Tetris is available on nearly every gaming machine known to man. Later this year that list will expand to include the Nintendo 3DS as Tetris jumps into the third dimension. Everyone knows what Tetris is about. You arrange falling blocks of various shapes to clear lines on the playing field and achieve high scores. Even though the basic rules have not changed, Tetris has evolved substantially over the years. This newest version of Tetris features over 20 game modes including a few created specifically for the 3DS.
During my hands on time with the game I played several modes including a standard game of “Marathon”. “Marathon” represents Tetris at its most basic. The matrix (playing field) was set against a city skyline at night with airplanes flying in the background. The blocks were lit in bright neon colors to contrast the dark urban backdrop. The bottom screen displays information such as your play time , what level you have reached so far, and your Mii.
I also tried the “Survival” and “Fever” modes. “Survival” mode was to see if you could survive a certain number of levels. “Fever” was a more hectic mode where you could purchase items at the beginning of the level to help you clear lines by blowing them up or through other means. After clearing a few lines the playing area flips over into a matrix completely filled with one colored tetromino. For a limited time you are given a sequence of those very same shapes to see if you can clear the entire grid. For example the matrix could be filled with yellow squares and using only other yellow squares you should be able to clear the entire matrix if you react quickly enough.
Along with the Featured game modes are multiple party modes. One of the modes called “Jigsaw” tasks you with solving a jigsaw puzzle using the different colored blocks. The mode is very tricky. If you are successful a picture will be created. The other party mode I sampled was considerably more engrossing. “Fit”, as it is called tasks you with twisting the well-known tetrominoes in order to fill in the gaps in an incomplete grid of blocks hovering in space. You rearrange the shapes with one button then fire them into the correct space with one of the shoulder buttons. The grid moves towards the screen at an ever increasing rate and if it reaches the screen before you fit the pieces the game is over. The game starts out simple at first, requiring only one piece at a time in an easy to distinguish orientation. The difficulty soon ramps up as it tasks you to fit several different block and you have to think fast on your feet to figure out how tie arrange them. Despite the challenge, I adapted to the mode well reaching level eight before I willingly decided to give up.
Tetris for the Nintendo 3DS will take full advantage of the handheld’s unique abilities. The game supports local multiplayer for up to 8 players in “VS Battle”, “VS Stage Racer”, and “Co-op Tower Climber” modes among others. The game also supports Download Play for up to players allowing you to share “Marathon”, “Fever”, and “VS Battle” modes. Through Wi-Fi up to 6 players can compete in 3 variants of the “World Battle” mode. The game also promises to make use of the SpotPass and Augmented Reality features on the 3DS. Tetris brings the classic puzzle addictiveness to the 3DS this October.