EA Salt Lake, the local video game developer mostly known for creating "The Sims" titles for the PC and family-oriented games for consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation 3, is releasing its first title for mobile phones on Thursday.
The game, "Tetris Blitz," is "a whole new take on a classic game," said EA Salt Lake executive producer Jon Dean. The game is a version of the famous Russian puzzle video game first introduced in 1984 by designer Alexey Pajitnov and made popular on devices ranging from the PC to the original Nintendo GameBoy.
In "Tetris Blitz," the player still tries to fit falling stacks of shaped blocks into a pile, all while trying to eliminate horizontal rows. Only this time, the game has powerups to aid the user, and the game can be played in shorter chunks of time.
The new version is available for free on iOS and Android devices. The company will make money through "in-app purchases," a model in which players can purchase features and powerups in the game with real money to help them win.
"We’ve taken the classic game and redesigned it to work with touchscreens," Dean said. "We’ve made it cool to swipe with it and drag and drop [the blocks]. We’ve also turned it into a two-minute experience."
EA Salt Lake’s console titles have included "The Sims 3: Supernatural" and "The Sims 3: University Life" for PC, and "Hasbro Family Game Night 4" for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The venture originally started as Headgate Studios in Bountiful before it was sold to video game publisher Electronic Arts in 2006.
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