The only thing this game has in common with Tetris is that both are puzzle games and more addictive than anything. The aim of the game is to clear identical blocks off the screen by arranging three or more in a straight line by switching two blocks horizontally at a time. The problem is, new blocks are continually rising into play from the bottom of the screen, and it's "game over" if the place gets too crowded.
Tetris Attack takes place on Yoshi's Island, and the graphics have been given the extra special crayon touch that made the SNES version of Yoshi's Island such a treat to look at, even though it's all in a limited palette. Yoshi, Poochy, Gargantua, and other normally friendly faces guest star as possessed creatures under Bowser's evil spell. Yoshi must use his panel-switching abilities to rescue his friends and defeat the evil Kamek to bring peace and love back to his island. Aw, how sweet. Please pass the vomit bag.
Tetris Attack has six distinct game modes to keep you glued to your Game Boy until the day you die or at least a few weeks. The first is Endless mode, which, unless you're truly dense, never ends - the panels keep on rising until they overcome you and eat everything that's in the refrigerator. Time Trial gives you two minutes to score as many points as possible, so getting in a few chains and combo attacks is essential. Moving somewhat up the challenge level is Stage Clear mode. A dotted line is on the screen and you must save the world and end famine and disease* by getting rid of all the tiles above it. The Puzzle game is more of a brain strain. Each level has a preset arrangement of tiles, and you're given a select amount of moves (usually only one or two) to make everything disappears. Vs. Com mode is where all the fun is. Yoshi must break Kamek's spell by first freeing his friends and then taking down each of Bowser's minions. Beat this on Hard setting, and you truly are a Tetris Attack master. Last, there is the two-player Vs. mode. Not surprisingly, it involves linking two Game Boys together and taking on a friend. If you get multiple attacks lined up together, your opponent's screen is filled with difficult-to-destroy blocks, and you are then free to laugh in his face.
This is one of those games that you end up dreaming about after you finish playing for the night, which is a true hallmark of addiction. If they ever find a way to bottle pure gameplay, chances are it would look something like Tetris Attack. It's absolutely brilliant.
*We lied about the saving the world, famine, and disease bit.