With the advent of smartphones and portable tablets, games like “Candy Crush” have become the norm for most casual gamers. Many people can attest to playing a round or two of these games to kill some time between their daily responsibilities. Since the introduction of the “Game Boy” back in 1989, the fact that such simple, yet addicting games are so mainstream is both good—because they’re easy to learn—and bad—because they are often not that deep of an experience.
However, developers at Sega might have come up with a game that bridges the best of casual and competitive gaming into one unique and hectic experience. “Puyo Puyo Tetris” is an upcoming game set to be released on April 25 for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch that combines two titans of the puzzle gaming world into one game. One of those games is “Tetris,” which hardly needs any introduction, as it’s regarded to be the best selling videogame of all time. And the other is “Puyo Puyo,” a puzzle game well established in Japan, but has only seen a few sparse releases in the U.S.
Potential players don’t need to worry, though, as the rules of “Puyo Puyo” are just as easy to learn as the ones in Tetris. Little blobs of color will drop down in pairs of twos, each with five colors (red, yellow, blue, green and purple). The player will pile them up to match colors; when four or more colors match, those blobs will disappear and points will be scored. This gameplay fits in very well with Tetris and captures that “easy to learn, hard to master” aspect of the best puzzle games.
Single player in “Puyo Puyo Tetris” is good for those short bursts of fun that are standard for any puzzle game, but the best part of this game involves the multiplayer modes. Some modes will have some players playing “Puyo Puyo,” while the others play Tetris, another will have all players swapping between “Puyo Puyo” and “Tetris” every few seconds and one mode will have players playing a mix of the two games simultaneously. The better one player does—clearing more lines and colors—the more obstacles will be thrown towards opponents. It’s a fast paced and competitive last-man-standing environment that will have friends and rivals begging for “just one more round.”
While the gameplay is solid and addicting, what really sets Puyo Puyo Tetris apart is it’s presentation. This game goes above and beyond what’s normally needed in a puzzle game. It has multiple high-energy songs that play during gameplay, including an awesome rendition of the well known “Tetris” theme. The graphics are bright and colorful, with many different backdrops players can choose from. The game even has characters you play as, and they’re wacky and unique—it’s unreal how much personality is put into a simple tile matching game. If someone were to take Tetris and make it into a Saturday morning cartoon with a plot, great visuals and memorable characters, then Puyo Puyo Tetris comes pretty darn close.
“Puyo Puyo Tetris” is a game that nails the simple-to-play aspect we all love about puzzles games, while giving a level of shine and polish normally seen for more hardcore games. It’s a perfect game to bring to a party and play with family or friends. Check it out when it releases next week on April 25.