Tetris PSP Hands-On

We try out the PSP Mini incarnation of the classic puzzler for the first time.

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EA Mobile was on hand at Sony's recent press event to show off its upcoming PSP Mini launch title, Tetris. The game puts some new twists on the classic puzzler for the PSP to create something besides another Tetris port. We had a chance to get hands-on with a work-in-progress version of the game at Sony's event to see how it's shaping up.

Who's Making This Game: EA Mobile.

What The Game Looks Like: There's not a whole lot you can do to Tetris to make it look exciting before you cross into irritation territory. Thankfully, Tetris on the PSP keeps things low-key with simple, detailed graphics and a sharp interface. The tetrominoes are brightly colored, and the distracting effects seen in other versions of Tetris are nowhere to be seen, which is a good thing.

What There Is To Do: You'll have two game options--"Play" and "Play Variant"--as well as a viewing mode, called Pro Trainer, which can either inspire you or destroy your self-esteem. Play mode is basically the Tetris you know and love. You can choose to start on level 1 or 15 depending on how adventurous you feel. Play Variant mode lets you play on boards with a gameplay-affecting feature, such as blocks cycling left to right. Pro Trainer mode lets you watch movies of Tetris masters playing the game, which gets crazy. All your work leads to an overall completion percentage tied to achievements and other feats you perform over the course of playing through the modes.

How The Game Is Played: If you've played Tetris, you'll know your way around this game. You'll use the D pad to maneuver the falling tetrominoes and the shoulder buttons to "hold" a single piece from the rain of falling blocks, which you can swap on the fly as needed. A display in the upper corner of the screen lets you see the next four blocks due to fall so that you can plan out your strategy. Control is fairly responsive.

What They Say: EA mobile reps touted the PSP Mini Tetris as a meaty original take of the classic.

What We Say: The preview version of the game made a good impression. It's pretty hard not to like Tetris, and the gameplay additions in the extra modes definitely make it interesting. Our big question is on the game's price--which we hope will be reasonable--since exact pricing details have yet to be revealed. Beyond that, Tetris is a solid portable edition of the classic puzzler and should be worth a download, if the price is right, when it's released this October.

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