Reviewed by Diane Cote
The portable version of Nintendo's latest puzzle addiction is great. It sports all
of the game play, most of the music and much of the graphic shine that you'll
find on the stupendous SNES port of Tetris Attack. It's been a little while since
a truly superlative puzzle game showed its face on the Game Boy, so Tetris
Attack is a welcome addition to the growing library of great games available
for the diminutive powerhouse.
Don't Expect Beautiful Vistas
Since this is a puzzler, you shouldn't be expecting to be blown away by the
graphics in the game. Although there's been a huge improvement over the sparse
visuals of the Game Boy's original Tetris, we're definitely not talking about the
sharpest looking Game Boy game ever made.
All you really have to concern yourself with is the variety of different shapes that
pop up into the Tetris Attack playfield. Your job, as in all of the Tetris games, is
to clear them away by lining them up in sequences. Thankfully the small screen of the
Game Boy is plenty big enough to allow the gamer to makeout all of the details. There's
nothing worse than having to squint through a major disgrace in a puzzle game.
Nintendo's also spruced up the area bordering the playfield with mini-representations
of Yoshi and his buddies. This attention to the tiniest details is what separates
Nintendo's games from their competitors' and it's gives them a definable character.
Although the story elements in Tetris Attack are completely unnecessary, they
do provide a pleasant break from the endless repetition of the action (trust me
you won't want to stop playing) and are a welcome addition.
Glue Your Game Boy To Your Hand
The strongest component of Tetris Attack is its "god, I wish I could stop playing"
gameplay. Once you've gotten used to not being able to flip your cursor around
360 degrees and you start laying down the chains (sequences of cleared blocks),
you're going to be hooked. Don't blame me.
The actual play of Tetris Attack is as simple as the original Tetris. This time the
blocks travel from below your cursor towards the ceiling. You have to rotate the
blocks two at a time and try to match as many rows and columns as you can. You
get more points for the number of blocks
and chains of blocks that you clear.
In two player (with linked Game Boys) or Vs. games against the computer, the
ability to chain your block clearing really comes into play. If you are able to clear a
whole bunch of blocks, you'll be able to send out a huge block, that stretches
across the entire screen, to land on top of your opponents already rising collection.
This can prove to be very stressful for your opponent, so make sure they take a
dose of Pepto Bismol if they have an overly acidly stomach.
Tetris Attack's gameplay is terrific. It's simple to learn and very hard to master.
Switching over to the higher difficulty levels will give you a dose of instant humility.
Don't get cocky, kid.
Don't Bring Your Dancing Shoes
Like most Game Boy titles, Tetris Attack suffers from music and sound effects of
the overly tinny variety. The small speaker and the antiquated sound chips not
withstanding, the audio team that worked on Tetris Attack has done an admirable
job. Catchy, happy music from the SNES version of the game is instantly
recognizable the second you turn the machine on. And the various plinks and plunks of
moving the puzzle pieces are agreeable.
I wouldn't recommend toting a pair of headphones around so you can "really listen"
to the soundtrack, but I sure wouldn't dissuade an on-the-go gamer from finding a
quiet place for themselves and playing this game with the volume turned up.
Surprise! Another Winner From Nintendo
There's not much wrong with Tetris Attack. It delivers everything it sets out to do
and then some. With a variety of different gameplay scenarios, not to mention a
great two player mode, this is a portable diversion that will see many hours of play
time. Tetris fiends can breathe easy. The legacy of their beloved game has not
I'm giving Tetris Attack 9 out of 10