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Puyo Puyo Tetris mini-review

Puyo Puyo Tetris
I don’t feel like I need to go in-depth on a game like this. I mean, it’s Tetris, and Puyo Puyo.

Just thought I’d write a quick thing about it though, because it’s really fun.

So let’s go.

Developer: Sonic Team (what?)
Publisher: Sega
Date of Release: April 25th 2017
Platform: Switch, PS4 (also on 3DS, Wii U, PS Vita, PlayStation 3 and Xbone in Japan)
Genre: Puzzle

Rated E10+ for Everyone over 10 (why?)

So I was curious about this game for a while. It came out on a few platforms in Japan some time ago (research says… in 2014 apparently), so I was pretty happy to see it get a US release. How does one mix 2 games that have a similar concept (drop blocks into a playfield), but have entirely different gameplay as far as what you do with those blocks? Well Puyo Puyo Tetris has several different answers for this.

The first answer is simple: don’t mix them at all. You can play Puyo Puyo, or you can play Tetris. In a VS match you can decide which one you want to play, the other player decides what they want to play, and both will interact largely like they usually do. As you clear lines in Tetris or pop Puyos you send garbage blocks on the other side, regardless of what that other side is playing (Tetris garbage pushes from the bottom, Puyo garbage falls from the top). Puyo Puyo hasn’t changed a smidge since my days playing Kirby’s Avalanche in the 90s (some modes have different-sized blocks though, which changes the gameplay a little bit), and Tetris is the same as ever, featuring the Hold system where you can bank an undesirable piece to use it later (or a line block so you can actually get one when you need it), and pressing up to place the block instantly instead of fast dropping (you’ll still use the fast dropping for t-spins and such).

The second answer: Play both at the same time but on different boards, almost. It’s called Swap mode. You start playing either Puyo or Tetris, after some time a timer appears, and 3 seconds later you switch to the other game. Any blocks that are currently in the process of falling will keep doing so on the other screen, so if you set it up for a combo or a Tetris you can score extra garbage blocks against your opponent, otherwise I believe the block disappears (I just say this because I had blocks falling in terrible positions when the swap happened but it wasn’t in the way when I came back to it). To win one of these battles you have to beat the other player on either one of their boards (so comebacks are entirely possible if you’re failing heavily at one but manage to hit the other hard). This mode is super fun.

The final answer is the weirdest one: Just play both on the same board. That’s one I have issues with. You keep doing lines with Tetrominos and combos with Puyos, but the Tetrominos are much bigger than in the standard Tetris mode. If a Tetromino goes on top of a Puyo it actually squishes it, however the Puyo respawns from the top of the screen (without letting you control it). Garbage Puyos are completely destroyed that way. I’m not a huge fan of this mode, it’s just really weird to me. I’m sure some people have lots of fun with it though.

There’s a few extra things, like Big Bang mode (which are sets of speed-based puzzles, and the player who does them faster deals damage to the other player’s life bar), and there’s a party mode with items, but in general it’s either Puyo Puyo, Tetris or both. There’s a story mode (I’m not done with it yet, but the percentage seems to suggest there’s at least 50 levels), which is surprisingly fully voice-acted (and pretty decently too). The story itself is okay. Some levels are battles against other characters, others are trials where you need to face certain challenges like scoring points fast or something. You have 3 stars you can get per level. The first is the minimum to pass it, the others are challenges like finishing the level faster or with more points.

Overall

It’s Tetris and Puyo Puyo. So yes, it’s good. Very much so. The mix of the 2 works pretty great. Swap mode is my favorite but the whole thing is pretty cool. Even if I’m not a fan of Fusion mode I’m sure it will have its fans.

A perfect game for the Switch. Sure it kinda blows that the physical Switch version cost 10$ more than the PS4 version or digital version, but hey it has 2 cool keychains that the other versions don’t so I was pretty okay with that.

(I don’t know why they call tetrominos “tetriminos”… weird :P)

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