By: Jared Black
Tetris games are
almost always good. If the developer gets the basic gameplay down,
it really doesnít matter what the rest of the game is like, as itíll
still be fun. And given its simplistic nature, itís virtually
impossible to screw up a Tetris game. Thus, Tetris Worlds was
always destined to be a good gameÖbut it still has some problems
that need to be addressed.
In case youíve
been stuck on Mars for the past 15 years, Tetris is the most popular
puzzle game in the world. No game has ever been copied and cloned
more than Tetris. In Tetris, the player is given an empty playing
field to start with. Differently shaped puzzle pieces then fall
downward one at a time, which the player must rotate and place. If
the player manages to form a solid line across the playing field
with the pieces, that line will disappear and the pieces above it
will fall downward. If the playing field is filled to the top with
pieces, the game is over. The more lines the player clears, the
harder the game becomes as the pieces fall faster with each level
obtained. Thus, the action becomes more frantic and intense the
longer itís played.
has all of the game modes any Tetris nut would want. These include:
normal Tetris, Sticky Tetris (same colors stick together), Fusion (a
special block needs to be cleared), Hot-Line (specific lines are the
target), Square (create 4x4 block squares and clear lines with
them), and Cascade (pieces fall when not supported from below). Each
of these can be played in either Marathon mode (no time limit Ė
just try to clear as many lines as possible) and Ultra Mode (clear
specific goals in two minutes to advance). In addition, thereís a
two-player mode where gamers can go head to head via the Link Cable.
Unfortunately, players must own their own copy of the game.
have never been about graphics (with a few minor exceptions), and
thatís true here. Since 2D single-colored shapes can only be so
impressive, any advancement in graphics in a Tetris game really has
to revolve around the backgrounds. And to their credit, Blue Planet
did make an effort to advance them in the form of different game
"worlds" (hence the title). Basically, each world gives
you a different graphic motif. One is an arctic world (with penguins
& bears), one is a forest (with deer and such), etc.
Unfortunately, none of them are very impressive. They do very little
to take advantage of the GBA hardware, and wouldnít look much
worse on a Game Boy Color. Additionally, they can (along with the
big letters that pop over the playing field for a couple seconds
whenever you advance a level) be distracting at times. In the end itís
better to have them than not, but more effort couldíve went into
creating something not quite as boring or intrusive to stare at.
stands out aurally. The sound effects are your standard blip and
blops, and nothing more. The music is a mixed bag, with some tunes
being quite catchy while others are painful to hear by the second or
third loop. Luckily, you can change the music at any time.
biggest problem lies not in the game itself, but rather in the fact
that thereís no battery backup included. THQ got blasted for not
including one with GT Advance Championship Racing (link), and theyíve
got blasted for this one too. Itís not that theyíre the only
ones doing it, itís just that they pick the worst possible games
to leave it out of. A battery-backup is vital to any Tetris game, as
the ultimate goal is to get to as high of a level and clear as many
lines as possible. Without a way to store that in the game, it
becomes impossible to try to outdo your or other peopleís high
scores, thus eliminating the one "goal" Tetris has always
had. Additionally, itís very annoying to have to change all of the
options each time you turn the game on. If you donít like the game
showing the next piece, giving shadows of where each piece will
land, or any other option you better remember to change them all
each time you play.
- Plenty of
game modes and a two-player option add considerable depth to
what is already a very deep game.
- The worlds,
while generic, give the game some personality.
- Lack of a
- Most of the
music is annoyingly looped every minute or two.
In the end itís
Tetris with all the options youíd want and expect. That makes it a
good game. Whether itís better than Tetris
DX or not depends on what you want out of your Tetris. If you
like the extra modes, go with this game. If you want a more
conventional (and cheaper) game of Tetris with the option to save up
to four different games, then get Tetris DX instead.