Tetris Extreme (Red7/SG Digital): Overview
In mother Russia they have a song, an old folk song that dates back to the nineteenth century which tells the tale of a peddler and a girl haggling over goods. Beneath the seeming banalities of the encounter lie deep metaphors of courtship. The Russian people call this song Korobeiniki; to everyone else in the world it is known as 'the Tetris Song'. It appeared in numerous incarnations of the game, notable the N-Blox version, and now it plays a starring role in Tetris Extreme from SG Digital partners Red7. Tetris has been bought physically or downloaded over 170 million times since it was released in 1984. This makes it the most popular game of all time, and kind of amazing that it has taken this long to reach slot form. It’s a bold move, taking the most popular video game of all time and converting it to a slot, is Red7 up to the task? Let’s find out.
The first tick in the pro column comes when the game loads and that epic soundtrack kicks in. Some fans are so crazy for the tune you can find a 10-hour version on YouTube if that’s your thing. Not to mention techno versions, dubstep, hard house, happy hard house, and happy hardcore remixes, to name but a few. Clearly, this tune struck a nerve. Anyway, moving on to bet levels, these can be set from 20 p/c up to £/€100 a pop. Hit spin, and things get complicated, in the beginning at least.
What happens is that blocks fall to fill the whole grid. Unlike normal Tetris, this does not necessarily mean game over. Any full lines are removed to let more blocks fall, and each time a line is cleared, it adds 1 to the meter beside the grid. As the meter rises, so does a multiplier which can go as high as x50. At the end of each spin, when no more lines can be made, if there is a cluster of 9 or more same coloured individual squares, then you have a winner. The win value has the multiplier on the left applied to it and the total is paid out. Sounds confusing? It is a little bit, but give it a crack in demo, and after a few spins it will all make perfect sense.
Blocks pay the same amount regardless of colour, and 25 or more are worth 8 times the stake on their own before the multiplier comes into effect. The multiplier itself can reach as high as x50 in the base game and significantly higher during the bonus round, so decent wins can be had. You are likely to run into two forms of Tetris Extreme, one tied to a progressive jackpot, called Mega Drop, the other a standalone slot. The Mega Drop version is a lot more desirable for two reasons. One are the jackpots, obviously, but the other is RTP which sits at 96.09%, compared to the far less desirable 94.09% for the non-Mega Drop version.
Tetris Extreme (Red7/SG Digital): Features
If a player clears 15 or more lines on one spin then the game awards 10 Free Spins. The rules of the free spins are the same as base game spins, but with one extra feature – The Gold Tetromino. This golden block can fall at any time during a free spin. If it is used as part of a line clear, then the line clear multiplier is itself multiplied by x5. During our test rounds we managed to reach multipliers of over 100x several times so there should be potential for some massive hits here. However, as the multiplier resets after each losing spin, it rarely seems to result in anything.
As mentioned Tetris Extreme can come linked to a progressive jackpot called the Mega Drop. Two percent of each bet is siphoned off and feed into three jackpots – the Minor, Major, and Epic. Each jackpot can be won at random on any spin, and they come with deadlines which are displayed on the main game screen.
Tetris Extreme (Red7/SG Digital): Verdict
Tetris Extreme is a tricky slot to review due to high expectations. Tetris is huge, and it deserves something impressive to do it justice. Initially, Tetris Extreme feels a little underwhelming, but give it time, and it can grow on you. Graphically, things aren’t ground-breaking, but neither was the original. Tetris was never about cutting edge looks; it was all about insane playability and the simple pleasure of fitting blocks together. Adding betting options to that level of playability should be like shooting rats in a barrel, right? Well, it is, and it isn’t. Tetris Extreme’s gameplay takes a while to warm too, but once it does then it can be quite enjoyable.
Spins feel slow at first, as it takes time for consecutive line clears to run. Most slots do not flow this slowly, and initially, it might feel like a drag. Again, give it time, and the unusual mechanic might win you over. What helps is the large multipliers that can result from a good run of line clears. When it comes to potential, a line clear of 25+ blocks coupled with a full multiplier of x100 will return 2,500 times the stake. Not amazing, but certainly not awful. It's worth mentioning however, that during several of hours of testing we never really had one good bonus (nothing over 100x). Not unusual for volatile slots, but the small wins got boring real quick.
Now the cat’s been let out of the bag, we may see Tetris pop up again in a slot. It’s just too good a chance to pass up, and there must be other developers out there who think they can do a better job. Tetris Extreme manages to be an ok slot and yet, there is a lingering feeling in the back of your mind that it could have been much better.
Tetris Extreme transforms the iconic puzzle game through the power of music but transitions into the slots world with mixed results.