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Tetris Review
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Tetris, the king of mobile puzzle games, has been reimagined by EA and released into the app store, replacing the previous EA-produced version that many players had likely snagged at some point in the past. Featuring an all-new One Touch control method and visual improvements, Tetris remains atop the list of best puzzlers on the go despite an overwhelming and annoying Origin presence.

Tetris Pros:

  • Polished, colorful presentation
  • Multiple game modes
  • New One Touch control method is enjoyable
  • Origin integration

Tetris Cons:

  • New app instead of update to old one
  • Origin social gaming network integration is obtrusive

The main gaming modes in this iteration are Marathon and Galaxy, controllable via standard swipe gestures (Marathon only) or the new method allowing you to tap on ghost outlines of possible placement points. Marathon is similar to the classic design, requiring you to place Tetriminos within a fixed area, creating full lines that extend from edge to edge in order to eliminate blocks, score points, and keep the pieces coming. The deeper you get into the game, the faster things move and the less time you have to make decisions. Rather than use a d-pad and buttons to move the falling Tetriminos or rotate them into the desired positions, the One-Touch method overlays up to 5 ghost outline images in the game board, allowing you to tap an outline to immediately place a piece. There is a cycle button that will offer up alternative suggested locations and a hold location to temporarily store a piece for future use, but the rest of the game plays out as you would expect. The overlays are easy enough to tap on without mis-tapping, given that they are spread wide enough. However, their inclusion can make it difficult to see exactly where the gaps are within the pre-existing formation, adding a sense of clutter and confusion at times. That said, we still really enjoyed this new option, as it provides an interesting new twist to an old favorite that virtually eliminates any issues we had with controlling the previous version using a touchscreen interface.

Playing Marathon mode without One Touch is reminiscent of the original method of interacting with the game, as the pieces fall at an increasing pace while you direct the pieces around the screen. Galaxy mode is also a bit of a departure from the norm, as it pre-fills the board with a large block formation full of gaps and tasks you with eliminating it using the minimum number of Tetriminos in the most efficient way possible. Galaxy mode also allows you to earn T-coins for eliminating lines. This in-game currency is used to unlock other aspects of the game. The most notable of these unlockables are the special Power-ups, whose use is granted via T-coin purchase. They add an interesting element to the gameplay that requires a whole new set of strategies. The game’s bold colors and animations create an appealing presentation. The soundtrack uses a similar tune to the original Tetris, with a number of other tunes accessible by unlocking with T-coins earned within the game or purchased via IAP. While the swipe controls still leave something to be desired, we found the new controls to be quite capable of fostering a fun atmosphere.

Replay value is good, as we’ve found ourselves gravitating toward Tetris again and again since its introduction decades ago. The One Touch method is a clever challenge and Galaxy mode also offers some welcome change to a decidedly stale experience. EA’s Origin gaming network is integrated in an over-the-top and in-your-face way that continues to turn us off. It’s the most disappointing and obnoxious aspect of this re-release, even more than requiring gamers to purchase a new game rather than update their previous version. At $0.99, it won’t break the bank as it provides satisfying 4-Dimple fun.

Tetris Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-12-09T01:20:59+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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