Tetris Party: Mini Review and Tournament Details

Tetris Online recently announced that it would be hosting the first of series of Tetris Party Tournaments begining early next month.  If you haven’t picked this one up yet, now’s the best time to decide if it’s for you.  When Infendo previewed Tetris Party in early October,  I told you that it was shaping up to be the best values on WiiWare, and a great Tetris Title to boot.  Although I still stand by those statements, Tetris’ first outing on Wii has at least one shortcoming and one advantage you should know about.

Let’s be fair, and start off with the good.  Often overlooked, Tetris Party’s option of a one-handed control scheme brings a new edge to the ‘casual’ game.  By this I mean that Tetris Party offers gamers the ultimate in inattentive, one-haneded, multitasking gameplay.  While I still think the traditional control scheme is the only “real” way to play Tetris, I often find myself lazily playing with my free hand while I talk on the telephone.  Being able to grab a remote and pick up the game during long phone calls keeps me from getting restless, but isn’t taxing enough to distract me from the conversation.  It also gets me geared up to play, as soon as the phone goes down, the Wii-Remote goes sideways.

Now let’s cover the bad.  Tetris Party is built on the solid foundation of the classic Tetris Game – flourished with the contemporary spin of holding tetriminos, ghosting, items, and more then a dozen new game modes, it shines as a great single player and multi-player party game – but the breadth of the multi-player experience falls just short of complete.  For all of it’s innovative and fun game modes, only the classic “verses mode” is available for play over Nintendo Wi-Fi.  While I have to admit, classic Tetris battles are still loads of fun, I was really looking forward to trying out some of the new game modes over Wi-Fi, and I feel excluding these modes from online play is a missed opportunity.  One of the advantages to gaming in the modern world means that even if you don’t have time to drop by a friend’s house for some serious couch time, you can still catch a quick game through the series of tubes and wires called the Internet – I thought a company named Tetris Online might get that, but there we have it – only one mode of online play.  Tetris Party’s first tournament begins December 1st, 2008 – where players will submit online rank in Field Climber, Shadow, and Stage Racer modes in addition to traditional marathon Tetris scores – but to register, players will need to go to the Tetris Party website and input a confirmation code.  It sounds a little clunky, but at least it adds an element of online competition to the new game modes.

Check out this Press Release for more on the tournament:

To celebrate the launch of Tetris® Party, the newest official Tetris® game on WiiWare™, Tetris Online, Inc. today announced that it will host a series of tournaments beginning December 1, 2008. The tournaments will give Tetris Party players the chance to compete for Wii Points™.

This means that now is the time for you and your readers to begin practicing your Tetris stacking, puzzle solving, and Tetrimino racing skills to boost your chances of winning!

The first tournament will comprise four rounds, featuring four unique variants of Tetris Party—Marathon, Field Climber, Shadow, and Stage Racer. At the end of each round, players will receive a rank and confirmation code from the game. (See additional details below.)

The first Tetris Party Tournament begins Dec. 1, 2008 and will run through Jan. 31, 2009. The first of the four rounds will end Dec. 15, 2008. To register, players must visit www.tetrisparty.com/tournament. This is also where players will also input their confirmation code. The confirmation code must be entered once for each round the player participates in. Each player’s rank will determine the amount of tournament points they receive for that round.

Five hundred (500) prizes will be awarded, one to each of the top 500 eligible entrants. Final rankings are calculated by totaling the points awarded to each entrant based on his or her results for each round of the tournament. As you can see, it will be really important to submit a score for every round!