Puzzle Domino from 415 Games combines a Tetris element with dominoes. While it’s not the most innovative and exciting game, it will keep players mildly entertained on the bus ride to work.
The game begins with an empty screen and a pair of dominoes dropping from the top. Blocks must be put in pairs of three or more to be cleared. Occasionally, a single block drops that alternates values from six down to one. This gives players the opportunity to clear a stubborn space or set up a combo. Bomb blocks rarely drop which explode all surrounding blocks. At a certain point, the screen inverts colors and freezes all blocks on the screen. This means the next level has been reached and those blocks cannot be removed.
A tutorial demonstrates basic functionality. Blocks can be dragged left, right, or downward, rotated, and flicked quickly down to drop. The game can be paused but not saved. As iPhone games are generally tuned for quick, intermittent gameplay, the lack of a save means I’ve never played a whole game. That’s not a big deal – once the blocks freeze, the game loses steam. No matter how well players stack, eventually they will hit the roof.
The music is progressively electro, keeping the game moving while being mellow enough to ignore. Players can listen to iPod music during the game, but it must be playing before the app is opened. Other sounds are minimal but add to the feel of the game, though muting sound doesn’t detract from the game experience much.
Puzzle Domino adds variety to a Tetris-style game, but it loses novelty quickly. Pair stacking stack is inconvenient as they only separate when one block is cleared. This makes creating combos challenging and takes fun out of the game. While the game is only $2, players will wish for Tetris instead.