Review for Tetris 2 on the GameBoy

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With some great help from people on Twitter, I’ve been able to grab some high quality second hand GameBoy games, cheap, and complete in box at very good prices. One of which is Tetris 2 on the GameBoy; a game I remember seeing back in the day, but I didn’t get it. I wasn’t too keen on getting the game at a premium price, so finding the game complete for under £7 on eBay was a great find!

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Here’s a bit of trivia about the game, Tetris 2 in Japan was called Tetris Flash. Super Tetris 2 was actually a game that got released on the Super Famicom that introduces a new play mechanic where the floor would rise just like a two player Tetris game, but this would happen after every other piece has been placed. But this is Tetris 2, or should I say Tetris Flash, which is a very different game to the original Tetris game we all love.

The game in a way resembles Mode B on the original Tetris game where blocks (that are round in this game) are randomly positioned on the play field, some of these blocks are flashing, are some aren’t. The idea of the game is not to collect points by making lines of blocks, rather you’re matching colours and clearing the the round blocks from the level. Each colour of round block in a level has a flashing block, simply called the flash block, if you match up 2 or more of the same coloured to the flash block, you can wipe out the remaining round blocks of the same colour on the play field. Bonus points are given out when you finish levels using the least amount of tetrominos. This feels like another puzzle game I’ve played before. I know! This feels a lot like Dr. Mario!

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As much as Tetris 2/Flash feels a little too much like Dr. Mario, it does have it’s differences. first of all, being a game called “Tetris”, you have tetrominos made out of four blocks, rather than the pills made out of 2 blocks in Dr. Mario.

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The flash blocks in Tetris 2 reminds me of the “Flash Mode” in Columns. You beat each level by clearing a flashing block rather than accumulating cleared block.

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Tetris 2/Flash introduces 3 new tetrominos into the game that have blocks that are not connected. Meaning that when one part of the tetromino has been place, the “unconnected” part of the tetromino will descend until it lands onto the floor or a block. This reminds me of Puyo-Puyo, as the Puyo blob blocks in that game are effected by gravity too, another game that this reminds me of.

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In a nut shell this game is Tetris, Columns, Dr. Mario, and Puyo-Puyo put into a blender and the result is Tetris 2; thing is, I’m not too sure if I like it. It takes many great gameplay mechanics from other classic puzzle games and amalgamates it into a single game, which sounds great in theory, but doesn’t quite work in practice. Tetris to me has always been a puzzle game that you can keep on playing and playing, providing you’re good at it; but Tetris 2 has set levels that makes this Tetris game disjointed compared to the original. The other gameplay mechanics such as the new Tetrominos doesn’t make this game fun, rather it makes it a little frustrating, and one of the few things in the game I really don’t like, they take up too much space, and makes it very hard to think where to put them especially when flash and round blocks are compacted in a small place in later levels.

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I will give Tetris 2/Flash the credit of trying to be different, at least to other Tetris games, even when this takes ideas from other puzzle game; the Japanese Super Tetris 2 and 3 didn’t really change the formula. Out of the Tetris games out there, Tetris 2/Flash is the runt of the Tetris family, it’s different and misunderstood. It’s not a terrible puzzle game, but calling it Tetris when it’s not quite Tetris is a little misleading, but even with the strange and unnecessary tetrominos, it’s an “OK” puzzle game. It’s neither good or bad, just an average, more maybe just a little higher then average puzzle game. Even with it’s flaws, I can’t really knock this game, it’s not a classic, but it’s not terrible. It’s a game that mixed up a whole bunch of other puzzle games together and it didn’t work out for the best, but it’s worth trying just to see why it doesn’t work. It’s one of those games you buy cheap to see what it is and look back it it and say “Hey, at least it tried.” Play this game with little expectations, so that you get too disappointed with it. It’s worth playing, even if it’s not a classic.