Tetris and Nintendo have had a long standing relationship since Tetris first came out on the Gameboy and turned a generation of games onto the addictive nature of trying to fit floating puzzle pieces together. The Tetris license has gone on to be owned by many developers and publishers over the years, including Electronic Arts. Now in the hands of Sega and Sonic Team, Tetris has been blended with Sega’s own puzzle title Puyo Puyo for a fun puzzle mash-up that is a must own for Nintendo Switch owners.
Puyo Puyo Tetris blends the puzzle game that everyone knows with a puzzle game that a lot may not be familiar with, at least for North American gamers. For the most part the blending of the games provides gamers with tons of gameplay options, but for those used to the reflexed based gameplay of Tetris, the more methodical Puyo Puyo may be a bit off puting at first. Luckily the game provides plenty of tutorials and videos to teach you the skills needed to geta good start on Puyo Puyo or Tetris, whichever you may not be familiar with.
Fusion, the new mode that the game tries the hardest to show off has you playing both Tetris and Puyo Puyo on the same board. For those unfamiliar with either puzzle game this is the mode you will want to avoid until you hone your skills. Trying to learn Puyo Puyo while having a mix of Puyos and Tetrominoes are falling is difficult, having to change the type of game that you are playing on the fly can be frustrating for newer players. It doesn’t help that this is the only mode where you can fast drop Puyos, which has the potential to further confuse seasoned Tetris players with no Puyo experience.
The game does have a single player story mode that does a decent job with teaching the player the ins and outs of each mode, although because Story Mode is a staple of Puyo Puyo it treats Tetris as the outsider meaning that the Tetris levels hold your hand a lot more than the Puyo Puyo level at the beginning. By the end of the story mode I felt that I had a much better grasp on Puyo Puyo than I did before.
Since the story mode can be completed in about six hours, the bread and butter of the game is in the multiplayer and single player puzzle modes. The multiplayer is where I have spent most of my time, competing against other players online, and the matchmaking system is strong. It’s rare that there are issues with being outmatched by your opponent. While it is sure to happen sometimes, more often than not I was competing against players with similar rankings, leading to some intense matches.
Of the different control options, I found myself preferring the Pro Controller over the Joy Con’s. In faster paced matches, I found the Pro Controller’s D-Pad to be more responsive to the twitch reflexes that are required for more intricate moves. The Joy Cons work fine, but when playing in handheld mode using the analog sticks and the buttons didn’t feel as intuitive, and with so multiple versions of Tetris available on the 3DS only diehard Puyo fans looking for on the go puzzling will spend much time playing outside of docked mode.
Puyo Puyo Tetris has a few forgivable missteps, such as Fusion mode, but that is to be expected when merging two games that don’t have a lot in common for the first time. Puzzle games are so few and far between these days it’s hard to believe that there is actual one worthy of a physical retail release, but Puyo Puyo Tetris is that game. Factor in that it’s discounted pricing makes it cheaper than the other party game options available on the Switch, this one is a must own.
Final Score: 8.75/10