Every Ninty handheld needs one

Ask game journos to name the best game of all time and among the answers of Mario 64, Ocarina Of Time and Rayman 2, you'll get more than a few shouts of Tetris. Well, that Game Boy classic's 'A-Type' game is just one of a whole slew of new game modes here. But do the new pieces fit?

That's not a lazy cliché, by the way - there genuinely are new pieces. Cute little L-shaped threes, stubby sticks of two and even a massively useful one-square block join the crew for use in party games like Shadow Wide mode. Here, you're given the outline of a plant or panda or something else beginning with 'P' (yes, a Pwatermelon too) and you have to fill its outline without going over the edges.


You can complete the puzzle scrappily and move on, but the challenge is to fill it without any mistakes. And, you know what? It's brilliant.

Absolutely not brilliant are the Augmented Reality games. For starters, you have to either keep turning the AR card on your table, or get up and move around it, while keeping the 3DS's cameras pointed at the card. Much worse, the play area is reduced to a mere four squares across. As a result, it's like Tetris for babies. That's babies who've trained as sports cameramen, know how to light an AR card properly and enjoy playing awful videogames.

While we're on the subject of bad bits, Tetris DS's exquisite Nintendo fan service is sorely missed in this Hudson Soft game. There are no Marios or Samuses here.2 This extends to the soundtrack, which is replaced with remixes of classical music... which repeat a lot.

Fortunately, the quality and variety of game modes on offer is better than those of Tetris DS, which does give you a reason to upgrade. The fiendishly addictive 60-second Fever mode could arguably have been an eShop download in its own right, it's so good.

In fact, the majority are so compelling we can happily pretend the AR modes aren't even on the cart and instead sing the praises of what's clearly the best 2D puzzler on 3DS so far. We appreciate ignoring the crap bits in a review is perhaps naive, but it's like taking the olives off an otherwise delicious pizza - the cheese is still worth shouting about.

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The verdict

This it isn't quite the 3DS's answer to Tetris (how ironic), but it's charming, imaginative and, best of all, original despite its ancient formula

  • Crisp visuals
  • Great audio
  • Hard to put down
  • Style is bland
  • Longer modes could do with more tracks
  • Poor AR modes
Nintendo 3DS