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Mikko Kankainen CanTris 091002

John Ottini | Handheld PC Reviews
June 22, 2009

There are a number of interesting Tetris clones available for your Handheld PC, but none, in my opinion, are better than Mikko Kankainen’s CanTris.
The creation of this software, dates back to 2001, when Mr Kankainen could not locate a decent version of Tetris to run on his H/PC, so he decided to write one for himself and the rest, of course, is history!
It’s difficult to believe that anyone with a computer hasn’t heard of, or played, Tetris (the game CanTris is based on), but for the sake of the few who have no idea what I am talking about, here is a brief snippet on how the game is played.

Figure 1: The main interface

Playing of the Game

The object of the game is to form complete lines by rotating or moving a series of falling blocks. The blocks fall downward until they hit other blocks or land at the bottom of the playing area. When one or more complete lines are formed, those lines are removed from the field (points are awarded), and the blocks above them drop down to the next level. The game ends when there is no longer room for any new falling blocks.

Block Movement on your HPC

The arrow keys on your HPC, play a big role in moving and rotating the blocks. The left and right arrow keys move the blocks, left or right respectively, while the up arrow key rotates the blocks in a clockwise direction. If you know exactly where to place the falling block, then you can use the down arrow key, to quickly advance the block into position.
If you want to pause the game at anytime, just tap your stylus in the game area or preset one of the keys such as ‘P’ to enable you to toggle the pause feature, on or off.


One of the nice things about CanTris, is that the developer provides the user with an abundance of options, that make the game both challenging and enjoyable. Before you begin playing this game, please make sure that you take a good look at the Game menu and set up all of the options (starting with the play Level) to your personal preference.
The Level settings allow you to set the play difficultly to any level between 0 and 9, the higher the number the faster the blocks drop. The Scramble option, allows you to set preexisting scrambled lines (between 0 and 10) in your game area. Why anyone would want to do that, is beyond me, I have enough trouble playing the game without purposely making it more difficult on myself.

Figure 2: Game play

You can also add or remove the time delay between the dropping of each block and you set the game to allow you to preview the next block that will be dropped in the play area. Keep in mind that enabling this option, cuts your bonus points in half, so you might want to think twice about doing this. I suggest that you try it both ways and see it offers you an advantage or disadvantage.
The Dersumize option is interesting because, it not only effects how the blocks rotate, but also effects whether you can slide the falling block sideways after dropping into place, but before the next block shows up. If this setting is disabled, then the blocks are instantly glued in place; no sliding allowed. I prefer having the ability to slide them, so I always keep this option enabled.
If you wish, you can also map specific keys to perform actions, such as; move left, move right, rotate drop, pause or send. Why use the same old boring background when CanTris lets you to spice things up set by allowing you to set your favorite background color or load your favorite background image. This is a really nice feature that lets you personalize the game to suit your daily mood or perhaps your seasonal preference? (see figure 1)
The game automatically maintains a list of the highest scores, but I was unable to discover, if it was possible to clear the Hi Score board or access it through any of the pull down menus?

Figure 3: The high score board

Another really interesting feature (which I did not test) is the 2 player mode, where CanTris allows you to play against a friendly opponent,by using infra red port or TCP/IP.

Final Thoughts

Look, if you enjoy playing Tetris, then you can’t help but enjoy this great version of the classic game. CanTris is well executed, esthetically pleasing and as challenging as you want it to be. Most of all, it will provide the user with hours and hours of pure enjoyment. A word of warning to HPC owners, be careful playing this addictive game or you might wear out the arrow keys.
I highly recommend this freeware and I hope you enjoy playing it as much as do!

System Requirements

Windows CE 2.11 or higher
StrongArm/XScale, SH3, MIPS

More information on Mikko Kankainen CanTris 091002 can be found at


Cost: 5- Star Rating
Usability: 5- Star Rating
Built-in Help: 4- Star Rating
Overall: 4- Star Rating
Pros: Simple to use, fun to play, an abundance of play levels and options to satisfy even the most hardcore player

Cons: I can't think of one, but I would be gald to hear what you think after you play it for awhile

Further Discussion

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