Tetris DS Hands-On Touch Mode

We check out the new, DS-exclusive mode in Nintendo's upcoming Tetris game.

Tetris DS is the de rigueur appearance of the venerable puzzle franchise on Nintendo's dual-screen portable system. Though the core game remains the same and tasks you with making horizontal lines from blocks of varying shapes, the Nintendo DS installment features a few new modes that take advantage of its unique features. One of those modes is touch mode, which lets you use the stylus to manage the blocks. We recently had a chance to get some brief hands-on time with this new mode to see how it works.

We tried the tower game in touch mode, which essentially requires you to wipe out a massive column of haphazardly stacked blocks (which fill both screens) to get a crate full of balloons to the ground. In this mode, you are able to move pieces by placing your stylus over them and dragging them to where they need to go. You have a little bit of leeway to go left and right, if there's room. To rotate a block, you simply double-tap it. Depending on what part you tap, the block's movement can occur either clockwise or counterclockwise. Though we didn't have too long to play, the touch-screen support worked fine and complemented the time-tested, addictive gameplay. The visuals were simple and colorful, but hey, it's Tetris--it's not like the game needs photo-realism. In addition to the touch mode, the game will feature several multiplayer modes, including two- or four-player contests over the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. For ad hoc matches, up to 10 players will be able to play in a single multiplayer game using just one cart.

Tetris DS is currently slated to ship this March. Look for more on the game in the coming weeks.

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