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Video Game Generation


Tetris Evolution
Review By: Nick Arvites
Developer: Mass Media
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Puzzle
ESRB: Everyone
# Of Players: 1-4
Online Play: Yes
Accessories: Xbox Live (online play)
Buy Now: Buy Tetris Evolution at Amazon.com!


One of the few certainties in the video game world is that every console will land some iteration of Tetris. The puzzle title is still regarded as one of the best in the genre, and very few games if any have ever duplicated the simple yet addictive gameplay.

I’m cutting right to the chase with this review. If you’ve played Tetris, you should know what to expect. You drop blocks and clear lines. The same formula used since the 1980s is still present, and this game is Tetris. That should evoke some reaction from people, be it love, hate, or indifference, and I’ve found it really comes down to the individual person. If you like Tetris, you’ll probably get some enjoyment out of this title.

There are multiple game types that award points in different ways, but the essential gameplay remains the same. Drop blocks and clear lines. Several modes set targets, be it times or score targets. The modes present different ways to play the old game, but I found myself sticking with Marathon mode more than anything else.

Tetris Evolution

Online play pits up to four players against each other. The only mode for ranked matches is Verses Marathon, which sends cleared lines to your opponents. You can play unranked mode, where you can adjust game options.

Tetris Evolution also brings provides themes. You can put a background movie, select the music, and change the look of your Tetris board. The themes range from good to annoying to epileptic’s nightmare. I found the default (3d flythrough of a Tetris board) to be the worst one, although I enjoyed several of the default ones. You have “that Tetris music” as the default theme, and you can select tracks that include “generic rock” to “easy listening” to “Cinemax after 9pm Jazz.” While that one Cinemax Jazz track was really bad, the music overall works for Tetris. You notice it, but you don’t get distracted by it.

No review of this game could be complete without the obvious: this game should not have been put on a disc. Look, I’m sure the pretty backgrounds, music, and themes take up space, but there’s only so much you can do with Tetris. There is absolutely no reason as to why this title was not an Xbox Live Arcade title. Look at the competition. While I may not be a Lumines fan to begin with, they released it over Xbox Live Arcade for $20. THQ packages Tetris Evolution for $30 at retail. While this is much cheaper than most, if not all Xbox 360 titles, this is still way too much to pay for Tetris.

Bottom Line:

Tetris Evolution is the case-in-point for the existence of Xbox Live Arcade, and to not release it as a download is moronic. Not only would the game move more copies if the core was $10 and they charged for the skins/themes, but I also wouldn’t have to dock the score for a stupid business decision out of principle.

Pros:Cons:Final Score:
  • It’s Tetris
  • Multiplayer modes
  • Overall themes, backgrounds, and music are good
  • This should have been an Xbox Live Arcade title
  • Even though it’s Tetris and the lowest priced Xbox 360 title, $30 is too much to charge
  • Some of the music is bad

Posted: 2007-08-28 16:27:03 PST