Box Shot
Platform: NES
Publisher: Nintendo
Designer: Elorg/Nintendo
Genre: Puzzle
Players: 1
Published Date 1990
Reviewed by: Adam King

Everybody who played video games knows Tetris, the world's most famous puzzle game, known for its spawning of countless imitators, and the Nintendo-Atari lawsuit thing. Nintendo brought out a version of Tetris to the NES, and it's a great game.

The object is very simple: these geometric pieces fall down the screen and you have to rotate them to form lines. Making a full line horizontally causes it to disappear, and gives you points. You can even move pieces to remove two or three or, with a four-bar piece, four lines (that's a Tetris). Broken lines with gaps will cause the pile to rise higher and higher, and if the pile touches the top of the screen, the game is over. It's simplistic, but takes awhile to truly master. That's one of the game's charms.

There are two modes. Mode A is the basic game. Make as many line and go as far as you can. Every 10 lines gets you to the next level, where the pieces start falling down faster and faster. In Mode B, you have to make 25 lines before you fill the screen. In either mode, you can choose your skill level, so you can pick where you fit in, whether it's amateur or expert.

The graphics aren't very good. All you see is the screen and the pieces, which change color depending on the level, so I guess that's a plus. The sounds are alright with nice sound effects and three different musics to choose from, including a neat version of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker Suite." The controls are very easy to use. Button B rotates the piece to the left, and Button A rotates it to the right. Pressing Down will just speed up the descent of the pieces, unlike the PC versions, which would just cause it to fall.

When you look at it, Tetris by Nintendo is a great game for anyone. So much, that Nintendo made other games based on it (Dr. Mario, Yoshi, Tetris 2, Wario's Woods, among others) but they can't compare to the original version. It's extremely addictive, and good for a quick play when you have a bit of spare time. Give it a whirl; you won't be sorry.

Reviewed By: 8-Bit Star


Tetris isn't downright awful, but I can't help but get the feeling that this is more overrated garbage.

You are.... well, actually there IS no storyline! You just guide a bunch of blocks down to the bottom of a well, the idea is you make a straight line across the well, therefore making the line disappear and scoring points. Form four lines at once, and you score a "Tetris".

In the last paragraph, I made the game sound boring, almost as boring as it really is, but before I touch that, I'll have to get the Small Spots out of the way. You get a few music selections to play during the game. Well, Tune A is good, Tune B is my favorite, and I never really liked Tune C. Same tune repeats, but at least you get to select it.

Play control is perfect. (Singing) They go left, they go right, they float, they drop, they make a line and form a Tetris... good, now YOU sing it! Turn 'em left, turn 'em right, send 'em down and form a Tetris! Send them left, send them right, fly them all around that well! Drop 'em, watch yer foot, drop the block, send 'em down and form a Tetris! *puff* OK, I'm done singing now! Sorry, but with a game where there's really no controls to screw up, how else could I waste that paragraph and take up space?

Ok, now, how FUN is the game, you ask? Well, here's how I describe it: Umm... drop blocks, form line, yay, next block, form line, yay... Ok, maybe it's not THAT boring, but it is if you turn the colume all the way down! Without that Tune B, there's really no reason to play this game, its just a boring drop-blocking fest, with no variety in the gameplay whatsoever. You just sit there, dropping blocks, never expecting a super big combo bonus (there are no combos) and never getting anything other than blocks that you must place. There aren't any of the nifty puzzle elemenets and plotting in other puzzle games. You just form a line! That's it! THIS particular Tetris didn't even have a multiplayer mode! How lame!

Ok, there, now you see why Tetris is overrated (note: there's a difference between "overrated" and "sucks" just for those Tetris Fans who will give me crap for this). The game that was considered the "Best game of all time" by those deefs at EGM, and 3rd best by Nintendo Power (also deefs) and considered a "Classic" by millions is nothing more than a boring block-drop fest which has nothing to back it up other than two good tunes and perfect play control. This one is common, but DON'T hunt it down unless you like collect games or something.

It IS the first game of its type, so it gets some sense of respect, but it hasn't really aged very gracefully at all. If you need a REAL Puzzle Game, try either Dr. Robotniks Bean Machine or Adventures of Lolo... why is Tetris called a "puzzle" game anyways? "Block-Dropper" would fit this type of puzzle game better.