Type Game
Date 2004
  • Linux
Tags falling blocks, freeware

Bastet (Link)

Bastet, written in 2004 by Federico Poloni, is a Tetris clone with a twist.

It seems like an ordinary game of Tetris at first, allowing you to choose the level you start at to determine the game speed, and with the usual controls–-left and right to move the piece, up to rotate it, down to drop it. That “Won’t give you this one!” thing seems a little odd, though…

After a few pieces have dropped, you might begin to suspect that something is wrong, or at least that you’re having a very unlucky game.

As the game progresses, you’ll see that Bastet does live up to its name: “Bastard Tetris”. The AI in Bastet calculates how useful each piece would be to you if it were dropped next, and then refuses to give you the few most useful pieces. In fact, it has a high chance of giving you the piece it computed would be least useful. As a result, getting even a single line can be quite a challenge, and getting more than a few lines is very hard indeed: the author noted on his page when he released it that his friends hadn't even managed to pass twelve lines.

When the game ends, your score will be saved to the high score list. As you can see above, my first attempt yielded a high score of zero points. Challenging indeed.

Bastet was originally written for Linux, but a Windows port (by Salvatore Meschini) is available, which is essentially the same, though the colors are a little different, which I’d attribute to the change to PDCurses for the Windows port. You can download either or both from the author’s web page.

  • AI: 9/10: Bastet absolutely lives up to its name. The AI will consistently give you the worst, most annoying pieces, just as it should. If you want to compile it yourself, you can modify the difficulty, too. Minus a point for requiring recompiling to do that.
  • Gameplay: 8/10: The game behaves as it ought to, though the high difficulty makes it probably a little less fun that it would be if it were somewhat easier. That’s the goal of the game, though, so I can’t penalize it much.
  • Graphics: 4/5: The game looks nice. I’d prefer it in a graphical game so I could see the edges of the pieces I've already placed, but for a text-mode game it looks fine. I’m counting this one half since it is a text-mode game.
  • Personal Slant: 6/10: I like Tetris, and this is a competent implementation of it, but the difficulty stops me wanting to play it very much. Perhaps some people looking for a real challenge will like a little more.
  • Total: 7.7/10: Though you probably won’t want to play Bastet for long, owing to its difficulty, it’s worth a download just to see how hard Tetris could be if the game were really intentionally giving you bad pieces.
Name Role
Federico Poloni