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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
Game Boy
3d6 Games
GENRE: Puzzle
PLAYERS:   1-2
September 25, 2001

Tetris Party Deluxe

Tetris Party Deluxe


Tetris Splash

More in this Series
 Written by Matt Swider  on January 29, 2002

Review: How to get your galactic puzzle on.

I was looking forward to reviewing Tetris Worlds for months. Almost weekly I bugged our executive producer about getting this game so that I can review it. Tetris is one of the main reasons why I write about videogames. Tetris in its many forms has provided me with hours, nay, countless days of gaming pleasure.

Imagine then my disappointment with Tetris Worlds. To say that I was shocked with the results of the fruits of my begging for this handheld game would be an understatement. I have put off writing this review for several days hoping that better words would come to mind for this incarnation of my beloved puzzle franchise, but it just isn't working. I need to be honest, not only in my review, but with myself as well.

Tetris Worlds presents us with a new evolution in Tetris playing. No, the game hasn't gone 3D, but new modes appear, evolving the game the same way that bringing 2-player play did years ago. With this new cartridge, we have 6 different ways to play, the first being the classic Tetris game. Nothing beats this, and it will always be with me until the day I die. No matter how many variations on the theme are created, the original ?tried-and-true? method just can't be beat.

The first new play mode Sticky Tetris, and this is where things start getting interesting. Different colors will stick together, forming different shapes, and connecting these creates a chain reaction that will either win the game, or end it real quick. Next, Fusion Tetris has little ?bombs? that will appear along with the pieces, and these need to be connected in a chain (of increasing length as the levels increase), but garbage is in your way, and you need to navigate through that as well as work on your chain. Hotline Tetris is a variant of Sticky Tetris, but with various lines displayed throughout the field, which represent goals that need to be cleared. You increase your stack to a certain point, and then clear the line. The higher the line, the higher the score. Of course, the higher the risk of ?game over? is present as well.

Following the same basic principles as the basic game, Square Tetris has players attempting to make 4x4 blocks as well as clearing lines. This innovation also, appeared in the N64 game New Tetris. Cascade Tetris also follows the basic rules, but with gravity as a helper. When a line is cleared, individual blocks left over will fall down. These can either fill in gaps and clear more lines, or create gaps and cause your game to end. Of course, there is the ever popular Marathon game, which has players dropping puzzle pieces until the cows come home, and the Ultra game, which has a time limit of two minutes. This is where I discovered the fatal flaw in Tetris Worlds.

I immediately tried out each of the new games and after testing each one out, I went to Ultra to see how many lines I could clear in two minutes. Then I went back and tried to do the same thing and beat my previous score. The problem comes in that there is no save feature. There is no way to discern what the high score is. There is no motivation to keep playing, if there is no goal to beat. There is no bragging about having played 4 hours and 27 minutes of Sticky Tetris if you can't prove to anybody (including yourself) that you did it.

In Tetris DX for Game Boy Color (a game I still play) you were able to keep score of how many lines were cleared or how long you were able to play. This is not so with Tetris Worlds. No matter how good the visuals or sound, this one flaw absolutely kills the game.

Bottom Line
The game is absolutely amazing, and the new modes of play must be played to be believed. Tetris has remained relevant for I don't know how many years, and rightfully so. Being able to take this great puzzle game on the bus go is one of it's greatest appeals, along with the gameplay, but without the motivation to beat your high score this game is merely a novelty.

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