Inventory Tetris

Satirizing Inventory Systems

Free Download
Matthew Gallant
Suggested By:
L.B. Jeffries

Inventory Tetris is a quick joke, and perhaps you don't even really need to play it to get the joke, but the joke is good enough that it's worth noting here.

You've undoubted played any number of games where your character's inventory is, in essence, a square grid, and you position items on the grid -- what you can carry limited not be weight or some other consideration, but by how much you can pack onto the grid.

Matthew Gallant took inventory items from Resident Evil 4, and made a version of Tetris out of them. The soundscape is a mixture of a few sounds from the game, and tinkly Tetris music (I think from the PC rather than GameBoy version, although I could be wrong). Thus, you have to close-pack your inventory items, but according to Tetris rules -- a sardonic commentary on the silliness of this kind of inventory system, in essence.


The link above provides a PC executable; Mac and Linux users can also play, but by installing the Love 2D engine then downloading the game's file -- the link above provides instructions for how to do so.


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Thank you

I'm glad you got the joke!


There was a great riff on this theme last year in the form of S.T.A.C.K.E.R. That game had a similar idea with treating your inventory as a game of Tetris, except it had the added complication of treating unbroken pieces as your inventory in an automatically-playing metagame. You need to balance the basic Tetris gameplay of not overflowing the play area and clearing enough lines to finish the level with the need to keep valuable weapons and armor intact to survive in the nuclear wasteland.


yep. i was gonna say i definitely saw this first on the STACKER game. TIG compo. guess someone beat me to it.

Joke or gestalt?

It's funny, though honestly, I thought the inventory system was probably the most interesting part of RE4. Having a limit on the amount of items you could carry and making the most effective use of your space provided a worthwhile challenge, and a nice addition to all the more instinctive work of blasting the undead horde. It reminded me of puzzle gaming back when I played it, so seeing it used as the skin for a Tetris-mod simply makes that connection more playable.


let me echo what the other commenters have already said:

First, it has already been done in S.T.A.C.K.E.R...

Secondly, we are falling for the PR people's "less is more" trap. Basically, mainstream game design in the 21st century consists of eliminating anything that could confuse a stupid person. And it's good because, that way the audience is expanded significantly. Or is it?

It's so cool and ironic and meta to make fun of inventory systems. The Bioshock developers will applaud. The Deus Ex 3 team will cheer and giggle.

The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and RE4 developers will think: What did we do wrong? How can we make our games more simple and flat in the future? How many more features do we have to cut until people finally stop complaining?