If there’s a game that needs no introduction, it’s Tetris. This is a classic game that I’m going to assume everyone has either played or seen someone play in one form or another. Whether you’ve played it growing up or were just recently introduced to it, Tetris is a game that other puzzle games are constantly being compared to or at least mimicking in some way. As far as I can remember, there has always been some form of Tetris on every console released, “next gen” is no exception. For the PlayStation 4, we get Tetris Ultimate, which judging by the title, is supposed to be the best version of Tetris ever released. Is this the case? Let’s find out.
Tetris Ultimate is a very slick package. It’s nothing too fancy but the graphics and user interface are clean and look really good on a big screen television. Like the original Tetris back on the NES, the Tetris pieces themselves are quite colorful and help you differentiate between the pieces. There’s a lot of polish here and as much as you’d think there couldn’t really be much they could do to Tetris to make it look “next gen”, you’d be wrong. It’s a beautiful game that looks great on the PS4.
The music in the game however isn’t quite as iconic as the original game. It’s still the same songs that I remember from the old NES version, but they’ve been remastered and redone and they just don’t sound quite as good. That’s not to say they aren’t good though. I’m just saying that if you’ve played the original, the original just sounds better in my opinion.
Other than that, Tetris Ultimate is great looking and sounding Tetris game that will please older and newer fans.
Here is where Tetris Ultimate gets really interesting. The core game of Tetris is still here, in fact, you can still enjoy the classic game of Tetris is you play Marathon and Endless mode. Both represent classic games of Tetris that you remember and love. The game starts you off slowly enough but as you progress through higher and higher levels, the difficulty really ramps up where the Tetris blocks drop down at insane speeds. This is great for training your hand-eye coordination and only the best of players will reach past level 15.
Of course this wouldn’t be the ultimate version of Tetris if it didn’t include other modes. Tetris Ultimate also includes a Sprint and Battle mode as well as Ultra and Battle Ultimate when you beat the other two modes. Sprint and Ultra are basically time based games in which you try to survive a set amount of time while also trying to gain as many points as possible. In Battle and Battle Ultimate modes, you go head to head against other players to see who will be the champion. These extra modes are quite fun and really add to the gameplay variety over standard Tetris.
What’s also neat here is that not only can you enjoy a round of Tetris on your own, you can also enjoy them with friends. Tetris Ultimate allows you to play with your friends online as well as local versus mode with someone on the same machine. You can play with up to 3 other players which makes for a fun filled game of Tetris. What if you don’t have any friends? Tetris Ultimate also includes AI players you can add to the roster to play against. There are 3 different levels of difficulty you can choose from, though you’ll want to skip the easy and medium ones as they are way to easy in my opinion.
As fun as versus is, there’s also something called verses co-op which makes for an already hectic game of Tetris even more insane. I only tried this with another local player but what happens is that you get essentially two Tetris play areas linked together in which case you have to create one huge long line to remove blocks. You can only stay on your side of the screen so both players must be aware of whats going on on the other side to make lines. Players also share blocks so that’s also something else to be aware of. Communication is key here, although I found that it ends up just being a shouting match (all in good fun of course).
This leads me to one final bit of gameplay that really changes Tetris. You can now hold a piece to use for later! That’s right. If you get a piece that is not what you want, you can hold it and move to the next pieces. Once you find a use for it, you can then release it and hold another piece in its place. That adds a whole new element to the game that I know some players have always wanted.
Tetris Ultimate is everything I love about Tetris and more. I’ve always been a fan of Tetris and this is as close to the original as I remember, of course with a ton of improvements and game modes. Tetris Ultimate is a fun game to play solo as well as with or against friends and it’s rather nice that you can play locally as well and not be dependent on online only modes. I appreciate the fact that if I don’t have anyone to play with, I can easily boot up one of the AI’s included and test my skill out against them.
As far as I know, this is one of the best versions of Tetris out there. Fans of the classic I believe will love this as well as new fans who are just starting out. Tetris is a classic game that should be experienced by everyone, both young and old.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.