ReviewTetris


Tetris

Developer: EA Mobile
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Release Date: 07/09/2008

ESRB: RP

Genre: puzzle
Setting: puzzle
Mzl

I am not a huge fan of Tetris. It never made any sense to me. I mean, how interesting is it to make lines of four? Usually, I lose interest in the game after about five or so minutes of play. I would rather sit down and play a puzzle game focusing on climbing a tower than matching. This makes it all the more surprising that I like Tetris on my iPod Touch.

In case you didn’t already know, Tetris is all about making lines using four connected squares. The more lines you clear at once, the more points you earn. There’s a catch: The game will speed up as you play until you finally crash at the top of the screen. Mzl

What makes this variation of the game unique are not only the touch controls (more on that in a bit), it’s also the gameplay. Yes, the traditional gameplay we all know and love (or hate, as I fall into this camp) is intact. However, there are a few new things. First, the play field can become much wider than the traditional size, making a strong strategy a must as it increases the possibilities of block placements. Second, there is the addition of the Galaxy mode. This is the mode that has become my favorite and preferred mode of gameplay.

You see, each individual level is a puzzle. There are special colored lines that need to be cleared to reach the bottom. What sets this up from traditional Tetris is simple: Each part of the domino can fall down provided it is not connected to something preventing it. This means that the green backward Z piece will have its top fall down when the bottom is cleared. This means no more lowering the highest line from the top down as blocks will fall (provided it is player made). With some careful planning and luck, clearing lines is a lot easier and rewarding than the original game. Mzl

Add in a few power-ups at your disposal to spice things up, and it is even more strategic. There is the weight power that sinks a domino two spots lower. There is one that will transform the piece into the perfect piece. And then there’s one that will cause pieces to collapse into the hole surrounding it. Figuring out what goes where and when to use a special power is rewarding.

Amazingly, the touch control scheme works rather well. The game will offer no more than four suggestions at a time. If you like what is being offered, then touch the highlighted place. If not, tap anywhere else to change the suggestions. You can even play using the touch screen as a controller: Tapping rotates it while you can fling a domino down with a slide. While it is tactilely more satisfying, I still prefer the options mode. Mzl

Sound design wise, it’s Tetris. I was never impressed with the sound design of the original, and this one is no different. Sure, there the three main tracks to choose from (along with some additional songs to purchase using your score or hard-earned money). The thing is, nothing sticks out to me. This is not to say that the music is bad, it’s just hard to compete with the tunes in my iPod.

Overall, I’m still in a bit of shock that I like this version of Tetris. Sure, I’m not going to play it for hours on end and get lost in it. It’s just a nice game to play every now and then. The funny thing is that I got the game for free at local Starbucks months ago. If you’re looking for a great entry point for the series, this seems to be the one to get.

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About the Author, Evan Csir (A.K.A Psychphan)

Hi, my name is Evan. I’m an RPGaholic and hard core gamer. I graduated from college in 2007 with a BA in English (Gasp!) and psychology. I’ve been playing video games since the age of three. My first game, ever, was Super Mario Bros. So yeah, I’m pretty darn good at this video game stuff. And persistant. I like RPGs the best because I can look at it as literature. This is especially true for the Shin Megami Tensei games and The Digital Devil Saga. I enjoy horror games due to their psychological nature, like Silent Hill 3. I don’t like FPS or anything that relies too much on the first-person perspective; they make me dizzy and nauseous. Ironically, I love Metroid Prime and Half-Life 2. Hmm... Where’s Alanis Morissette when you need her? I really like it when games are creative and technically pull everything off. In this case, my favorite game is Ico. I loved it due to the presentation and the way the characters interacted with each other. Yorda and Ico didn’t speak the same language, so they had to rely on gestures and other forms of communication. I also occasionally enjoy bouts of Mario Kart: Double Dash and Smash Bros. Melee. Overall, I’m rather boring. I stay home, read my homework, occasionally write, fool around on the computer, eat, and sleep. Except for those days that I travel to school. I sometimes am inspired to write poetry (if you really want to read it, just ask). I play piano from time to time. And my favorite book genres are psychology books, occasionally poetry, and most of all, mysteries. And I’m “addicted” to herbal teas and Starbucks coffee.