The New Tetris

For the most part, Tetris is Tetris. But something compels me to keep buying the incremental upgrades. Maybe it’s that I can’t stand to have a game system that doesn’t have some version of Tetris on it, I don’t really know.

What makes this Tetris ‘New’ are three new play mechanics: hold pieces, t-spins, and ‘bonus squares’. Hold pieces are just that: you can swap out the currently falling piece for the one in your ‘hold area’. You can hang on to that long piece until you really need it, or any number of strategies. It’s so handy that I’m surprised it hadn’t been done before.

T-Spins are a little harder to describe, but basically you take a T piece and just before it hits home and is cemented in place you rotate it so that it fits where you normally couldn’t move it. this causes all of the pieces below the t-spin to crumble into pieces and fill in the holes left over from Tetris-gravity.

The squares, though, there’s where you have the chance to get ‘bonus lines’. Basically what you have to do is to make a 4×4 square out of the falling pieces. If your square is homogeneous, you get a mono-square, if it’s heterogeneous, you get a multi-square. Clear lines that include parts of the squares and your lines get multiplied, more points for the harder to make mono-square, of course. You also get a bonus for performing a tetris, and that can be multiplied as well, for all kinds of lines all around!

One of the kind of neat things about this game is that you use the lines that you win in the various modes to construct ‘wonders’ of the world. Every time you hit a milestone you get a new wonder with some interesting factoids and a new background and musical score to go along with it. The only problem I had was that to unlock all the wonders you had to clear 500,000 lines total. On a good day I can get about 2000 lines in a session. That means I have to play about 250 sessions. Each of those sessions takes me about an hour. So, rather than sink 250 hours into the game, fun as it is, I kind of quit playing it after I got a new system and a new version of Tetris to distract me. I keep telling myself that I’ll pick it back up one day and get the rest of those wonders, and maybe one day I’ll believe it.

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