Whirlygig Review
Overall 20

How do you improve upon the perfection that is Tetris? Bannerman Games tries to give these time-tested tetrominoes an upgrade in their new block-busting title Whirlygig, but the end result is an adulterated mess that takes too many liberties with its source material

Summary 20 Thug
Overall 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Avoid

Whirlygig Review

How do you improve upon the perfection that is Tetris? Bannerman Games tries to give these time-tested tetrominoes an upgrade in their new block-busting title Whirlygig, but the end result is an adulterated mess that takes too many liberties with its source material.

Whirlygig Review

The basic premise of Whirlygig is the same as Tetris – there are falling blocks, and it is up to players to make lines to have them disappear. The standard shapes have been included, but there are some new ones thrown into the mix. There is a reason Alexey Pajitnov never put these in the original version though – they simply do not work. Giant L blocks, lines three blocks deep, and other anomalies make control that much more difficult, and prove to be fairly annoying. Trying to make even the most basic setups is fairly difficult, because these shapes do not fit anywhere. It is poorly designed, and a game breaker.

Things get far worse with its gimmick. In Whirlygig, players aren’t playing one game – they’re playing four. Divided between spring, summer, fall, and winter, the way blocks fall is changed by the season. Spring has your typical setup, with blocks falling from the top, but the playfield is reversed in the fall, with blocks falling from the bottom of the screen to the top. It’s a novelty, but it is disorienting.

This is made that much worse with the RNG in play. Every five blocks, the playfield changes to a different one at random. It’s hard to get invested when the screen goes dark for a second and the playfield changes to something completely new. Some playfields might be done multiple times in a row, but each round is jarring and borderline unplayable. Put simply, it is infuriating, rather than fun.

Whirlygig - Gamers Heroes

That’s not enough though – Whirlygig also introduces a concept of “good blocks” and “bad blocks” as an incentive. After clearing four lines, players are given five turns to clear a special block. Successfully clear this block, and players can net themselves a good block. Fail to do so however, and they’ll have to deal with a bad block immediately.

While not a terrible concept in and of itself, the awkward nature of this game makes it an exercise in tedium. The odd shapes and shifting play field makes what would normally be a straightforward task into a grueling effort. Because of this, expect to see your fair share of bad, poorly shaped blocks.

Rounding things out is a poor presentation, one made of clip art, Microsoft Paint doodles, and stock sound effects from the Pro Sound Collection. A Tetris-inspired game does not need state-of-the-art graphics, but crinkling paper to make it sound like a blizzard or creating a bunny with the circle and fill tool is an insult.

Whirlygig does absolutely nothing to improve the time-tested Tetris formula. Everything that makes this title unique ultimately takes away from the game, rendering it borderline unplayable.

This review of Whirlygig was done on Steam. The game was purchased digitally.
The Ascent Review

Fans have long wanted more developers to explore the cyberpunk theme and Neon Giant certainly have the pedigree to make a meaningful and worthwhile dive into the unique setting, but does The Ascent

Cris Tales Review

After multiple delays, the world of Dreams Uncorporated, SYCK, and Modus Games’ Cris Tales is finally here. Did these delays help improve the game, our should it have stayed in the oven a bit longer?

Peekaboo Lite: Hide and Seek Review

Everybody’s played Hide and Seek at one point in their lives – it’s a schoolyard tradition at this point. However, Redaster Studio kicks things up a notch with their new title Peekaboo Lite: Hide and

Death’s Door Review

After being announced in March earlier this year, Death’s Door is here just four months later. Is this action-adventure worth playing, or should you spend your time elsewhere? Check out our review