Settris comes to us from developer Zoo Corporation and prolific publisher eastasiasoft. As you might surmise from the name, it involves quads, not unlike Alexei Pajnitov’s masterwork that remains relevant to this day through its constant iterations. The latest of which Tetris Effect is even playable via PSVR. We even had a janky take of Tetris via the inflight entertainment system onboard our flight to the US on which we’re writing this review. Joystick drift was such a problem we sacked it off after a short time.
However, unlike Tetris, Settris doesn’t involve dropping quads into a pit to make lines. It’s more a puzzle game where you have to fit various blocks, some of which may be made up of four squares, into preset templates. Across its eighty levels you’ll be challenged at some points though sometlmes you’ll face levels that can literally only be solved one way.
This lack of ambiguity makes some puzzles incredibly easy to solve, though on occasion you’ll meet the odd stumbling block that will leave you a little perplexed. Not massively so though, as when we first played Settris we popped our first trophy after four levels and had the platinum trophy three hours later. That’s with having gone out to walk the dog in the interim period.
Graphically, everything is very clean and simple with an aquatic theme. The typeface reminded us of Lumines Live on 360 which used the same Google Note Sans JP font, or certainly one very similar. Just as the music from free library Dova-Syndrome brought PS2 launch title Fantavision, just without the weird stock video of kids that we remain baffled by. Sound effects from the Sound Effects Lab library add to the familiar feel.
Settris is fun enough, don’t get us wrong. It’s just not particularly deep and the challenge is inconsistent at best. It feels like the devs have worried more about the cute pictures they can create rather than any challenge. Your slotting in the puzzle pieces seems almost secondary to that. Not to mention when you get a puzzle with just a handful of four block pieces, the remainder being made up of one and two slot pieces. The stages where you have squares that can only accommodate certain colours are fun enough though.
In typical fashion, the trophies are a rinse, the likes of which you’ll be familiar with from any number of Ratalaika or eastasiasoft puzzle games. You get a trophy on every fourth level completed, until you reach level forty eight of eighty. Then you’ll have the whole set plus a platinum for your trouble. We always feel obliged to play a little further until we run out of momentum or hit a difficulty wall. The latter applied in this case when we stopped at level fifty-five.
It wouldn’t be too hard to insist on finishing all eighty levels for the platinum really, you’d extend the playtime by a reasonable margin plus you’d see all the game has to offer. We had a fair bit of fun with the time attack mode though where you have to complete as many puzzles as possible before time runs out. It’d not hurt the main game if you had a time limit on puzzles either, anything to add a sense of urgency.
In conclusion, Settris is a relatively slight package but it’s quite chilled with it. The music is fun if a shade repetitive. The easy double platinum will be a sweetener to some, though we can’t feel like it would’ve been just as easy to make the platinum unlock after all eighty levels rather than just sixty percent of them.
+ chilled music
+ time attack mode is great fun
- variable difficulty
- use of stock assets gives a mildly generic feel