Tetris DS (Nintendo DS) Preview

By John Boyle 11.03.2006 7

It seems fitting that in this age of bringing gaming forward and trying to save the industry that one of the most eagerly awaited DS games is Tetris. The game that single handedly dragged the Game Boy out of obscurity and into the dizzying heights it scaled. So, give a game a quick makeover and touch screen control and you gather hype? Well not quite, Ninty are taking control of this game and are actually trying to improve the original. Let's see how they are getting on...

Gamers of a certain age like Russia, and Tetris is the reason. That music, that rocket, those blocks, it is simple yet perfect gaming and the most pivotal game in handheld history...so how can it be updated and improved. Well many have tried on many consoles and all have fallen flat on their face, the simple problem being that all have relied on something gimmicky to bring Tetris into the 90's/new millennium. So Nintendo are taking a few simple routes to bring success.

The first of these is to officially link Tetris to Nintendo's revered retro catalogue. You see, every mode in Tetris is based on a retro Nintendo game and each adds a lovely flavour to the game. So in playing Tetris you'll also be helping destroy Mother Brain with Samus, or helping get the tri-force for a 2d Link or even helping Mario take on Bowser. It adds a certain dollop of magic to the game and will certainly appeal to the older Ninty fans out there.

Screenshot for Tetris DS on Nintendo DS

Speaking of game modes, Nintendo are treating each mode as if they were new puzzle games in there own right. Smart move. Touch mode is based around the touch screen (obvious really) and makes you "touch" to clear a towering pile of Tetriminos (apparently the new name for Tetris blocks). They do this by dragging and spinning Tetriminos (sounds weird, is it based on the word dominos?) to fall in horizontal lines. This differs in that it's a leisurely approach to Tetris and has no time limit. Sounds confusing but should work in playing it.

Catch is an extremely unique sounding mode. You play in a Metroid universe and have to guide a flying block through these Metroid infested levels in order to catch falling Tetriminos. The aim is to create a 4x4 Square, once done the square explodes in all directions earning points.

Screenshot for Tetris DS on Nintendo DS

A quite vague puzzle mode is next that involves tapping of squares to manoeuvre into position and there is no time limit. Some more info would be nice Mr Nintendo! Push is next and involves clearing lines two at a time to push your opponent into the red zone (which sounds bad for the opponent).

Standard mode is classic Tetris, which is now accompanied by watching Mario go through a Mario game. The better you do then the better Mario does. So if you are clearing 5 lines at a time and generally kicking ass then Mario will be getting fire flowers and applying a world of pain upon the goombas. Do badly and he'll be mistiming jumps, losing his super mushroom power and (eventually) losing his lives. Finally mission mode is based on everyone's favourite fairy based game..."The Legend of Zelda". Missions appear on the top screen that you can help solve by playing normal Tetris. You complete these within the time limit and you're fine. If not then you got loads more blocks to deal with.

Screenshot for Tetris DS on Nintendo DS

There is another mode, but distinctly separate from the others. The wfc mode. Think four player Tetris battles with friends of strangers and it even includes a ranking system, both Push and Standard mode will be available for play. Sounds swishy. Yet there is more. Download play is available for up to 10 players, which is staggering. This will be the first time multiplayer Tetris play will be available to the masses in what looks like a decent game. True, the original had 2-player play but it was utterly impractical and needed two players to be tethered by the link cable.

So Nintendo seem to be on track for a success with Tetris DS. Loads of new single player modes that link up well with Nintendo's back catalogue. However the multiplayer aspect should be the major selling point. Tetris has always been a solo gaming experience, but with 10 player download play and 4-player wfc play it seems like all that is changing. C3 will be keeping a very close eye on this over the coming weeks, as this could become a very impressive DS title... fingers crossed.

Screenshot for Tetris DS on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

Tetris DS has crept up on the outside lane and is now looking like a well polished game grammed with game modes that'll be good for both new Tetris gamers and the classic gamers. The wfc mode looks good and 10 player single cart downloa dplay is quite simply an orgasmic prospect. If Nintendo can pull this off then this could be a very big title for them.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (5 Votes)

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Weird thing was that i had just read a different preview. Either way this is a game that i would probs buy if i just didnt tell my mate i would sell him my DS.

If done well this should be a nice game. Of course it'll all be in the playing

Certainly I'll be buying.

Gezz..theres so many great DS games comeing out :Smilie :Smilie

One thing though, did 'The Tetris Company' have any involvement in this?
It would nice to know how the original creator is doing..after all, everyone else made multiple millions from his game.

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Great stuff John. I'll be picking this up...

Ill be getting this + MP: Hunters on the same day...

It sounds excellent, I own the original gameboy tetris and not once have i ever felt to upgrade untill now.

-Have you any idea what it's like to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?

Tetris is definitely down on my list...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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