Electronic Arts’ previous attempt at a mobile Tetris failed to make fans believe the classic fast-paced puzzle game could make the transition to a touch screen device. The reflexes and precision required to succeed when the pace increases proved to be something touch controls weren’t ready to handle. Tetris Blitz, EA’s new venture into the world of Tetris, makes key changes to the classic formula and the experience is much better because of it.
Tetris Blitz is a far cry from the arcade style of classic Tetris. The entire premise of Tetris Blitz is that each round is played in two-minute bursts. This allows for quick sessions, much like PopCap’s Bejeweled Blitz. Blocks still drop from the top, but their pace is much slower than previous games, giving players a chance to plan their moves carefully, rather than rely on reflexes. When the blocks start dropping, players are greeted with three outlines of where the block could fit. If none of them are worthwhile, the block can be rotated and three new positions will be offered. When a player finds the best spot, they can tap on the outline and the block automatically drops into that position. Once an entire line is filled, it vanishes, and higher blocks fall down. The controls make Tetris Blitz feel simpler, but the core gameplay remains intact. Once the two-minute round is over, the score is calculated and players can compare their results to their friends, if they’ve logged into Facebook.
The biggest change to the Tetris formula is the addition of power-ups. When active, certain blocks will be made out of power-ups. If that block is used to complete a line, the power-up activates. There are a handful of power-ups in Tetris Blitz, including lasers that destroy unfinished lines and a magnet that pulls everything to the left. There are also special power-ups that change every week. Players are encouraged to use them while they can, otherwise they may not return for some time. These tools are intended to make life easier and boost the scores at the end of the round. This is usually the case, though they can sometimes disrupt high-scoring combos. Most players will find that the power-ups add to the fast-paced nature of Tetris and fit in well with Tetris Blitz.
Tetris Blitz monetizes through both ads and in-app purchases. The ads are usually banners found at the bottom of the menu after players finish a round. They’re not very noticeable, but they’re also not frustrating for players to deal with. The in-app purchases are mostly based around coins. Coins can be earned by playing the game and racking up a lot of points. Users who want more coins can purchase bundles starting from $1.99 up to $99.99. The higher bundles add in a ton of free coins, and players who spend $29.99 or more will get at least double the coins they purchased. Outside of power-ups, there’s nothing on which to spend coins. Users who don’t want to buy coins can buy bonus spins on the daily spin wheel (which gives various prizes), upgrades to certain gameplay elements, and unlimited power-ups. All these are reasonably priced, but aren’t entirely necessary. Players can also remove ads for $4.99, but the ads are hardly disruptive and most players will forget they even exist.
Tetris Blitz is a great addition to any mobile player’s library. Long-time fans of Tetris will appreciate the touch-friendly controls, while new players will have no problem learning the basics. The game’s interface is sleek and it allows players to get straight to the game, if they choose. The two-minute rounds are perfect for quick mobile gaming sessions and power-ups add an extra layer of depth to the legendary series.
You can follow Tetris Blitz’s progress on AppData, our tracking tool for mobile and social apps and developers.
Fast-paced gameplay and changes to the classic formula create the best mobile Tetris experience.