Remember when phones only had a few games available to play on them, like Tetris or Snake? iOS games have come a long way since then, but sometimes it’s nice to go back and visit those old games every now and then. If you feel like playing Tetris, but you'd like something a little more soothing, and less challenging, Dream of Pixels has you covered.

Dream of Pixels is like “Baby’s First Tetris”. It’s a puzzle game revolving around the different shapes of tetrominoes, only instead of putting the pieces together to form complete lines like in Tetris, you are breaking them apart to get rid of them. It’s Tetris in reverse! The premise and controls are so easy a toddler can play, which means that it’s not a super stressful game, which is great if you're the kind of gamer who just wants to sit back for a few minutes at a time and blow off some steam. Whenever you tap on one block, it will show you the shape it’s asking for and which blocks will be removed. If you tap on a block and it doesn’t show you the shape, then it can’t be removed; so the amount of effort you put into the game is completely up to you. You can randomly touch blocks, not really paying attention to anything and still rack up a pretty decent score. However, if you actually want to keep playing for a long time or get a good score, all you have to do is put a little strategic effort into it. Easy as eating pie!

In classic mode, the game presents you with a specific tetromino, and you have to find its match in the solid block, tap it, and presto! It falls off the bottom of the screen into oblivion. The blocks are always creeping down the screen and sometimes there are straggler blocks that get separated from the main group. If one of those stragglers drops off before you can reconnect it to the main piece, game over. While it is super easy, it doesn’t quite feel as rewarding when you get a high score as you feel in Tetris because of its simplicity.

Dream of Pixels can be both really fun to play and highly annoying in other modes. The puzzle mode presents you with a figure made of blocks, such as a tree or a monkey, and there are a specific number of pieces you have to find within the monkey. The puzzles range from stupidly easy, to hair-pulling, scream-at-the-wall obtuse. And, it doesn’t help that, even though there are blocks left in the exact same shape as the one the game is asking for, it’s still not recognized as the correct shape. Multiple times I would be down to the last piece of the puzzle and I'd think I should be able to remove it to win, yet the game wouldn’t recognize it and I'd have to go back to the beginning and try something different -- activating the hair pulling and wall screaming.

Classic mode is where the relaxing game playing is at, but if you want a higher level of difficulty there are other modes, like Nightmare (which isn’t as bad as it sounds), Pro, and Shattered Dream. This game is a colorful, enjoyable variant on Tetris complete with soft music and varying difficulties for players of every skill level.


App Store Link: Dream of Pixels for iPhone & iPad | By Dawn of Play | Price: $0.99  | Version: 1.0.14 | 39.4 MB | Rating 4+

8.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating