Review of Tetris for the NES Mini
By: Kevin Magnus

Well, here we are again, and I'm here to share with you the latest old school game I played because I can never find time to play a new PS4 game. I have come to realize that while I am nowhere near the title of a gamer, back in the eighties and most of the nineties, I was just that.

So, while so may not be at the level I was in the days of when the 8-bit ruled, I still hold a passion for a good game. Case in point is this month's pick: Tetris.

I was introduced to Tetris, if I remember correctly, was in 1989 by a cousin who didn't want the game anymore and passed it on to me. I figured it was worth a shot, at least for an hour or two. Since the game itself is basically you, the player, controls rapidly falling blocks. You can move them in 360 degrees, to fit the small blocks together to create lines. With each line made, the blocks vanish, and you get points (although no one really keeps track of them). With every ten lines collected, the faster the blocks fall, if you are not crafty enough, and your screen fills up with those bad boys—BAM—game over!

One of my personal favorites to do in the game is to create Tetrises. What that is, is when you stack up a bunch of blocks and try to make a mega layered line. The most lines you can knock out at one time are four since that is the largest blocks available; in doing so, it also boosts up their point values.

I was going to say that Tetris had no enemy, but that isn't true. Time is your enemy; the faster the blocks fall, the less time you have to react. But that does not mean that the game cannot be competitive in nature. You can always test yourself to either best your own score, or like what I would attempt and get further in levels than my previous attempt. If you are one of those types of people who believes that everything has to be a competition, you can challenge your friends and family to the highest score is the winner challenges.

Another thing that I think was well done by the creators of this game was how they designed the progression of difficultly. You start at Level Zero, and the blocks fall at the pace of salted snails on a hot day, but the next level is just a little faster and then a little more, until you are at Level Ten and you don't know: How, what, where, when and why.

As we move to the graphics, well, it's Tetris. I mean, it was created in the 8-bit era of video games, but if I had to include it into this review for the sake of critique and assessment, it would be how clear everything on the screen is. The basics really work in this game, no extra imagery, extra lines, or explosions while you are trying to line up blocks dropping at one hundred miles an hour. But, maybe some aliens though… I kid!

As I am going down the list, I see music. Music? In Tetris? Okay, I have to be honest, I have never even noticed the music during the gameplay. I jumped on, and sure enough, there's tuneage. While I do see that you can turn off the music while you stack bricks, I think maybe I was just so focused that I never even noticed it. It is basic midis, but much like my thoughts with the graphic, it's 8-bit from the 1980s. If you are looking for a full-on score, you'll have to wait for Jeff to come back and review a modern game.

Over the years, I have spent hours upon hours playing this game. While there are many like it, there is nothing like the original puzzle game. There is an old school Game Boy version of the same name, but it does not come close to the NES version. That is an entirely different review in itself. You can pick up both versions on the Nintendo Switch, and I recommend dropping the buckage. For Tetris, I award it four golden stars and say there is simply nothing better to date!

All right. I guess my job is done here. If you need me, I will be back, but until then, I have some dark poetry to write down, maybe about the pains of never getting passed Level Ten.