Developer: EA Mobile
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5, iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime: Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

TetrisBlitz-3To describe the state of Tetris Blitz, one only needs to listen to its music. It’s the classic Tetris theme, “Korobeiniki,” but vaguely dubstepped. There’s a good idea here, but someone was intentionally trying to be popular. It is kinda cool, sort-of, but the inauthenticity can grate.

The gameplay is pretty much what it says on the tin – it’s the classic Tetris gameplay of making lines with tetrominoes, except now in two-minute bursts. There are powerups that can be bought with coins and used to enable powerup blocks that have actions like pulling all blocks to the left, or triggering avalanches. There’s also a weekly powerup that cycles every week, and it can be bought permanently with an in-app purchase.

TetrisBlitz-8For the fast-paced Blitz-style gameplay, the instant drop control scheme where players can just tap on a spot to drop a block works very well here. It’s easy to drag the block to the exact desired spot or to just tap the ‘cycle’ button on the left to get new locations. For a game that requires quick thinking, it’s a perfect fit.

And really, the Blitz-style actually fits Tetris Blitz well. Increasing the multiplier is done by getting Tetrises(clearing four lines at once), which presents a balance between specifically trying to get Tetrises to increase the multiplier, and making normal matches for points, which also triggers Frenzy mode. This mode has blocks cascading down to earn more points as more matches are made, but it also makes getting Tetrises more difficult. The balance here, plus the quick sessions, makes for an addictive game. Facebook login provides cloud syncing for saving, which is a minor miracle.

Yet, the problem is that it just feels so inauthentic. Like, it feels like someone decided to apply the “Blitz” formula to the game because it could make money, rather than as a natural extension of it. All the coins and cash-grabs make me feel at least a little bit cynical. At least it’s possible to permanently buy the powerup of the week and get unlimited use for $1.99, at least while it is featured. Having it free forever would be nice, but hey – this is EA we’re talking about.

So, while Tetris Blitz is without a doubt a fun game, that overwhelming sense that it’s a corporate creation restrains me from loving it completely. There are a lot of great ideas here, though.

Posted in: Games, iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,