Mobile apps for architects, Soviet modernism, Soviet-era architecture, Tower Block Tetris

New Tetris-inspired mobile app uses modernist building blocks

Created by Lithuanian designer Lukas Valiauga, Tower Block Tetris is a new mobile app inspired by the 1980s video game Tetris that uses the geometric blocks of Soviet-era apartment buildings.

While the point of Tetris is to align the blocks that fall down the screen, called Tetriminos, into lines of 10 without gaps, Valiauga’s Tower Block Tetris features prefabricated concrete housing blocks in place of the of the traditional Tetriminos. Valiauga’s design references the socialist modernist housing estates built across the Eastern Bloc in the mid-20th century.

“The game is a playful tribute to a not so playful reality of monotonous and bleak cityscapes populated by tower blocks from a bygone era,” said Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian video game designer and the original creator of Tetris.

Lithuanian designer Lukas Valiauga

“Very specific for Eastern Europe but evident everywhere else too, these relic tower blocks usually mark failed social programmes and neighbourhoods planned as clumsily as some failed building block game,” he added. “Playing on a visual metaphor of tower blocks being actual blocks in a Tetris-style game invites the player to take a different and a more playful look into the architectural phenomena that still surrounds us.”

According to Dezeen, Valiauga wanted to create a version of Tetris that illustrated the changing urbanisation of European cities, while also making the topic accessible to users.

He added that Tower Block Tetris could be expanded to include other architectural styles and eras while also commenting on the social problems associated with them.

Tower Block Tetris can be downloaded on Android from the Google Play store.