TetraVex is a tile-based puzzle video game developed by Scott Ferguson in published by Microsoft in their Microsoft Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows 3 in 1991, and later re-released in their The Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack bundle. The game is composed of square tiles with a number on each side. The goal of the game is to place the tiles on a grid, so that the number on the sides of each tile matches a number on its neighbor. However, since the numbers are randomly generated with each game, this is especially vexing (hence the name). The larger the grid, the more tiles are used, and the harder the game becomes. The game was originally called QUADominoes, since it uses a similar game mechanic as dominoes, but was changed by Microsoft before the game shipped.
My cousin had TetraVex on his computer in the early 1990s, though he didn't have any of the other games from the Packs, so I'm not sure where it came from. I remember playing it and being able to beat the 3x3 game, but was quickly overwhelmed by even the 4x4, and stopped playing the game. Other friends of mine had the game as well, but I rarely played it. Later, after wanting to increase my count of finished Windows 3 games, I tried replaying it and seeing if I could do a better job with several more years of experience in puzzle games. I was able to beat the 4x4 and 5x5 grids (each with 10 digits) on 2020-07-24. I have still yet to beat the 6x6 puzzle.
I do not own this game, but I have beaten up to 5x5 with 10 digits.
Best Version: Windows 3
— This section contains spoilers! —
- Although Ferguson didn't invent the idea of fitting numbered tiles into a gird, to my knowledge this is the first time it has been put together in this manner.
- The interface has a couple nice additions for making it easier to move tiles around like being able to right-click and drag groups, and the ability to bolt pieces into place when you're confident they're in the correct spot.
- The game has a couple of customization features like the ability to change the gird size for larger games, the ability to decrease the numbers for easier games, and the ability to change the glyphs (although, the Greek symbols are very hard to read).
- It would have been nice if the game had more options for the sides. Perhaps colors, symbols, or the ability to change the font.
- I wish there were automated ways to sort tiles. For example, when you're looking for all tiles which have a 6 on the bottom, it would be nice if you could just request it and have them all pulled out and arranged for you.
- The game is lacking in media. There aren't any sounds, music, or animation, and the ending graphic is not very impressive for how difficult the game is.
- TetraVex - WIN3 - Screenshots - Tiles.png
All the tiles.