Tetris DS

By now we all know about Tetris: arrange blocks to form lines, simple but addictive gameplay, yadda yadda. The game’s longevity and the sheer amount of Tetris clones out there are a testament to its design. So to keep milking that cow you’re going to want it available on as many platforms as possible. But you have to make it new, exciting, and, if possible, shiny!

Tetris DS starts out normal enough, it’s got the standard brick-stacking mode, but this time with old Nintendo characters cavorting on the top screen. Keen!

But the meat of the single player game comes in the other modes. Mission mode, for example, tasks you with clearing lines a certain way in the time allotted to slay some Zelda enemies. Though I swear some of the challenges on the later levels are impossible. Then there’s Catch mode where you have a puzzle floating through space and you have to crash it into other pieces, some with explosives on them, and blow up the bricks… This mode is very boring, I played it about twice. Push mode has you and an opponent on opposite sides of the same puzzle area, and each time you clear two or more lines it shoves the puzzle slightly closer to your opponent. Make it cross their ‘danger’ zone and you win! This mode is actually pretty fun, especially if you have an actual person to play against. Puzzle mode is pretty tame. You have a pre-set puzzle and a few blocks to place to try and clear the whole screen, but you can undo as many times as you want, so you’ll go through the permutations pretty fast. Touch mode has a giant tower of blocks and you have to use the stylus to move them around and clear lines. This one takes a bit more thinking than the other modes, but is still distracting for a while.

But, oh man, the game has Wi-Fi capabilities. What this means is that now, when you need to get your Tetris fix you can hop online and search for a random opponent. And there is always someone way better than you just waiting to give you a savage beat down. I can’t decide if I was more jazzed about the ability to play against four friends at once or that I could play against someone if I’m anywhere in the world that has an Internet hot-spot.

This game is, so far, my favorite implementation of the series. I’ve got my $30 out of it several times over.

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