One of those games that just needed more publicity

User Rating: 9.8 | Tetris Attack SNES
GAMEPLAY: Tetris Attack is quite a misleading name for such a unique game. The game, in fact, has nearly nothing to do with Tetris except the title and its addictive nature. Perhaps a more appropriate name is that of the Japanese version of the same game, Panel de Pon. Tetris Attack is based on tiles of several types (they vary according to color and symbol, but the colors are synonymous to the symbols and add nothing more but a further identifying criteria) which may be flipped horizontally within a 6x12 well. When they match up in groups of 3 or more, they will clear. Groups of 4 or more will get a combo, and should panels fall from one clear into another match, a chain will occur. Chains of 4 or more will earn you a rewarding little trumpet call whose grandeur varies according to the number of tiles you manage to chain together. The stack of panels will continuously rise, pausing only when you make a good combo or chain, and you will lose once the stack hits the top. Tetris Attack may be seen as one of the founding members of all the matching-style puzzle games. Beyond the basic gameplay mechanics, the multiplayer mechanics are also very innovative. Combos will dump a small, 1-layer, so-called "Garbage Block" on your opponent, which sits on top of their stack of panels and brings nearer their impending doom. In order to clear these garbage blocks, a clear must be made touching the block. Chains are even better, causing multi-layer blocks to come crashing down; these multilayer blocks must be cleared a single row at a time, making it a long and difficult process. There's nothing more satisfying than to see a single block cover half your opponent's screen after an amazing 13x combo. The game has several modes-- 1 player: Endless - Keeps going and going and going until you hit the game's score limit (99999) Timed - Gives you a time limit to earn as many points as possible Stage Clear - You must clear panels until you hit a finish line row of panels Puzzle - You are given a limited number of moves with which to clear all panels onscreen Versus - You vs. the computer. AI can get very strong for non-experts on the game's hidden "Very Hard" mode 2 player: Score - Same as Timed, but with 2 human players competing Versus - Same as Versus, but with 2 human players competing The AI is fairly interesting - for casual and even fairly advanced players, the game's hidden "Very Hard" mode can present quite a challenge towards the end; however after the AI hits max potential on the final level, it almost gets hard to the point that a certain strategy can be used on it repeatedly with fairly good success. It is the level before the final that really causes the most trouble because its chains come in a rapid succession of bite-sized pieces rather than the gigantic behemoths of the final boss, giving you less time to react. GRAPHICS: Standard SNES fare... cartoony, colorful. Low resolution, as can be expected from a SNES game. Not stellar, but it serves its purpose. SOUND: One major bone to pick here - the game has two sets of music for each level. By themselves, they are excellent tunes. However, the game organizes them into a "normal theme" and a "panic theme" which starts playing when one player or the other is close to dying. The two themes do not transition into each other when switching, making for a distracting sudden halt to the music. Especially in heated battles when stacks are constantly on the move, you may hear the themes alternate in rapid succession, which can be annoying. VALUE: "Just as addictive as Tetris, if not more." - A tetris addict friend whom I showed this game There isn't a single person I've made sit down and play this game that didn't beg for more.