Tetris DS Reader Review
We all know what Tetris is and what it does to people - if you don't, then clearly you've stumbled to Gamesrant accidentally so you can make your excuses and leave, or stay if you want to find out what all this 'interactive video malarky' is all about - so I'll skip the background and how-to-play guff and get to an anecdote that will sum up what Tetris DS is all about.
A couple of weekends ago, I was down in Southampton visiting a friend and was told to bring the DS down for some 'multiplayer goodness'. We fired up New Super Mario Brothers and had a pretty good battle-esque, coin-collecting, single-stage multiplayer romp around. It was also the first time that I had actually got some decent playtime on the DS Lite and was peer-pressured into getting one. This turned out to be the right move as I passed on my old DS to new299 who in turn lent it to his housemate who happens to like a bit of gaming. And on went Tetris DS to see what it would be like.
And then it was 3am, Sunday morning. Okay, we didn't play it all of Saturday as I was out with others at a dinner-do, but I'm sure that's what would have happened if nothing else was going on. Three-player multiplayer Tetris DS was an absolute blast of profanities and resentment for each other - there's been nothing quite like it. And it was only like that because we were in the same room.
What was the reason for shouting rude words at each other? Because on classic multiplayer Tetris if you remove two or more lines simultaneously you send one-less line to the opposition (you remove three, they get two). On multiplayer games with three or more, the opponent is chosen in a cyclic fashion, a target reticle indicates the unlucky bugger to get your lines. You get a warning that lines will be added and they also indicate which player sent them. And if you plan it well (or are just jammy), then you can string up a load of lines to be added to a specific opponent to send them to an early grave. And that's when it gets nasty.
A couple of added lines is okay - no problem. When you see four lines to be added to your board, that's just annoying. But the real killer is then finding another four lines waiting on the next turn - only then are you allowed to swear loudly and fume as you wait for the others to finish. (You're still allowed to play a normal game of Tetris whilst waiting, so that's good, and depending on the multiplayer game settings you can use items to effect other players.)
That's all there is to it, but really, that's enough. The score tallies up after each game to show you how the battles are going, and you just press on, match after match until you either die of sleep-deprevation or some other nasty thing happens. There are two other multiplayer modes (both two-player only): a tug-of-war style game where the more lines you make disappear, the more you push back the opposition towards their 'end-game' line (multiple lines equal greater push-back); and a puzzle-based game where you're each tasked to remove lines using specific block-types, completion of which scores you points (each player has the same puzzle, so it's the first to achieve it). The former provides a good diversion but it's really the original mode that shines, giving you old school Tetris with added social fun.
I don't know if it could but I doubt playing over Nintendo's online service could have provided the same amount of multiplayer goodness as being in the same room as those that you play against. The social aspect would be missing and there wouldn't be anyone to release your anger on. And the best thing is that you only need one Tetric DS cartridge for super great unabashed fun. Now, go and play.
(There are a load of single-player modes that should keep you busy, but that's not what you should be playing, Godammit!)