Tetris for the ADD generation!
Tetris has found it’s way onto many gaming platforms since it’s popular debut on Nintendo’s Gameboy in 1989. You may have even played Tetris on iOS before, or at the very least, any of the seemingly thousands of “match-the-things-falling-from-the-top-of-the-screen” games. Tetris is a game that will live in the hearts of old school gamers and moms everywhere, but what about the new generations? What about the kids that need to have their iPad and phone with them when they watch a movie because one screen simply isn’t enough? What about the teens that can’t handle watching more than 3 minutes of a YouTube video before it becomes “too boring”? Maybe you don’t fit into either of the above demographics, but instead have plenty of disposable income to sink into a mobile game? Don’t worry, EA has you’re back. Tetris Blitz is for you.
I’m not going to pretend that Tetris Blitz isn’t a fun game. It is. Every day tetris is enjoyed people all over the world, and I’m no exception. The one-touch controls from EA’s paid Tetris game are present in Blitz, and work just as well for dropping minos and clearing lines as fast as possible. The various power-ups are fun to use but cost in-game gold to unlock (outside of the ones that the game gives you for free to try out). They range from lasers that clear random lines to an avalanche that drops extra minos from the sky to help fill the gaps to clear extra lines. The more power-ups you use, the higher you score will be within the two-minute period. There is a problem when you have to pay to get a higher score in a free game, but I digress.
The graphics and sound in Tetris Blitz are fantastic, with some great modern renditions of the original Russian musical themes and some great enhanced effects for the various power-ups in the game. The animation is smooth, and the colorful visuals are slick. It’s what you tend to expect from EA published mobile games.
Sadly, the other thing you tend to expect from EA games is an over abundance of paid game currency , in-app purchases, and prompts to share everything you do with everyone you know. Oh yeah, and now there are ads too! While the game itself may be fun, it’s tarnished by the constant reminder that you should be spending money on this game. It costs 5,000 gold every time you want to go into a two-minute game, and this gold runs out very quickly. Sure, you’re granted some gold each day, along with a spin on a wheel that offers free gold and power-ups every four hours, and there are free gold offers you can complete by viewing ads, signing up for mailing lists, etc, but in the end is all this hassle worth it to play a game for two whole minutes? Want to disable all the ads? Spend $5. Want to see the next two tetrominos on queue while playing? Spend $3. Ugh. I’m sorry, EA, but having IAPs shoved down my throat doesn’t taste any sweet because everyone else is doing it.
Other than various upgrades that can be used during play, Tetris Blitz really hurts from a lack of any other game modes. There is a single “play” button that loads Blitz mode, and that’s it. Any fan of Tetris knows that it’s hard to play the game for a mere two minutes. I felt like every time I started really getting into the game the timer would let up and force me to stop. It wasn’t a good feeling. I understand that Blitz is catering to the idea of playing a quick game while on the go, but there are still plenty of people with more than two minutes here and there to spend on gaming. Adding in an “endless” mode, or maybe a level-based challenge mode would have been nice, and could have really upped the value of investing some cash into this game. On top of that, forcing me to link the game to my Facebook in order to see the game’s leaderboards is pretty damn shady. No thanks.
Tetris Blitz feels like a quick cash grab more than it does a full game. The gameplay, while fun and polished for two whole minutes, always left me feeling empty. I don’t want to be forced to pay for gold just to play a single game mode that’s over almost as soon as it starts. I don’t want to share every accomplishment with my friends. I don’t want to link this game to my Facebook just to see the high scores. I want my score to be based on skill, not on paying for the best power-ups. I just want to play a game that doesn’t assault my wallet every two minutes. For a game that represents such a legendary IP, Tetris Blitz just doesn’t live up to my expectations of a modern Tetris game on iOS. It feels more like a side mode to EA’s existing Tetris game than a standalone product. But hey, it’s free, it’s polished, and it’s fun up until the part where you have to start spending money, so that’s something, right?