Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tetris Friends

Tetris goes back a long time!
For a long time, I've been a fan of Tetris; it's one of my favorite games of all time. It's beautiful, for starters, even on the Game Boy version that had no colors, it's exciting and relaxing at the same time (don't ask how- you need to play it to understand this) has excellent replay value, and is extremely easy to pick up.
So try and imagine the gameplay of regular Tetris, stacking falling blocks so that a row eliminates itself. Now try and imagine that mechanic in a sort of race, with several people clearing as many rows as fast as possible. Throw in the fact that as one player eliminates lines, they become the burden of another player, with loads of power ups that add to the mayhem, and you've got yourself Tetris Friends.
I've found this one very enjoyable, for in addition to the brilliant multiplayer, there are quite a few other versions of Tetris, both single and multiplayer that are well made.
One thing I enjoyed was the in-game currency, coins earned by playing (and more important- winning)
games that can be used to buy in-game items, such as different designs for your falling blocks (tetrominoes) and other things.
I also like their matchmaking system, because while you start at the bottom, after your first game (depending on how well you played!) you'll either game experience points in the form of stars, or, if you did very well, be promoted much higher to a level that meets your skills. You're also given the option of whether or not to be promoted, thus, if you still want to practice on overwhelmed on higher levels or simply want practice on the lower, you can have it.
In all, I simply love Tetris Friends. They've taken Tetris very, very far, but it doesn't at all feel "stretched", as if the developers were trying too hard to make something new.
Controls are also superb, the graphics are excellent as far as Flash games go, and it's all presented quite well.
My single gripe is that, at the time of my writing this review, you have to pick an avatar from a group of pre-made avatars, as opposed to uploading your own. This, I suppose, though, might be for safety reasons, since they'd likely have difficulty tracking down those uploading offensive material.
That aside, everything else on Tetris Friends is absolutely perfect. A big shout-out to all the developers, beta testers, and Alexey Pajitnov behind it.

Official Website
An interesting first person variant of Tetris
Information about Tetris in general, including history, origins, etc.