Somebody at THQ must be pissed. Considering their own, full-featured Tetris Evolution for the Xbox 360 has just been undercut by a $10, downloadable version of Alexey Pajitnov's seminal puzzler by the very company that owns the rights. Drama!
But those folks at THQ can sleep soundly knowing that the downloadable version of Tetris on Xbox Live is barely worth half of the asking price. Tetris Splash is the most basic version of the game to be released in years, featuring just two different single player modes - marathon and a race to complete 40 lines in the least amount of time. And that's it. No real variations on the classic, shape-dropping theme at all.
Well, unless you play multiplayer. Then you've got the standard versus modes, where completing lines in your well sends junk lines to your opponents'. The whole thing is fully online as well, which is a nice touch, and does definitely add to the overall value of the package.
But here's the weird bit. It seems like the inclusion of Tetris at all is more of an afterthought to what seems to be Splash's main focus - a fish tank screen saver.
Yes, the "Splash" in Tetris Splash is referring to the aquatic backgrounds of each game. Backgrounds you can alter and use as a screensaver. Apparently there are enough folks who feel it more convenient to just leave their TV and 360 on rather than turn everything off between gaming sessions. What's more, on launch day, Splash featured a handful of downloadable content... and they were all fish and fish tank themes. Yep... the screensaver has more friggin' options than the actual game!
Tetris is Tetris, which means Splash is still supremely playable. But 800 points feels like an awfully high price. Especially when you can get a used copy of Tetris Evolution on the 360 for just a few bucks more.