Just as slathering Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam together between two slices of bread creates a delicious PB and J sandwich, the mixture of colourful puzzle games – Puyo Puyo and Tetris also blend together surprisingly well.
A mix of the two fantastic puzzle games meet with spectacular results in Sonic Team and Sega’s Puyo Puyo Tetris, a delightfully frantic and cutish looking crossover title that combines the speed, intelligence and quick reflexes of Tetris and Puyo Puyo together at the same time, or separately if you so choose.
Puyo Puyo Tetris: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 [Reviewed], Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Developer: Sonic Team
Release Date: 25 April 2017
Price: $29.99 ($39.99 Nintendo Switch Psychical) [Disclosure: Game Copy Provided by Publisher]
Tetris has seemingly been around since the dawn of time, or 1984 to be exact. While Tetris is undoubtedly a more familiar household name, Puyo Puyo which came later on, is just as annoyingly addictive and enjoyable as the former. For the uninitiated, Puyo Puyo uses brightly colourful faced blobs rather than tetrominoes to similar effect but still manages to achieve and maintain all of the likeability factors that stem from successfully fixing together a medley of different shaped blocks to wipe a bunch of lines from a screen in style.
Visibly different than the sharp-edged blocks of Tetris, Puyo Puyo drop in lines of two; sometimes two Puyo’s of the same colour, often opposing colours. To clear an area of the screen, four Puyo’s must be turned and positioned together in a line or block to match up, but matching four Puyo’s together is just the beginning of a learning curve that will have you setting up moves in advance further down the line to eliminate chains of Puyo in dazzling fashion.
As if merging the two iconic puzzle titles to create an entirely new obsession and third game wasn’t quite enough, Puyo Puyo Tetris features many wonderful facets that will have you twisting and orienting blocks and blobs creatively into place tirelessly for hours on end, or at the very least until your fingers begin to blister and bleed.
From the main menu, Puyo Puyo Tetris invites players to choose from five main modes – Adventure, Arcade, Online Arcade, Multiplayer Arcade and Lessons.
For those who enjoy mixing their puzzles with a crazy piece of storytelling, there is Adventure; a linear story-based campaign brimming with eccentric and wacky characters whose lives unexpectedly intertwine with one another to tell the story of how the two magical worlds of Tetris and Puyo Puyo came to overflow into each other before eventually co-existing.
Venturing between the two glamorous worlds holds great appeal, replayability and a variety of absurdly well scripted scenes that will have you laughing your socks off, not to mention the careless banding around and blatant overuse of the phrase “LETS BATTLE” to seemingly solve every single domestic or non-domestic conflict between the two worlds, or even between supposed friends.
What probably ought not to be such a thoroughly entertaining single player campaign quickly becomes just that with an assortment of tough battles offered up, score and lightning quick timed events, a well-written script and inexplicably outrageous comedy shared between the many weird and wonderful characters from their respective worlds; all coming together to ensure Adventure Mode remains one of Puyo Puyo Tetris‘ greatest assets.
Not only does Adventure Mode throw each puzzle game at you through varying events during the story, it brilliantly eases in players unfamiliar with either form of puzzle slowly to assist with further progression. Split into a handful of acts that focus on each world, along with the coming together of both, Adventure Mode is the perfect platform to begin honing your Puyo Puyo Tetris skills while being able to enjoy the fantastic humour of the games utterly insane narrative via spritely art and quirky speech bubbles.
For those not interested in partaking in what is an arguably reasonably sized, but overall thoroughly pleasing storyline, Arcade is a feature any player can jump straight into to master the art of block and blob mixing. Offering up six exciting modes as showcased throughout Adventure Mode, the varity of modes that make up Arcade can be enjoyed using either Tetris, Puyo Puyo or both if you’re confident enough, and against a whole batch of characters, you met previously in Adventure.
Of the most enjoyable modes on offer in Arcade: Swap is a time-based relay mode that pits the player against a CPU opponent, alternating between Puyo Puyo and Tetris every 25 seconds as players battle frantically to take down your opponent using either form of puzzle. Fusion mixes the two object types with lines of Puyo’s or Tetramino’s passed onto your opponent, frustratingly blocking their path and Big Bang merely requires a keen eye to rotate and position either block or blob into the correct area of a half full screen to rid it of colourful blobs in one or in Tetris’ case, a handful of moves; destroying your opponents health bar if performed in a timely manner.
With both couch multiplayer and online multiplayer to enjoy with up to four friends or players, it’s clear that Puyo Puyo Tetris has a little something to hold most players attention, and though the rather predictable and robotic block laying skills of computer opponents could become considerably boring after a time, the thrill of taking your newfound or re-tuned skills to the online circuit to face off against an ocean of talented block and blob manipulators is likely to spark up a real competitive streak in any willing player.
As a package, Puyo Puyo Tetris is one of the better crossover titles out there. Easy navigation, a strong variation of fun and exciting modes, story campaign filled with wacky characters and an online world to truly showcase your skills, Puyo Puyo Tetris will likely excite most players looking for a challenge but despite all that it offers, it sadly won’t be for everyone. If you’re a fan of block twisting, blob stacking arcade action though, Puyo Puyo Tetris may very well be the puzzle game for you.