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Tetris DS

A little more than a decade and a half ago, the very first Game Boy landed on store shelves and put Nintendo in a place it had never been: everywhere. But it wasn't Mario or any of the company's other popular characters that put the handheld system in every child's hands and business traveler's carry-on. It was Tetris, often considered the world's most perfect video game. The immortal puzzler hasn't changed over the years, but Tetris DS is hoping you'll bite anyway. With some serious online play and a gaggle of Nintendo window dressing, it may well be worth a look.

Every incarnation of this ultimate puzzler introduces some twist that attempts to justify its existence. In this case, that major addition is the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. You'll be able to play two to four player Tetris across the globe through the service or better yet, school the whole block with local games of ten players, all with just one DS game card.

As often as people will be beating down your door, aching for a regular Tetris deathmatch, the new gameplay modes will liven things up further. There'll be six different ways to vaporize the incessantly-falling blocks, each gussied up with a classic Nintendo mascot. Catch, for example, has you guiding an empty square around a Metroid-themed play area. You're trying to fill the vacant box with enough pieces to create a perfect square. If you pull that off, it explodes and showers you with lovely points.

If you just gotta pound someone at Tetris, Push mode should do the trick. You and a pal fight it out, pushing the other guy's stack of pieces into a black zone of death like a Tetris tug of war, while keeping your own stash from piling up. In this mode you take one DS screen, the opponent takes the other, and you can see where they're planning to drop the pieces.

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