Tetris 3DS review: Tetris, by its very nature, is a 2D game. It involves 2D shapes dropping down a 2D well with the player making and clearing 2D lines. In theory, adding another dimension to Tetris would be as necessary as modifying a torch with a hairdryer. Tetris on 3DS knows this, so it doesn't focus on the 3D aspect too much. The effect is there if you want it, but for the most part it's block-building business as usual.
Developed by the same team behind last year's Tetris Party Deluxe, Tetris on 3DS has a similarly sizeable number of game modes - around 20 in total.
Somewhat disappointingly, many of these modes have just been borrowed from the previous game and given a 3D makeover.
There's Field Climber (where you have to guide a little chap to the top of the well by dropping blocks for him), Stage Racer (where you manoeuvre a Tetronimo through a maze), Shadow (where you fill up a shape with blocks), Bombliss (Tetris with bombs), and a few others that players of Tetris Party Deluxe will already be familiar with.
There are a few new modes, too. Jigsaw sees you placing blocks to form an image made up of photos you've taken with the 3DS camera. Fever and Capture, both explained badly in the vague help screens, involve playing with a much thinner 'well' which flips around at random moments and capturing sparkles by surrounding them with blocks of the same colour respectively.
Tetris goes AR
Meanwhile, the AR-enhanced versions
of Marathon and Field Climber have the well coming out of your table in a way that impresses at first then ultimately gets dull. AR Marathon in particular is a disappointment because its well is only four blocks wide and the extent of its AR gimmick is the well rotating a bit when you clear a level, forcing you to shuffle round the desk. Both AR games feel like modes that have been shoehorned in.
Thankfully, multiplayer is as reassuringly entertaining as ever, with a whole host of local and online options available, many of which use Download Play and thus only require one cartridge for up to eight players. We'd suggest turning off the battle items though, because some of them are idiotic.
One in particular, which swaps your screen with another player's, is a game-breaker - all you have to do is get the power-up, deliberately stack your own screen right up to the top, then trigger it and leave your opponent with a screen seconds away from a Game Over, completely defeating the point of playing well.
Silly niggles and iffy extra modes aside, Tetris is still Tetris. It's still going
to accompany your 3DS everywhere you go whenever you need a quick blast of Marathon or want to challenge your 3DS-owning mates to a match, and that's why we're scoring it highly.
It's not the best handheld Tetris - Tetris DS still owns that crown - but the good modes on offer here are very good indeed.