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Tetris DX
Review By: Jared Black
Developer:   Elorg
Publisher:   Nintendo
# of Players:   1-2
Genre:   Puzzle
ESRB:    Everyone

Way back in 1989, Nintendo released a curious little handheld gaming system known as the Gameboy. At it's time it was the most advanced handheld in the world, sporting a relatively powerful processor and a clear black and white display. This little marvel launched with a version of Tetris, which proved to be the perfect game for a portable system. Fueled by the success of Tetris, the original Gameboy sold in droves. In fact, it can be argued that without Tetris Nintendo's little marvel would've never taken off the way it did. Nine years later, Nintendo finally released the sequel to the best-selling gaming platform of all-time, and with the launch of the Game Boy Color Nintendo made sure to accompany it with some great software, including Tetris DX. Can Tetris do for the Game Boy Color what the original Tetris did for the original Gameboy?

The way Tetris plays is very simple, yet it is still among the most challenging games ever devised. Simply put, different shaped blocks fall from the top of the game board, and its the gamers responsibility to fit all of these pieces together. When the gamer fits together a full line across the playing board, that line disappears and the lines above it fall down in its place. And that's basically it. The gamer simply tries to keep his board from filling to the top by destroying line after line. However, this is complicated by the fact that the puzzle pieces fall faster and faster as you clear more lines. As the board fills up, it just makes the pieces seem to fall even faster. Combine this with the sometimes maddening music, and you have a game that can definitely invoke a sense of panic.

This game features a variety of gameplay options. If you have a link cable, two players can battle it out with separate Color Game Boys. The game saves information for up to four people, and everytime you play it keeps track of how many lines you've cleared in every game to date. Within the one player game there are four different modes: Marathon, Ultra, 40Lines, and Vs. Com. Marathon is simply just your standard Tetris: you vs. the blocks. Ultra mode is simply Marathon mode with a time limit. In 40 Lines mode you're timed, and you must try to clear 40 lines as quickly as possible. Vs. Com mode is where you play the computer. As you clear lines those lines are thrown onto the computer's board, and vice versa. Whoever has their board filled up first loses.

Graphics have never been a big part of Tetris games (which is why the original was so suited to the Game Boy), and that's the case here as well. Everything is sharp and clear, and the colors are very vibrant. The colors also change as you advance through the game, and they have an oddly pleasing effect on the gamer. Tetris will never be known for having good graphics, but the graphics here are done about as well as they can ever get in a game like this.

Perhaps the only weak part about this game is the sound. Limited somewhat by the Game Boy Color itself, the sound is bland and two of the three songs become annoying very fast (I liked Music B, but A + C were just annoying to me). There is also little offered in sound effects, with only blips and blops whenever you clear lines and drop pieces. Certainly, there is nothing here to detract from the game, but there's nothing to praise either.

Overall, Tetris DX is a great addition to the Tetris franchise. It stays true to the classic Tetris gameplay, yet it adds enough variety to the game to make it fresh and unique. This game comes highly recommended for anyone who is a Tetris addict, needs a good Color Game Boy game, or who simply enjoys a good puzzle game.

Overall: 8.7

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