I remember back when I first saw this in stores. I was but a small child but I distinctly recall thinking: “How on earth can there be a Tetris 2? A sequel to Tetris? What gives?” The truth of the matter is that this is simply a variation on the classic Tetris gameplay. Instead of merely fitting blocks into complete rows á la vanilla Tetris, here you have to use the colours of the blocks to create matching lines of four which will subsequently go poof. Each level gets progressively harder thanks to an increasing number of fixed blocks. I do like this game, it’s sufficiently challenging and a well-designed puzzle game. Oh, and there is a story. I think. There’s random pretty screens between some of the levels anyway and a vague ending of sorts after the last level.
For one of the last NES games released, you would expect the graphics to be pushing the hardware to its limits. But on the other hand, this is a pretty simplistic puzzle game. Any attempt at flash-bang-whallop graphical effects would probably render it a confusing mess. So instead we are given a clear, bright presentation that works rather well for this sort of game.
I always liked the music to Tetris 2. A handful of those catchy old-school themes that get stuck in your head forever provide the soundtrack. The sound effects are simplistic, after all there’s not much you can get out of the NES hardware to provide a sound effect for vanishing blocks, is there? The sound is much like the graphics, simple and clear.
At what it does, Tetris 2 is one of the best, with enough levels and a decent challenge to keep you happy for a long time. But I’ve never understood people paying large sums of money for simple, repetitive games such as this. But then I’m not much of a puzzle fan, other than the obvious classics. And we are now talking about a game that’s almost 15 years old and is probably quite easy to find cheap in retro game stores. Unless it’s one of those insanely rare classic games that I don’t quite understand the fuss about.
A nice variation on the Tetris theme and one of the better spin-offs. An oddly addictive puzzle game that rarely gets frustrating and provides a reasonable challenge.
All in all, too simplistic for my tastes. But then it’s not my sort of genre, really.
If you dream about falling blocks and must have more, poke around and see if you can find this variant.