Tetris Party Review

Tetris manages to make it onto just about anything that you can play a game on, so it's no surprise that WiiWare now has a Tetris game to call its own. The developers of Tetris Party deserve extra credit, though, for delivering a version that comes packed with several modes of play beyond the basic, classic version of Tetris. Still, Tetris is Tetris, so if you've never been a fan of the game there's no point in taking any time to consider purchasing Tetris Party. Tetris fans, or puzzle gamers new to the game, will probably be perfectly happy dedicating some of the Wii's very limited memory blocks to this game.

Tetris Party comes with the traditional 'play until you lose' endless mode of the game. It's not the classic version of the game in the sense that it provides you with a number of assists such as showing you what the next five pieces will be, letting you skip a piece you don't want, and using a ghost piece to show you exactly where the real piece will land. I prefer the classic version of the game because it's more challenging and it forces spatial thinking, and this version takes some of that away from the game.

There have been plenty of versions of Tetris that have given you the classic version of the game and nothing else, but there wouldn't be much of a party in Tetris Party if things ended there. First there is a competitive, head-to-head version of the game that can be played against someone sharing the couch with you or against another gamer over the internet. In this mode both players play a game of Tetris on their own, but as one player clears lines on his or her board permanent lines are added to the other player's board. Needless to say, a shorter playing field makes the game harder to play, and the object is to make things tougher on your opponent until his/her board fills to the top with pieces. In a nice extra touch to this mode, the game tracks your stats and you can see how your skills stack up to those of other players on the online leaderboards.

Not all of the extra modes are competitive, though. There's a puzzle mode in which the outline of an object is placed on the board. Your goal in this mode is not to eliminate lines of blocks, but rather to stack the blocks in such a way as to create the object outlined on the board. Even if you fail to create the object, the game will give you a score based on how close you came to the solution. The game also includes a pretty unique mode known as Field Climber. In this mode a little man walks back and forth across the bottom of the screen. If he comes into contact with a block he'll climb to 'wall', but only if that wall is only one brick high. The object of the game is to build up the blocks in such a way as to allow the man to reach the top of the board. This mode is a lot tougher than it sounds, as it can be tricky to avoid squishing or trapping the man. Lines of blocks are eliminated in this mode in the same way that they are in the normal mode, so you also need to be careful not to wipe out the block staircase you've worked so hard to build. There's also a mode that can be played using the Balance Board, although it's not really any more fun to play than the regular mode.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 85%. Tetris Party packs more Tetris fun into a downloadable game than you'll find in most "full" versions of the game.