Inventory Tetris

Programming, Video Games

Although I’m not taking part in this year’s Global Game Jam, I coincidentally decided to also put together a small game over the last two days. It was a feat only made possibly by the friendliness of the LÖVE 2D engine, a free weekend and several pots of tea.

Inventory Tetris a silly idea I’ve had bouncing around in my head for a while now, a literal interpretation of a phrase often heard in reviews and forums. I chose to parody Resident Evil 4 specifically (the merchant makes me laugh), but I thumb my nose equally at Diablo, Deus Ex and every other game that turns inventory management into a block puzzle. If the main character isn’t even seen carrying a briefcase, your commitment to spatial realism is moot.

You can run the game yourself in two ways:

  1. Download the Windows-only executable.
  2. Run InventoryTetris.exe to play.


  1. Download and install LÖVE (it’s multi-platform and very small).
  2. Download the source files.
  3. Double click InventoryTetris.love to play.

You can access the source code by unzipping InventoryTetris.love, and everything is GPL licensed so you’re free to distribute and modify the game as you please. I hope you enjoy my silly little game, please leave your questions, comments and bug reports (I’m aware of one or two) below.

Update: I’ve uploaded version 1.1, which fixes the “left side” bug and corrects a minor audio issue.

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15 Responses to “Inventory Tetris”

  1. David Sahlin Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    FREAKING BRILLIANT! I can’t wait to get home from work to play this and promptly blog about it.

  2. Sparky Clarkson Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I will start playing as soon as I manage to stop laughing my ass off. What a great idea.

  3. Tom Armitage Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Nice – and I’m going to be interested to poke the source for this, having started fiddling with Love a few days ago.

    As for the inventory-tetris concept, see also the somewhat lower-fi STACKER: Nuclear Scavenger.

  4. Dan Bruno Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    This is hilarious.

    Hee hee heh heh…thank you!

  5. Ben Abraham Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    I played the aforementioned STACKER and it’s not that great. Good idea, but the difficulty curve was hyperbolic.

  6. Ben Abraham Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Sorry to double post, but a quick bug report: For some reason, I found after a few games I could put objects one square off the board on the left hand side… I don’t know when I started to be able to do it, but it was only on my last game in a row of three that I noticed it. Hopefully that helps!

    Great little game though and the RE4 art goes down really well.

  7. chesh Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I also got the left side bug, though on my first game. There was actually one square piece that ended up not only half off the field, but somehow stopped halfway up the screen (when I only had 3-4 rows worth of stuff).
    That said, brilliant game.

  8. Matthew Gallant Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the positive feedback guys, I wasn’t sure if anyone else would get the joke :)

    @Ben, Chesh: I’ve seen that bug pop up too, but I’ve had trouble regularly reproducing it. Arrays in Lua begin automatic indexing at 1, so I suspect I incorrectly wrote in a 0 somewhere. I’ll see if I can pin it down. I’ve also already pushed a fix for one of the small audio bugs.

    @Tom: A few people have told me about S.T.A.C.K.E.R. after releasing this game, it seems I was indeed conceptually beaten to the punch. I really dig the lo-fi title screen.

  9. Tom Armitage Says:
    February 2nd, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Also: any excuse to re-use the RE4 Merchant’s sound samples is fine by me. In future installments of this franchise, I should like to see more Shopkeeper, please.

  10. Daniel Purvis Says:
    February 2nd, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    @Tom I always wanted to learn his backstory, you know. Quite an interesting character, all of them.

  11. John Says:
    February 2nd, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    This is awesome. My only suggestion is to slightly change the color of the background of blocks occupied by items to make it more obvious where there is and isn’t space available. Also the window was slightly taller than my monitor resolution which seemed a little wrong.

  12. Matthew Gallant Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 2:50 am

    @John: Thank you!

    I considered changing the background colour to improve playability, but that would have made it look less like the Resident Evil 4 inventory screen. In the end I erred on the side of fidelity. However, the code is GPL licensed so anyone is free to touch up the texture image files as they please :D

    I’ll look into the window size problem, at the moment the game’s resolution is hard coded in a configuration file.

    @Ben, Chesh: The “left side” bug should now be fixed in version 1.1.

  13. John Says:
    February 3rd, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Maybe you could just give it a slightly lighter shade of black/gray instead of completely changing the color. That sounds like it would be a good compromise to me.

  14. Scott Juster Says:
    February 5th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Quite clever. I can never decide whether I love or hate the RE4 inventory system. On a related note, have you seen this?

  15. Matthew Gallant Says:
    February 11th, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    @Scott: It’s definitely one of the better Mega64 skits :)

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