2017-09-13 16:30:48

So, another game bites the dust.  Magic Blocks, apparently a tetris-type game, is now dead.  That sucks, since we have no accessible tetris.  I downloaded it, and when I went to play it, I got the following message:
Magic blocks
This application requires a Java Runtime Environment 1.6.0 - 1.7.0
It then automatically found the program I needed, but when trying to install it, I got the following error:
Windows Installer
Error applying transforms.  Verify that the
specified transform paths are valid.
I then installed the latest JRE directily from Oracle.  I reran the program, and got the same message.
So, I can only assume that there is no way to fix this.  I am surprised that the current JRE doesn't have whatever dependencies are needed, but apparently they were removed.  So, yet another game is apparently gone.  Sad.  I'm wondering if an accessible tetris game would be possible.  Sort of surprised that one hasn't been developed.


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2017-09-13 17:18:58

I'm also surprised Magic Blocks has issues with the current JRE, though admittedly I haven't played much with that game. To my recollection, it wasn't traditional Tetris since the pieces weren't continuously scrolling, they were instead moving one unit at a time and allowing you to make decisions about what to do on every turn. I could be wrong though, it's been many months since I played it and I'm not a big fan of puzzle games.

There's the Blocks game from Audio Game Hub, which is probably my favorite Tetris game, although the problem is that it's super difficult to do anything but vertical stacks to elliminate blocks unless you have a really good memory for keeping the entire board in your head, which I don't.

There's a braille tetris game I heard about, I think called Dotress, that needs a braille display, but I haven't yet tried it, nor do I know what kind of displays it works with. All I know about it is what I just said about it.

Another Tetris-like game is the Towering Tones game from CaeJones, but that is a ridiculously hard game for me to even remotely start to play, because not only do you have to match sounds, but each sound is actually a block with two sides which have to touch in certain ways. You can flip the block as it falls, but man it gets insanely difficult from the first second of gameplay to tell what's going on. I don't know if this is because I'm not good at puzzles, or because that game is actually difficult. Maybe both. Lol

There's one more Tetris game I recall called Metris. It's a musical game which uses midi to let you know what's going on. It's pretty old, released in 2001. The board is 7 columns wide, and there are seven notes which can fall, If you're in the key of C, these notes would correspond to the white keys, C D E F G A B. The rows are represented by octave so a low note means that something is at the bottom of the board, a higher note means it's closer to the top. You can arrange notes horizontally at the bottom of the board to make a major scale or a derivative of it, which gives you a hefty sum of bonus points though you're only allowed to do it at certain times, I think it was once per round or something like that. To clear notes vertically, you have to arrange them in chords. So C E G for example would count, as wel as a number of other possibilities which the manual explains, and this is the preferred way to clear notes.

It's a pretty cool game and a clever concept, but there are a couple mixed blessings I perceive. To start, with 7 columns and seven notes, the board feels too accommodating and spacious. In the blocks game in audio game hub, for example, there are five colored blocks but only 4 columns, forcing you to be strategic. In Metris this becomes far less a concern. Even more of a mixed blessing is that you can move a falling note down the scale. So if you want to move a G to an F, you can do just that.. However when you move the note, it drops to the octave below, costing you a row. Still, on the easiest difficulties where the speed is slow and there are I think 5 or 6 rows, this means that you actually have a lot of control over the board, making the experience less fun. On the harder difficulties, the speed is greater and rows get cut off the bottom so the cost of moving a note becomes much greater. So if you find the easiest difficulties too easy, you can step it up (there are I think 9 difficulties in total). So with that in mind you could probably justify much of what I nitpicked above.

The game isn't free, and the registration page for it appears to be down so I'm not sure how you'd purchase it. You can still download the trial though. I didn't enjoy it enough to purchase it myself, but with that said I do not think it is a bad game at all.

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2017-09-13 18:38:08

Just tried to download the towering tones, but the sendspace link is dead.  If anyone has that, please post, and if not, @CAE, please post.  I like puzzles, chess, etc.  Gonna try blocks as well.  Thanks.

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2017-09-13 19:14:47

If you go to agarchive.net and look under Jeqocon games, towering tones is there.

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2017-09-13 21:07:07 (edited by CAE_Jones 2017-09-13 21:10:38)

I think Dotris should work with just about any display, although it's possible one of the absolute newest or oldest won't work. It's pretty much Tetris exactly, minus the music or competitive mode. It is not playable without a braille display, though.
The disappointing thing about Towering Tones is that, since you only need two matching tones to score, the real challenge is just making sense of the audio in time to react. But the audio is too overwhelming to go up to 3, which would be ideal. Also, I never got around to adding an overview feature sad Although Tetris actually hides the blocks when you pause the game, IIRC, because reaction time is part of the point. hmm
Oh, and I can't say for sure, but my first guess on why Magic Blocks isn't working is 64bit vs 32bit issues. I can't run my Java games on 64bit Windows, because for some reason the 64bit mixers that come with it don't support anything but play and pause, so panning crashes it. A 32bit virtual machine might help?

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