Classic Tetris still entertains, but the 29-year-old game was still in need of a reboot. Electronic Arts answered the call with Tetris Blitz, a fast-paced and arcade-style effort for iOS and Android that combines the frantic intensity of placing tetriminos with a constantly ticking clock, wrapped within a futuristic presentation. Despite featuring one mode, this free-to-play puzzler will consume hours of your life, and after playing it extensively, we're proud to say it's time well spent.
The idea is to score as many points as possible within two minutes. Considering how methodical Tetris can be, particularly during the early stages, this may seem unappealing to longtime fans, but on the positive side, EA did its best to make the experience highly accessible, thanks to a default control scheme that showcases possible positions for each tetrimino, with players locking these shapes into place with a simple finger-tap; swipe controls are available, but not ideal.
On top of that, activating Frenzy Mode allows you to create chain reactions, as leftover pieces neatly fall into place forming lines and combos for big points. What's especially cool about this is the fact that it rewards players for making what would otherwise be costly errors in a normal game of Tetris. Misplace an L-shaped tetrimino? You'll probably be in decent shape so long as there are gaps for the remaining pieces to fall into.
What makes Tetris Blitz even more worthwhile are the various power-ups, of which, gamers can select three per match. Lasers vaporize random lines, Quake breaks tetriminos apart and Magnet pulls puzzle pieces to the left, among other goodies. Even better, EA plans to release a new power-up each week to keep things fresh.
Naturally, there's a catch. You need coins to buy these items, and acquiring more is a bit of a grind unless you open up your wallet and purchase the cash, which is exactly what EA wants you to do. Granted, you don't need coins to play Tetris Blitz, but it's significantly more entertaining with some virtual currency in your pocket. Otherwise, you won't be able to beat your Facebook friends' scores without skill and a bit of luck. It's a downer, to put it mildly.
Freemium tactics aside, it's one of the better Tetris spin-offs to come along in years, and you'd be wise to put it onto your mobile device.
What's Hot:The joys of Tetris broken into speedy two-minute sessions, power-ups ratchet up the intensity, Facebook integration lets you view friend scores, controls ideal for mobile players.
What's Not:Ads, power-ups difficult to come by without coins.