Tetris® Blitz iPad Review
- Time limit increases the pace
- Tap controls work extremely well
- Short rounds ideal for mobile play
- Power-ups risk unbalancing the experience
- Leaderboards effectively rendered meaningless
- Cash flow is a little stingy
A flawed, but entertaining reinvention of the classic Tetris experience. The freemium foundations undercut the leaderboards, but the block-dropping action is as enjoyable as ever.
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Tetris will never die. The granddaddy of all block puzzlers is the quintissential example of a timeless game, one which transcends arbitrary divides such as age brackets and console generations.
The latest iteration of the tetromino twirling title is Tetris Blitz. Designed for touchscreens, its puts a high-speed spin on the classic formula in the hope of injecting even more urgency into each round.
Rather than guiding blocks and clearing lines until your stack hits the top of the screen, you are given a strict two-minute time limit. It's up to you to achieve the highest score possible within this small window of opportunity.
As with its previous iOS Tetris titles, EA has replaced the traditional rotate-and-dunk controls with a point-and-tap system. When a block appears, you see ghost outlines showing where the shape might fit. If you don't like the options on display, you can tap the cycle button to change the block's orientation, and reveal alternative destinations.
Once you've decided where you want the block, simply tap the outline, and your tetromino will slot into place. There's also the choice to drag your blocks into place if you wish.
Though control options and time limits may have changed, we're pleased to report that Tetris Blitz is as engaging and exhilhating as it's always been. The addition of a countdown increases the sense of urgency characteristic of a Tetris bout, and the tap-to-place controls are more than up to the task.
Whether you take to this particular version of Tetris or not will depend largely on how you react to the game's freemium architecture. Completing rounds earns you coin, which you can spend on power-ups such as laser blasts, magnets, and quakes. They're not cheap, however, and grant only a few uses before you have to cough up again. Of course, you're also encouraged to purchase coins with real money. The boosts give you a distinct advantage during play, and run the risk of dropping the game into pay-to-win territory.
However, if you're happy to treat the leaderboards with the requisite pinch of salt, Teris Blitz is a fun and frantic addition to the franchise. It's bright, brash, and ideal for score-chasers looking for short bursts of point accruing action. Provided you can tolerate the slightly wearying freemium baggage, this is one block party to which you should probably RSVP.