You need two screens to play this game, but only one screen to read this review.
Before we get to the game, let me take you back to a turbulent time known as the 80s. The NES had just come out, and here in the USA, we were all free to choose whatever videogame we wanted to play. But like an armored bear running to our base to attack, the Communist threat was aggressively present. With movies like Top Gun and Rocky IV, and videogames like Tetris, we always knew that the hammer and sickle were just around the corner. But was Tetris really that intimidating?
The first incarnation of Tetris I ever played was on the original Game Boy. It’s not that fun when every tetromino is just some slightly different shade of creamed spinach.
So this is Tetris, huh? Tetris DS offers some variations on the classic gameplay, like a Zelda “quest” mode (sounds cooler than it is), but most of all, it provides both online and ad-hoc multiplayer options. If you go play random dudes online, you’ll probably face some Japanese whiz-kid that has thousands of victories, but it’s still pretty cool that you can pick up and play an online game on a Nintendo system easily (which is too rare a circumstance, frankly). Unfortunately, to play online with friends, you must exchange Friend Codes; however, when playing locally, you can have up to 10 people running off of one DS cart!
There are also power-ups you can gain to attack your enemies with. There’s a touch mode where you have to slide blocks around, and there’s even a throwback to Yoshi’s Cookie, as if anyone gave a crap about that game. The best thing about the game, though, is its classic Nintendo themes. Gone are the harsh, cold Communist undertones. Instead, you play Tetris on the bottom screen, and you get to see animation sequences of SMB1, 3, Zelda, Excitebike, Metroid, and other Nintendo classics as you stack blocks.
This game should be in any DS player’s library, hands down. Unfortunately, Nintendo seems to have stopped making it years ago, so your best bet would be to search on auction sites (yes, there are other websites that exist besides GameCola.net).