You'd think there's little that can be done with Tetris to make it more than a one trick pony, but you'd be wrong. Turns out, there's loads of different modes just waiting to be invented - a fact proven by the release of Tetris Party on WiiWare.
A total of 18 modes including ten completely new single and multiplayer ones have been crammed into Tetris Party, along with not just four player local play but six player online play as well.
It's the single-player side of things which is most varied. The usual Marathon and Endless modes that you'd expect from a Tetris games are still present, but there are now a selection of other weird and wonderful modes that will make you completely rethink the way you play the game.
Field Climber, for example, sees you dropping blocks to help a tiny man climb to the top of the screen. The thing is, he can only climb a height of one block, so you'll need to try and make steps without accidentally crushing him or clearing lines and messing things up. Then there's Wii Balance Board Tetris, which lets you use the Balance Board to play. You lean left and right to move the blocks, duck down a bit to rotate and lean forward to drop them. This mode's a bit gimmicky and you're unlikely to play it much on your own, but with a group of friends it's a good laugh.
Add to this the Shadow mode, where you have to drop shapes to fill a space without letting any blocks go outside the edges, the Stage Racer mode where you have to guide a Tetris block through a twisting tunnel and a two-player co-op mode (which gives you a gameplay area of double width and has you working with a mate to clear lines) and you've easily got more modes than any Tetris game ever.
It should go without saying that if you're not a Tetris fan, there won't be anything here that will change your opinion. It's still very much Tetris despite all the bells and whistles. But if you dream of falling blocks, the the huge number of gameplay modes and fantastically addictive online play makes this an essential purchase. The price is slightly inflated, but considering how it feels like so many completely different games in one we have no complaints.