Newtris: Tetris for the Newton

Whatever the platform, whatever the year, you can always count on a Tetris clone to help you waste time.

The same is true for the Newton MessagePad. Here, we have Newtris, the falling-block (or “tetromino“) puzzle game, but with a Newton twist. Since there is no d-pad or buttons, you use the stylus and the Newton’s touch-sensitive screen to guide the falling blocks.

Along the left and right of the game screen (above) are arrows that, when you point at them with the stylus, nudge the blocks that way. Want to rotate the blocks clockwise or counterclockwise? Use your stylus and select the twisted arrows. And if you want the blocks to fall faster, simply press the bottom of the screen. Pretty simple.

I found that Newtris was a bit slow on my MessagePad 110. There are newer versions available (something called “Super Newtris” can be had for $15, which seems like madness), but my Newton OS 1.3 can only handle the older games. With the decrease in speed, it’s hard to play Tetris/Newtris: the excitement of rapidly falling blocks is gone. But Newtris is still a handy time-waster, and a good example of how – no matter how old or new the system – the classic games are still fun.

You can download a free version of Newtris at

Post a comment.