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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/androidtetristhumb1.jpg”>Tetris was the first video game I remember playing. It came with the Nintendo Entertainment System my grandfather purchased for me and, for some reason, I was more interested in it than Super Mario Brothers. I popped it in and emerged from my bedroom three hours later with sore thumbs and a smile.
Today, games like Tetris remain popular because they’re easy to understand, fun to play, and don’t rely on fancy hardware. There are quite a few great Tetris-like games available on Android, and some put a twist on the basic concept.
If you’d like to play free Tetris (the official Tetris app is $2.99, and quite good) then I recommend yostris. I’ve played a few different games like this on Android, and this is my favorite.
Yostris stands out because of its simplicity. It doesn’t mess with the graphics, doesn’t add crazy new concepts, and doesn’t even provide its own unique touch input. You move the blocks in order to create “lines” and score points, just like the original. That’s all there is to it.
This is also a good choice for Android users with older and slower phones. Although I wouldn’t describe any of the apps here as resource hogs, yostris seems lean by any standard, and the virtual buttons make the game easy to control even on small touchscreens.
Yostris required Android 1.5 or better.
Another simple title, Pling is easy to understand and enjoy, and it should run on a wide variety of Android smartphones. Unlike yostris, however, Pling pays homage to Dr. Mario as much as Tetris.
This means that instead of piling blocks into lines, you can place them in various formations. So long as four are directly adjacent, you can score a match. Bigger formations receive more points. There are also special blocks, like wildcards that can match with any color, which add variety to the gameplay.
Pling has the basic array of features including online scores and touchscreen controls that allow players to slide blocks back and forth across the game space. It’s a great, simple game that you can play whenever you have a few spare moments.
Pling requires Android 1.5 or better.
Bright and attractive, Colorix makes a good first impression with high-quality graphics and an excellent interface that includes intuitive touch-screen controls. Although all of the games on this list are fun to play, the developers of Colorix clearly went the extra mile.
The concept of this game is to align marbles in rows of three. Unlike Tetris, the marbles arrive in a set pattern that you can’t rotate, but you can change the order of the marbles. There are also special marbles that can’t be matched and instead disappear only after a set number of turns. More advanced players can make strategic use of these marbles to create crazy combos.
Colorix Lite is free, but there are also two paid versions priced at $2.80, Colorix and Colorix HD. The HD version is for phones with a display resolution of 400×800 or 480×854. Colorix Lite and Colorix can be played on Android 1.5 or better, while the HD version requires Android 2.0.
Blocks with letters on them fall from above during a game of Letrix, and it’s up to you to create words from them. As the blocks stack up, the pressure mounts, testing your ability to keep cool under pressure. The game has a number of difficulty levels, making the game as easy or mind-bendingly difficult as you choose.
Oh, and remember when I said “across the globe”? Letrix is available in several different languages including English, US English, Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese. The game is free, but a Pro version that ditches ads is available for $1.69.
Letrix requires Android 1.6 or better.
These Android games are not only similar to Tetris, but also a lot of fun and free to play. If you’d like to play straight Tetris, then your best bet is probably the official app. However, I highly recommend checking out these similar titles as well. And as always, let us know in the comments if you have a favorite Tetris-like game that wasn’t listed here!