Review: Tetris Attack (SNES)

By Drew Wilson

Tetris Attack is a game that is inspired by Tetris. While it was inspired, it has it’s own unique take on what a Tetris game is suppose to be like. We look at this kind of Tetris game is like.

Tetris Attack is a puzzle game that was released in 1996. It’s one of the games revolving around Super Mario’s side-kicks Yoshi and Yoshi’s dinosaur friends.

The story starts with Yoshi and Bowser wreaking havoc around the land. Bowser has captured all of his friends and the only way to free them is to defeat them one by one in a round of Tetris attack.

Unlike normal Tetris, Tetris attack has blocks moving up from the bottom. These blocks have to be matched, at minimum, three in a row in accordance to their colour (the shape displayed on them just helps to differentiate them from one another). You can get more than three in a row or have combinations where falling blocks cause another three or so blocks to line up. Doing so will allow for extra bonuses – though the most valuable aspect of this will be the fact that they stop more pieces from coming up for a certain short period of time.

This game has several modes. There’s a story mode, a puzzle mode, an endless mode, a stage clear mode and a timed mode. Each mode has it’s own unique challenges.

Whenever you go up against another opponent, making combinations or larger chains will send garbage over to your opponent. These are typically multi-square blocks that land on top of your stack of blocks. They can only be broken up if you clear some blocks that happen to touch these larger blocks. It’ll free up all the blocks trapped within the larger blocks so you can clear them all out normally. If you manage to clear blocks that are grey, they’ll send a concrete block over to your opponent. If you have already sent other blocks of garbage over to your opponent, this will land on top of that and your opponent will have to clear that particular block individually rather than just simply clearing on set of well-positioned blocks to wipe out all the garbage in their playing field.

If your blocks reach the top of the playing field, it’s game over.

Since I have quick fingers when it comes to Tetris-type games most of the time, I wasn’t really honestly expecting much of a challenge in this game – especially with that happy warm fuzzy feeling intro that this game displayed. I was quite wrong on that after having played through the game. The harder portions of the game really gave me a challenge like going up against bowser in the hard versions of two of the modes. I was able to defeat Bowser, but it sure wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. That’s what makes this game so good though. There’s plenty of time in the easier modes to get enough practice to go up against the harder reaches of this game. There’s really no deterrent factor for casual players at all as the easiest modes allow you to enjoy keeping the blocks on the lower part of the screen while medium difficulty parts of the game allow you to get – whether inadvertently or not – nice large combinations.

Honestly, I struggle to find any actual faults in this game. Perhaps the only thing about this game is that after you beat all the levels you can beat, it takes a while for you to want to go back to playing this game. Once you do go back to playing this game again, it’s like meeting up with a good old friend again. It’s still enjoyable after you beat the game at least once (or go as far as you can go).

The graphics are pretty much spot on. I thought it was funny that when you get a large combination in single player mode that the monkey eats the watermelon faster. It was pretty neat to see the heat vapours in the lava level and the special effects go on when you defeat a boss.

The audio was nicely done. Most of the music is nice and relaxing music like the forest level. The boss levels have nice and intimidating music and the bowser levels have unexpected, but fitting music. The sound effects were nicely done. If you get a combination, then you can get a sound effect unique to the character you happen to be playing at the time. They are not obnoxious or overbearing in any way, but they are there to give the game an extra inch of enjoyability.

Overall, this is a great puzzle game to play. It’s one of those games that you play through once, then come back and play through it again a few years later. So, if you like Tetris-like games and want one with an interesting twist, I would definitely recommend giving this game a try.

Furthest point in game: Beat Bowser in vs. mode (can only be done on the hardest difficulty) and the staged mode. Completed several puzzle rounds and got a top score in endless mode.

General gameplay: 25/25
Replay value: 7/10
Graphics: 10/10
Audio: 5/5

Overall rating: 94%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85

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