petris: A little weak, as Tetris games go

When I like a program, I try to be honest. When I am … disappointed by a program, I try to be honest too.

petris is not a disappointment so much as an underachiever.


The field of Tetris-like games is overpopulated though, even if you slice away anything that doesn’t run at the console. That means the lack of a feature or two immediately makes a program forgettable.

petris is functional as a Tetris game, and I found no bugs in the short time I tested it.

However, it didn’t seem to have a pause button that I could find, which is kind of important, all told. And short of CTRL+C, there didn’t seem to be a way to quit petris unless you intentionally lost, and quit from the sayonara screen.

There is a high score list, and petris offers to show it … again, when a game is complete. I didn’t see a way to clear it, but that’s trivial.

Graphics are solid, and I mean that both in the sense that blocks were only drawn in colored squares, and that they were acceptable images. I did sometimes get a cursor artifact, which suggests the programmer should have told the terminal to stop showing a cursor, if that’s possible.

My biggest complaint would be the lack of a “drop” button, but I know that’s nonstandard for Tetris clones. I’m just used to pressing the down arrow or perhaps another key to drop a block straight down immediately, and petris doesn’t seem to have that.

All in all there are worse Tetris clones than petris, but there are a lot better too. petris has the feel of a functional but incomplete version, and while it doesn’t miss the mark, it has a long way to go before it rises to the level of something like vitetris.

And that’s my honest opinion.

P.S.: The AUR version wouldn’t build for me, possibly because of changes in Python since 2010, when petris saw its last update.

1 thought on “petris: A little weak, as Tetris games go

  1. Nroman Res Schaleau (@firstfollower2)

    Petris almost meets my standards, but sadly it falls short. Every Tetris I have sampled has. Sure, I would like to be able to call up high scores at the opening screen–not only at the end of a game–but I can live without that feature. I actually prefer to use Ctrl+C to exit Petris–to have another key for that would be redundant. However, the lack of pause and drop buttons makes the difference between my holy grail of Tetris and an entirely unnaceptable program.

    In all seriousness, if I don’t find a Tetris that has the obviously essential features by circa 2025, I will learn to program it myself. Tetris should have these features:
    – game runs in terminal emulator
    – game displays in center of terminal, from left to right
    – blocks are colored and solid (different colored borders, as an option, would be nice)
    – arrow keys to move blocks left and right, rotate and speed down
    – space bar to drop
    – optional display of block on deck
    – p to pause game
    – record high scores (h to view)

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