Bittos: Bit Confusing

By John Walker on January 13th, 2010 at 1:34 am.

So the block is a block that disappears because of the block?

Oh dear, I’m not the smartest of all the men, and I’m often easily confused, but… ooh, a bee. Also, I’m really struggling to get my brain around Bittos. It’s a new puzzle game that’s due for the Wii, but out already for the PC, and there’s a demo of it available. I’ve watched the “how to play” tutorial twice now, the second time shouting at the screen, and I’m not entirely sure what’s going on.

Playing it didn’t give me a lot more clarity. It’s something about making blocks of four or more by placing Tetris pieces, and then they explode, but I’m not sure why. And you mustn’t leave blocks on their own, but it’s hard to know why they’re being left on their own. And you can’t really make out the white ghosts of the blocks you’re placing against the frosty blue shapes and constant explosive animations. And you get confused again.

Of course I’m missing the point. But at this stage I’m not too keen on finding it. The presentation seems clunky, and it’s always weird when something uses Tetris’s blocks without being Tetris. It’s cheating. But as I randomly clicked blocks into the game’s second level, not knowing why I was clicking them, why they were disappearing, nor indeed what any of the messages on screen about “chains” meant, it announced to me that my attempt was “PERFECT!”

So yes. It might be brilliant! I certainly am. Here is an extremely strange trailer for it that in no way tells you anything about the game:

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20 Comments »

  1. Bhazor says:

    So it is an uninspiring, unintuitive and badly designed match 4/Tetris game no one has heard of?
    Scoop! Thanks RPS!

    • TeeJay says:

      I’m as happy to say ‘thank you’ for being warned away from things as as being steered towards them.

      Comments threads also host ‘second opinions’ from the readership, advice on how to play and comparisons with better alternatives…

      …for example popular “Tetris / block-matching” variants, eg:

      Puzzle Quest
      Blocksum
      Mr. Blocko
      S.T.A.C.K.E.R.
      Ziczac
      Baku Baku Animal
      Zookeeper
      etc…

  2. Kai says:

    That trailer felt like a phone ad. All it needed was some man with a five o’clock shadow and large glasses(yes you know the sterotype i’m getting at) making a large piece of street art out of blocks.

  3. JuJuCam says:

    It actually seemed fairly intuitive to me. The box in the top left shows you your goal shape (I guess the titular “Bitto”? Not clear on that…) and you have to arrange the tetronimos to create it, whereupon a timer will count down to explosion. Obviously once exploded the blocks can’t be used for more goal shapes, so it’s in your best interest to move quickly to place as many new blocks as quickly as possible. Orphaned blocks eventually turn red, and these also cannot be used for new goal shapes but can be cleared by exploding blocks nearby.

    Still it needs tutorials with words to explain all this. And I played through three or four stages on “mellow” and the goal shape was only ever a two by two box so I decided I have better things to do with my time.

    • JuJuCam says:

      After playing a bit more this time in “Wired” mode it seems the challenge comes not so much from having to build increasingly difficult goal shapes but more from the increased rate of propagation of red blocks – if left to their own devices they will multiply. Still not more interesting than anything else you can do with your time and money, but at least it’s unique.

  4. Jugglenaut says:

    Best. Advertisement. Ever.

  5. Lanster says:

    I don’t think I’m looking at the same trailer…

    The trailer I see, has the camera panning from left to right, with still images of people, and random blocks of things moving around.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      “Here is an extremely strange trailer for it that in no way tells you anything about the game.”

      Sounds about right to me.

  6. Lizard Dude says:

    The balloons in that trailer made me think of CorelDRAW.

  7. Max says:

    @Jujucam I don’t think you quite figured out how to play.

    As much as I could tell the aim was to make clusters (rectangles) of blocks which would then explode. If a block isn’t part of a cluster for a short amount of time, it turns red and can no longer be used for making clusters. The only way to get rid of reds is to blow up clusters next to them. You have a fixed number of pieces that you need to get onto the board to finish the level and the challenge is then getting them all on without running out of room.

    You get “perfect” for a level if you don’t let any blocks turn red.

    Anyway, it’s an interesting idea but I found it too easy. It needs a sharper difficulty curve.

  8. mm says:

    Its totally sweet that rps has a gigantic scrolling flash add for BCS trivia in the middle of the page now! Love it! Cool How I cant post this without activating the add! Thanks Ghegg.com! I’ll be sure to rent my textbooks not buy them!!!!

    /Safari 4.0.4

  9. qrter says:

    So is this the first hardcore casual game?

  10. Brumisator says:

    “breaking things has never been more fun”?

    …Damn, he must never have played red faction.

  11. Richard Beer says:

    I think everyone’s missing the most significant talking point in this post, which is how John saw a bee. I don’t know where you’re blogging from, but there’s bloody snow everywhere in London and I haven’t seen a bee in months. I DREAM of seeing a bee!

    • TeeJay says:

      “That buzzing-noise means something. If there’s a buzzing noise, somebody’s making a buzzing-noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee. ….
      And the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey…..
      And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it.” So he began to climb the tree.”

      ;)

  12. TheBlackBandit says:

    John, was that a veiled Winnie The Pooh Reference?

  13. l1ddl3monkey says:

    A bee? At this time of year? Pics or it didn’t happen!!!

  14. invictvs says:

    Brian BItto is the name of one of the programmers who worked on the game.