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If You Thought Tetris Was Addictive…

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When a Russian computer engineer unleashed "Tetris" on the world in 1984, he couldn't have known how addictive the game would prove, or how many billions of dollars in lost productivity it would cost worldwide. But given how things played out, it's no surprise that -- like Asteroids, which I covered here a few days ago -- Tetris has been ported to virtually every platform known to mankind. And for those who did eventually tire of the original version, there are all sorts of other so-called polyominoes games on which to waste hours and hours of time.

Among these is a challenging and very enjoyable permutation called "Torus." It's built entirely in HTML5 and JavaScript, and thus "Torus" runs natively (sans plug-ins) in Internet Explorer 9. As the topologists among you will know, a torus is a particular kind of mathematical surface whose properties may be summarized this way: It's a donut. In the game of "Torus," you're not maneuvering objects made of two-dimensional squares into a rising wall. Rather, you're maneuvering objects made of three-dimensional cubes into a rising tower -- a cylindrical shape with a hole in the middle (not exactly a classic torus, but a topologically equivalent surface).

"Torus" is actually three games. There's the traditional game, which is essentially "Tetris;" "Time Attack," which challenges you to clear as many rows as possible in three minutes; and "Garbage," a fiendishly difficult variation which starts out with a tower of sparsely arranged shapes and asks you to whittle it down to three rows as quickly as possible. It isn't for the faint of heart.

In each game, the action is similar. Whereas in "Tetris" you rotate and move the objects in order to slot them into the wall, in "Torus" you rotate the objects, but you don't move them in space; rather, you move the circular platform on which the tower of objects is built. If you choose the option to "show ghost," then you may view how the falling piece will fit into the wall as you independently rotate the object and the base. And in every game, when you complete a horizontal ring (when there are no gaps), the ring collapses and you earn a hundred points. Clear multiple rings at once, and you get bonus points.

"Torus" was created by the Australian Web developer Benjamin Joffe, who takes pride in building rich, interesting HTML5 and JavaScript games and experiences without relying on any pre-packaged code. You can find links to more of Joffe's HTML5 demos and games on his code page.

This story, "If You Thought Tetris Was Addictive… " was originally published by BrandPost.

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