Anyone who thinks Tetris has nothing left to offer clearly hasn’t played Puyo Puyo Tetris
This is the reinvigoration puzzlers have desperately needed and the most complete version of two classic puzzlers we’ve seen in the West.
While Puyo Puyo was clearly influenced by Tetris, both games have very different styles of play. Tetris tasks users with building horizontal lines, while you need to match four Puyo Puyo together in order to pop them.
Both follow similar attacking formations, however, in that you send garbage over to your opponent in order to fill up their grid and trigger a Game Over.
Puyo Puyo Tetris is a perfect marriage of both games. In some modes, the grid will combine both games, dropping both blobs and Tetronimos down on a player at the same time, while another mode sees the grid switch between both games after a minute.
You can clear your playspace clearly and effectively in both games, creating Tetris by forming five lines at a time, or by producing chain pops in Puyo Puyo. The more attacks you chain, the more garbage you’ll send over to your opponent.
But the beauty of Puyo Puyo Tetris is that the crossover is seamless and accommodates for a player of either preferred type while introducing them to the other style of play.
This is a full and complete package, containing an extensive seven chapter story mode full of quirky characters and variety, in addition to the expansive online modes and various unlockables.
As you progress, you’ll unlock characters to use in any of the game modes online or off, but the roster has no discernable characteristics other than cosmetic differences. Having characters with different abilities might have really added to the strategies online and made an even more interesting space than has already been cultivated.
The campaign also becomes a little slow-paced at times, with characters in cut-scenes droning on, and the plot being so incredibly thin that you’ll find yourself skipping through rather than paying close attention.
Still, there’s friendlies available to hone your craft, as well as a Puzzle League where you can upload, share, and view replays of both your matches and the matches of your opponents, as well as check out ratings, rankings, and other stats.
For each match you take part in, you’ll earn credits. The amount of credits you earn depends on how you perform in each match – how many chains, how many points, whether you managed an all clear on your grid etc – and is then tallied up at the end. These credits can then be used to buy different Tetris and Puyo variants, new soundpacks for characters, as well as stages and background music.
You can play against up to 3 opponents, including the AI at any point, which does make for a decent challenge, and use up to five different modes. As previously mentioned, Swap and Fusion mix both Tetris and Puyo together, but there’s also Big Bang where you need to build up a contained blast to blow up your opponents screen. There’s also Party Mode where objects of varying property drop into your grid and you need to adapt on the fly.
Unlike Switch, the Playstation 4 version doesn’t support portability aside from close proximity Remote Play – which does detract slightly from the overall package as being able to play locally or online wherever you are is a huge draw – but the core gameplay is still as charming and fulfilling no matter your platform of choice.
Puyo Puyo Tetris is one of the most exciting puzzle packages on the market today, especially if you’re keen on multiplayer action. There’s plenty here to keep you coming back for more.
+ Variety of fun gameplay modes
+ Tons of content
+ Excellent multiplayer
– Campaign a tad repetitive
– Cast of characters no discerning qualities
– Switch price inflation is baffling and cause for concern
Puyo Puyo Tetris
9 out of 10
Tested on Playstation 4