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Tetris Worlds Review
game: Tetris Worlds
three star
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
publisher: THQ
date posted: 09:10 AM Fri Aug 30th, 2002
last revision: 05:59 AM Fri Sep 23rd, 2005

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By Todd Allen

I don\'t know why all these guys want their significant others to get into video games with them. My wife started playing Tetris Worlds and I haven\'t seen my X-Box since. Yes THQ has brought us another incarnation of the game we\'ve loved for well over a decade. The question remains: is this Tetris so mind bogglingly greater than all the rest that I should spend my cash on it? If you\'re a Tetris aficionado then by all means add this one to your collection. The majority of gamers, though, are going to need some more convincing. How does Tetris Worlds stack up?

Tetris does have a storyline that, while not being very deep, is a nice addition. Early on the player is introduced to the plight of the Minos, a small cube-shaped species in some serious trouble. These little guys live on a planet named Hadar 4. The Mino scientists have discovered that the planet\'s sun, Hadar, is no longer stable and will soon fry poor Hadar 4. The thought of these poor little guys getting fried crispy will urge you to give them a helping hand. The scientists have outlined a mission for you so that you can help in the evacuation of the planet by unlocking the Tetrions.

The game speaks about an ancient civilization leaving behind gateways called Tetrions. These gateways can transport the Minos from Hadar 4 to more agreeable surroundings, but there\'s a catch. The Tetrions are activated only by manipulating falling blocks a.k.a. Tetris. Yes you\'ll laugh, you\'ll cry, you\'ll probably skip the story anyway. The Tetrions do send you to six different worlds, though, and in the story mode each planet represents a style of Tetris.

The first world, Deneb, challenges you with a game of classic standard Tetris. Players will feel most at home on Deneb for obvious reasons. Levels are gained by clearing 5 times your current level (Level 1-clear 5 lines). You are also timed. If you clear the required lines within the time limit your rank improves along with an impressive light show. Players will also notice some ambience on the planet in the background. As you progress, hills will form along with vegetation. It was all very peachy until some birds flew in front of me, breaking my concentration. As developers quest for ambience you have to just shake your head at what they come up with.

You\'ll be very thankful for the handy manual that explains some of the more unique styles such as Square Tetris. This style can be found on the rocky planet, Mira. Players must play regular Tetris while trying to form types of squares to earn points. This is one of the least fun styles. It seems like you have to pause and consult the rules so much you get bogged down. The next planet offers a more refreshing challenge.

The water world of Aludra is the next stop on the Mino\'s list. Amidst the underwater environment gamers will wade into Cascade Tetris. Cascade Tetris is a cool concept. Naturally when you clear a line, the blocks above it fall down. The point of this style is to get the blocks to fall into place and clear a line. This no doubt will demand a lot of strategy beyond clearing initial lines. The idea of causing \"Cascades\" will stick with you in the challenges to come.

Planet Antares is filled with volcanoes and lava. Here players will run into one of the most addicting styles in Tetris Worlds. Sticky Tetris asks you to do a simple task. Clear out garbage blocks, reach the bottom level, and clear it. Here\'s where things get \"sticky,\" though. Several of the blocks are made up of different colors. If those colors come into contact with another block they stick. The parts that are not of that color and are not resting on another block will continue to fall. This allows you to use several different strategies to clear lines. While Cascades are not mandatory, they are possible in this mode and prove helpful when you\'re racing the clock.

The cloudy planet of Talitha contains the Hot-Line Tetris challenge. On the screen there are four lines of different colors. Your objective is to clear lines of blocks on one of these \"Hot-Lines.\" Doing so is the only way to earn points. The higher up the line is towards the top, the more points a line cleared there will earn you. This challenge can prove to be the most awkward. In order to get points players must avoid clearing lines. It may take awhile to get the hang of this style as it proves to be one of the more frustrating ones.

Finally there is planet Unukalhai. In this icy world you\'ll encounter Fusion Tetris. On the bottom of the screen you\'ll see one red block. Your mission is to attach yellow blocks from your rotation to this red one. As you progress, this red block will become harder to reach. Cascades apply to this style as well so gamers will want to factor that into their strategy. That sums up what you\'ll find in story mode.

You can practice any of these styles in the arcade mode as well as challenge your friends to a match. I had a blast getting three friends together and going head to head. Tetris Worlds also supports your own soundtracks. It\'s a good thing too, since the funky techno beats will probably annoy you after a short time. Even though this is becoming a norm with X-Box games, I\'m still so excited to see how much it injects to the experience. Is there enough here to merit a purchase? Committing to Tetris Worlds becomes nearly impossible when you consider all of the other wonderful games out there as well as the ones soon to arrive.

I had a great time with this game, but it\'s hard for me to recommend it. The developers mixed things up a bit, but it is still Tetris folks. Now if you\'ve been in some other world for the last 15 odd years, buying this game might make sense. For about 90% of gamers out there, though, I\'d have to say this title is most likely a solid rent. Pay a couple bucks and relive one of the classic games of our culture, save the other $48 for something new.