Puyo Puyo Tetris (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Shane Jury 30.04.2017

Review for Puyo Puyo Tetris on Nintendo Switch

Beloved by many since the unlikely combination with the original Game Boy, Tetris has gone on to grace nearly every gaming device to this day. Simple to play, difficult to master, there is scarcely another puzzler to match its raw appeal and ease of access. One series has resonated more with the Japanese crowd, though, that being Puyo Puyo, which has less recognisability with western audiences outside of select games like Dr Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine. SEGA has now combined both these mega "franchises" together, and brought the result to Nintendo Switch's launch window. With positive demo impressions beforehand, is it an easy fit for the puzzler duo, or one blob stack too many?

The meat of Puyo Puyo Tetris lies in quick plays of the two main puzzle modes, instantly accessible from the main menu for convenience, but there is actually a narrative at hand. Specifically, the Adventure Mode that follows schoolgirl protagonist Ringo, as her world is invaded by large strange blocks, and she must meet up with old friends to investigate the cause of this strange phenomenon. The tale is told through numerous chapters and levels, and is separated by portrait cutscenes, which have been voiced surprisingly well into English, dispelling some doubts on the translation efforts from the demo released not so long ago.

That being said, the repeated quotes can become somewhat grating during gameplay, and there is sadly no option for Japanese voices, although each character does have a second English voice that can be unlocked later. The narrative overall is a slight letdown in the sense that it seems like an ongoing one, and previous games in the Puyo Puyo series were not localised, so many will miss out on hints of previous adventures with no history information in the title itself.

Screenshot for Puyo Puyo Tetris on Nintendo Switch

Tetris is a popular game in the west, and many will be familiar with its setup; shaped groups of blocks rain from the sky that have to be rotated and organised to create solid horizontal lines - lines vanish, rinse and repeat. Puyo Puyo is a little more abstract, with multi-coloured blobs, usually in pairs, which fall into a grid, and it is required to group four or more of one colour next to or above one another to make them vanish. Both embody the mantra of "easy to learn, hard to master," as tricks and combos can be made to earn high scores and punish opponents with extra blocks/blobs. Puyo Puyo Tetris has a handy Lessons mode that teaches not only the basics but more advanced techniques, useful for both newcomers and veterans alike.

Screenshot for Puyo Puyo Tetris on Nintendo Switch

Both namesakes work beautifully in not only their native modes, but their crossovers too. The visuals are bright, clear, and colourful, and at a rock solid framerate. The musical composition is wonderfully upbeat much of the time, but intense at turbulent times when need to be. Control is simple but flexible, with many options to choose from including a one-handed Joy-Con configuration, and the HD Rumble implementation is subtle but noteworthy, as the game attempts to simulate the feeling of crashing blocks and blobs, and the fall of a packed grid upon loss.

Speaking of the console's unique attributes, Puyo Puyo Tetris and the Nintendo Switch are an excellent match. Not only is the whole thing quick to load and easy to get into a match with, but the Joy-Con are an ideal way to get a two-player session going with very little complication. Pro Controller fans are well served with the game also, but the relative lack of complexity in button mapping is a natural fit to the Joy-Con setup. Not to mention the lesser toll it all takes on the battery life compared to other big sellers like Breath of the Wild or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

Screenshot for Puyo Puyo Tetris on Nintendo Switch

This features a vast number of play variations to choose from, with many appearing in the Adventure Mode levels. For Solo Arcade games, there's traditional Versus, Fusion that combines both Puyo Puyo and Tetris on one grid, Swap that switches between them based on a timer, Party that uses items to gain advantages over opponents, Big Bang which is a race to initiate as many combos as possible, and a Challenge option with even wilder changes, with all these types being playable against one to three computer players. Multiplayer Arcade, which can function either on one screen or between multiple Switches for up to four players, takes many of the aforementioned types of play and adds local hilarity to proceedings.

Online is where a lot of the replayability will be for most, and it is quite comprehensive, offering a Puzzle League against others and a worldwide ranking system, a Free Play option for casual fun without stipulations, a Replay watcher to see tactics from other players, and the ability to join friends currently in matches of their own. Online connectivity is very solid, and rarely takes time to find a match. All these features and more make Puyo Puyo Tetris a solid choice for puzzle enthusiasts, and a perfect companion to Nintendo's hybrid console, especially at the cheaper price point.

Screenshot for Puyo Puyo Tetris on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

The wait was worth it for this puzzle mashup, as Puyo Puyo Tetris embodies everything great about its namesakes, and compliments the host hardware perfectly. Concerns arise about the lack of Japanese voice work as an option, but as an overall package of content and pure replayability there are few better crossovers than this one.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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