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Tetris! Now on WiiWare! Geometric shapes falling from the sky! Organize them in a space-conserving manner using your mystical powers of rotation! Play until your shape-pile touches the sky or your brain dribbles out of your nose! More addictive than morphine-coated potato chips! If you accosted an early Game Boy adopter in 1989 and told them that nearly 20 years later gamers would be playing the exact same game on their Super-Super-Super-Super NES, then chances are they’d believe you unconditionally. Perhaps their primitive 1980s brains would explode if you told them you could control the action with a balance board or challenge random Venezuelans to a duel in seconds, but that’s another matter.
See, Tetris has a pure, timeless quality to it. It doesn’t age or spoil, degrade or depreciate. It’s as crisp, enjoyable and relevant today as it was when The Bangles were top of the pops. So, it’s true that Tetris Party, being a faithful representation, is ’good’. Its presentation is basic, but many people moaned about the hectic Nintendofication of the DS version, so perhaps that’s for the best. Tetris Party conforms to the Tetris Company’s new standardized rules of Tetris, so controversial revisions such as ’infinite spin’ and the ability to store a shape for later use remain, for better or worse.
However, the open-ended structure of Tetris makes it an experience that’s always been more appropriate and appreciable on the move, and Tetris Party struggles to justify itself over the DS/Game Boy/iPhone/whatever versions. Its attempt at a solution is to offer a plethora of extra game modes, but the majority of the single-player extras prove to be flawed and less satisfying than the main attraction. It’s the multiplayer that resurrects Tetris Party’s relevance, with a healthy splattering of modes such as Duel Spaces, which sees players battling it out for grid space by fencing off the playing area with Tetrominos; Hot Lines, where you have to clear lines in order; and brilliantly, a co-op mode that’s bound to result in someone’s murder somewhere, somewhen.
Tetris Party supports Wi-Fi, but only for straight-up Tetris dogfights for up to six players, so it’s in local multiplayer that it shines. At its best, it’s as the name suggests – a veritable Tetris Party. But if you’re the only person you’re inviting, you might prefer to dig up an older portable version instead.
Dec 18, 2008