Heptrix screenshot 2
Do I have to keep playing this?

Heptrix looks okay. The background is a slowly panning dark image of space and contrasts nicely with the colourful blocks in the playfield. The on-screen information will show your current score, level, and the next piece that will fall. These are displayed completely utilitarian and lack any visual appeal. There are eight different pieces which are coloured according to their shape although mirrored variations of the same shape are not coloured differently like they are in Tetris. This causes some visual confusion. As a side note, why are there only eight different pieces? You would think with seven blocks per piece that the developer would have fun and create tons of different pieces. The eight that are used in the game are incredibly awkward to try to fit together and if you get dealt a bad hand then the game will be over quickly without it being your fault at all. Anyway, the music repeats after about a minute and it will get on your nerves very quickly. A redeeming part of the audio is the sound effects which actually make clearing lines kind of satisfying.

The only replay value to be found in Heptrix is if you want to beat your score. Where can you see your high score? You can't unless you beat it as the game will inform you when you do so. This being said, when you get a game over, the game abruptly ends and shows you a brief result screen that you can exit out of and start a new game by pushing the A button. Considering you will probably be frantically tapping the A button right before you get a game over, then you probably won't even see this screen most of the time as a new game will just start. Therefore, if you can't even see your high score then what's the point of playing this game?

Heptrix screenshot 3
Congratulation! You got a terrible score!

If you're looking for some Tetris fun then don't look for it in Heptrix. With awful controls, frustrating gameplay elements, almost no content or replayability, and lackluster presentation, it's a good idea to avoid Heptrix unless you masochistically enjoy bad games.

  • + Decent sound effects make clearing lines somewhat satisfying
  • - Only consists of one single player mode where you can't even see your high scores
  • - Awkward and broken controls
  • - Excruciatingly repetitive music
1.6 out of 10
Gameplay video for Heptrix 3:51

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