Puyo Puyo Tetris

EDGE - - CONTENTS - Developer Sonic Team Pub­lisher Sega For­mat PS4, Switch (ver­sion tested) Re­lease Out now

PS4, Switch

Might this be the most suc­cess­ful cul­tural ex­change of re­cent times? The first Puyo game to reach the west in 13 years, Puyo Puyo Tetris brings to­gether one of Rus­sia’s finest ex­ports with a puz­zler that has largely been the pre­serve of the im­port con­nois­seur. It’s a happy mar­riage, too: though the fu­sion of two very dif­fer­ent puz­zle dis­ci­plines might at first seem awk­ward, the broad ar­ray of modes and op­tions en­sures that ca­sual play­ers and genre afi­ciona­dos alike will find some­thing to en­joy.

While most of us are rea­son­ably well versed in Tetris by now, plenty of play­ers will need bring­ing up to speed on its Ja­panese coun­ter­part. It’s a de­cep­tively sim­ple game where coloured blobs fall in pairs, and you’re tasked with match­ing four at once. But if you’re only match­ing four, you’re do­ing it wrong; in­stead, you should be plan­ning sev­eral moves ahead, ar­rang­ing the blobs in step pat­terns, so a sin­gle match prompts a chain re­ac­tion when the oth­ers fall.

The tu­to­ri­als aren’t ideal, hit­ting you with a bar­rage of ad­vanced tech­niques. But you’ll get plenty of prac­tice in an un­ex­pect­edly sub­stan­tial Ad­ven­ture mode, which cov­ers ev­ery game type, pit­ting you against op­po­nents, score tar­gets and the clock by turns. Its chal­lenges are in­ter­spersed with a pre­pos­ter­ous cartoon story, but it’s told with such cheery en­thu­si­asm you al­most have to ad­mire its ab­sur­dity. And the hec­tic pace of the later puz­zles means these nar­ra­tive in­ter­rup­tions serve as wel­come breathers from the stress of com­pet­i­tive play against sur­pris­ingly tough AI op­po­si­tion. Yet even when you’re up against it, you’ll find it’s pos­si­ble to es­cape from seem­ingly un­winnable sit­u­a­tions: a de­lay be­fore garbage blocks are de­posited in your gully means the dump can be can­celled with a well-timed chain or Tetris. And if your ri­val has built up a tall stack in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a lengthy combo or four-line clear­ance, you can cause them all kinds of trou­ble with a cou­ple of quick matches in suc­ces­sion.

You’ll need to mas­ter both games to fin­ish the story, and to com­pete in the Fu­sion mode that some­how blends them into a co­he­sive whole, or the Swap matches that briskly al­ter­nate be­tween the two. But if you’d rather fo­cus on one, there’s still plenty of choice, from solo ar­cade modes to off­line sin­gle- or multi-screen lo­cal bat­tles, and ranked matches, on the off-chance you fancy be­ing hu­mil­i­ated by some ridicu­lously ca­pa­ble Ja­panese Puyo play­ers. With its bright, clean pre­sen­ta­tion look­ing re­splen­dent on the small screen, it’s a par­tic­u­larly fine fit for Switch’s por­ta­ble mode; for the next few weeks, your daily com­mute – and oc­ca­sion­ally your stop – is likely to fly by.

Cred­its earned from all modes can be spent on un­lock­able skins that al­low you to cus­tomise the look of your blobs and tetro­mi­noes. For a higher fee you can also pur­chase al­ter­nate voice packs for the var­i­ous characters

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