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Platform: PlayStation 2
Publisher: THQ, Inc.
Developer: Blue Planet Software
Style(s): Action Puzzle
Synopsis: An update of the perennial classic, Tetris Worlds combines the tried-and-true formula of the original Tetris with a number of variations on the theme. The concept is based around the idea that Tetris is played differently on various worlds. The six disciplines that players can partake in are Tetris, Square Tetris, Cascade Tetris, Sticky Tetris, Hot-Line Tetris, and Fusion Tetris. The original Tetris rules require players to move and rotate Tetriminos in such a way so as to complete one or more horizontal lines. Once completed the line will disappear, awarding points based upon the number of lines that are cleared simultaneously. Square Tetris is much the same as the classic rules, but additional points are awarded for creating four by four square blocks. Cascade Tetris is yet another variation of the classic rules. Here, whenever lines are cleared, individual pieces fall down into "cells." If these pieces clear any lines upon falling, a cascade results, granting the player bonus points. In Sticky Tetris, the goal is to "dig" your way through the blocks onscreen and to clear the bottom row. However, the caveat is that like-colored cells will join with similarly colored cells, forming new shapes. When enough of these cells join together, a Critical Mass occurs that clears the blocks. Hot-Line Tetris requires players to clear six pre-marked lines within the onscreen rubbish. The higher up the screen these lines are, the greater the number of points a player will receive. Fusion Tetris tasks players with connecting falling "Atom Blocks" with a Fusion Block located at the bottom of the screen. Along with its own set of Tetris rules, each world will present players with a unique 3D background to enjoy while playing the game. ~ Gavin Frankle, All Game Guide
Package Contents: 24-page Instruction Manual
The brief summaries aren't quite enough to fully explain each game. For example, one has to actually play Square Tetris and Fusion Tetris a couple of times before the rules become crystal clear. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide
Predictably, the blocks are solid, ordinary colors, and the graphics are clear. Each world does have its own rendered background (such as a desert, a lake, a frozen landscape or outer space), but there's very little animation and nothing really special or particularly detailed to look at. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide
In the same lofty company as Pong, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Super Mario Bros., Tetris is one of the most influential (and one of the most popular) games of all time. As a result, it has spawned countless imitators, including such noteworthy games as Columns, Klax, and Dr. Mario. In addition, Tetris has seen more than its share of spin-offs -- from the ridiculous (Hatris), to the sublime (Tetris Attack). Regardless of how many changes have been made over the years to the basic falling-object formula patented by the original game, the basic, stripped down Tetris remains superior to all sequels, clones, and copycats. Lucky for PS2 owners, Tetris Worlds contains a solid version of Alexey Pajitnov's classic puzzler. The game is plenty challenging, it has reliable controls, and the rules are basically the same. One nifty addition is the "Hard Drop" button, which drops the piece straight down in the blink of an eye. Curiously, unless Hard Drop is used, players can continue flipping the piece around after it touches bottom (until it settles firmly into place). Tetris Worlds adds several things to the world of Tetris to make the game easier. The most interesting (as well as the most useful) of these is the Ghost Piece, which shows players via a shadow where a piece will drop. There's also a "six piece next piece queue," which shows players what pieces will fall next. Seeing six pieces ahead is a bit excessive for most players, but it is helpful to know when the next straight piece will fall as it is generally the key piece to add when trying to score a "Tetris" (clearing four lines at once). Though certainly helpful, these hints can be distracting and are sure to annoy purists. Luckily, they can be turned off. What truly puts the "Worlds" in Tetris Worlds are...ahem...its worlds. For each of the game's six worlds, there are different rules for playing Tetris. The most compellingly original variation is Hot-Line Tetris, which encourages players to let the stack of blocks build high enough to reach the line markers. The higher the completed Hot-Line, the more points you score, forcing players to use new strategies. After all, other than trying to clear four lines at once, the goal in Tetris is usually to keep the blocks from piling up. Most of the other worlds, such as Cascade Tetris (with its chain reactions) and Sticky Tetris (with its Garbage Blocks), contain elements of play found in other games, such as Columns and Tetris 2. Predictably, none approach the greatness of the original Tetris. To visit the various worlds, players must enter Story Mode, which adds little to the overall enjoyment of the game. The storyline is wafer-thin, and the selectable characters (called Minos) are basically irrelevant as they influence the mechanics of the gameplay not one iota. It would have been cool if certain characters were faster than others, or if some were equipped with special powers, such as Tetris Blast-like bombs. There's also an Arcade Mode, which has players trying to complete various goals within a series of two-minute time limits. This is fairly entertaining when played with two or more players, but is less enjoyable as a one-player game (for starters, the playfield is too small). Basically, Tetris Worlds serves the same purpose for the PS2 as did Tetris Plus for the PS. Its primary objective (in addition to making money) is to keep Tetris in the hands of gamers who own the current platform(s). Naturally, Tetris Worlds is also available for the Xbox, the GameCube, the Game Boy Advance, and the PC. For purists, and for those who still have the original Tetris on an older system (such as the Game Boy or the NES), Tetris Worlds is more of a luxury than a necessity. The new modes of play are fun, but ultimately inferior, and the story aspects of the game are disappointingly shallow. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide
The package has a solid rendition of the original game as well as several variations, but there's not enough here to warrant purchase for those who already have Tetris for several other systems. Also, why couldn't Arcade Mode have included a port of the actual arcade version of Tetris? ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide
The music, which is composed of innocuous, repetitive background tunes, has more of a techno-new age sound than other Tetris games. Like Tetris Plus, there are voice effects to indicate when players score a "single," a "double," a "triple," or a "Tetris." However, the voice this time is whispered. This can get annoying in a hurry. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide
There's no denying the utterly addictive nature of Tetris. However, it's been released many times before. ~ Brett Alan Weiss, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.