The game Tetris has been around since 1984, yet in spite of this statistic, this addictive arcade game that has not yet worn out its welcome within the gaming industry. However, it would be quite difficult to enhance this particular title whose game mechanics are simplicity themselves, but that does not stop game developers from trying.
Enter Tetris Blitz, the new Tetris based game from EA. It modified the main concept of the original game from endless falling bricks to manageable two minute sessions, much like Tetris Battle did in the past. This works best especially since the title is geared more towards mobile devices, and is much more suited for gamers on the go. It also features an easy swipe control where players can simply tap as to where they would like the block to go, and cycling the positions are pretty easy due to its user friendly interface.
Tetris Battle, however, deviates from Tetris Blitz as the game foregoes the multiplayer one on one functionality in exchange for global leaderboards. Players can see how they fare against other players as well as with Facebook friends. In retrospect, this takes away some of the challenge of the game, as well as steers away the need for in-app purchases, something that the game incessantly puts out in front of you any chance that it gets.
In-app purchases come in the form of coin packs and powerups, and although neither are necessary to get ahead for most skilled players, it can certainly add a lot of variety into the game, and you can certainly soar above the leaderboards with the right items as well as the proper skill to use it. Aside from Frenzy Mode and cascades, two features that allow for the chaining of line removals, the game features new powerups regularly, all of which can be used to make grinding for the top score easier. Powerups come at a steep price, though, and having to equip them each time you play will certainly put a dent in your coin reserves.
One of the main complaints about Tetris Blitz is that is has numerous prompts and reminders in between games. It will pop up several screens before you can actually play the game, and that could lead to some frustrating moments especially if you want to squeeze in as many rounds as possible during your break or before you have to get off the bus. Despite this, Tetris Blitz does provide solid and enjoyable gameplay for short bursts, which is great for gamers on the go.
Players who are quite skilled with classic Tetris will have a lot to discover with this new title, especially if they want to take advantage of chaining and powerups. As classic Tetris focuses more on surviving for as long as possible, Tetris Blitz is geared more towards scoring, which is why being able to force combinations as well as equipping and using powerups wisely is the way to go. With new powerups being made available on a weekly basis, players will have to change up styles based on their current inventory of powerups, making for a very challenging game especially for those who want to beat personal scores as well as for those who would like to proclaim themselves as the best player around via the leaderboards.
All in all, Tetris Blitz is a pretty solid game and it breathes new life into a title that has been around since forever. Still, there is much more room for improvement, like prompts in between games that can be minimized. Powerups are also a great addition into the game, but it would be good if it would be the prerogative of players to check for any updates in the store, or if reminders are limited to once the game has started loading. Multiplayer mode is also quite welcome, as it further adds to the challenge of the game, whether it be real time or asynchronous in nature.
Tested on iPhone. Final Score: 6/10
Tetris Blitz was developed by EA and it is available on Android and Apple devices as well as via Google play. It was released on May 23, 2013.