tint: A fast-paced, colorful Tetris

The T section is all about to-do lists, TCP utilities and Tetris clones. Here’s tint, which is a step up from our last Tetris candidate.


There are a lot of programs named “tint,” and there are a lot of Tetris clones. In short, this one does a lot of things right, by using color, using the available screen space for stats and on-screen help, and keeping a high score list.

On the other hand, it still falls short on a couple of points. For one, even the easiest levels seem to move quite quickly. I don’t know if that’s just a trick of the game or efficient coding, but just level 1 was a challenge the first few times. Perhaps that was intentional.

Second, whatever you do, don’t reach for the arrow keys when you play the first time. Left and right will work as expected, and down will drop, but the up key isn’t a spin — it’s a level advance key, and there’s no way to slow things down again … that I can find.

The last item of note is either good or bad: Rather than line drawing, tint seems to stick to plain ASCII characters, although it does it in a way that is subtle. And you can pick a character to draw for the block shapes.

For my own part I’d rather seen tint adopt some cleaner line graphics, but it does suggest tint could perform admirably at low speeds or with less-than-favorable font sets.

Where does tint rank in terms of Tetris clones? I don’t know … I’ve stopped keeping count. 😦