If you were to pull aside some random person on the street and ask them if they know what Tetris is, chances are they would. Tetris has been a staple in the videogame world for over 30 years and it’s one of the most recognizable long-running video game series. On the other hand, unless you come to this site or other Japanese game sites regularly, chances are you haven’t heard of Puyo Puyo. This was the case with me, until of course the intense hype for the game began once Sega confirmed that Puyo Puyo Tetris was getting a localized release.
When you start the game you’ll be greeted to a large selection of different game modes to try your skill at. You’ve got Adventure mode, which is essentially the story mode for the game. Yes, you heard me correctly, there’s a story mode for a Tetris game which mainly involves established characters from the Puyo Puyo series. If you’re just looking to get into the action, you can try Solo Arcade which lets you play with either Tetris, Puyo Puyo’s in a variety of different game modes. The game also features up to four players simultaneously and you can add in AI if you’re low on bodies. Beyond the story and versus mode there’s the online mode which I’ll get into in a bit. What you’re looking at is a lot of bang for your buck, they didn’t skimp out on features with Puyo Puyo Tetris.
As a newcomer to the Puyo series, I wasn’t sure what was in store for me in terms of story, but I was delighted to find a great cast of colorful and bouncy characters that I found refreshing. Adventure mode follows the likes of two casts of characters, Tee and his space crew whom represent the Tetris side and Ringo and her friends who use Puyo’s to battle. The story takes a visual novel approach, with each character having fully voiced dialog as well as animated backgrounds. The visuals looks fantastic and while the story mode isn’t deep or complex, it’s fitting for what a puzzle game should offer in terms of story.
Players who are new to the series can appreciate the detailed tutorial system offered for both Tetris and Puyo Puyo. As I’d never played any of the other Puyo games, I had to use the tutorial myself and was able to quickly get a hang of the basics within minutes. If I was more invested in learning more, the game also offers intermediate and expert level tutorials for players looking to dive deep into the games mechanics. You won’t get shoveled with a ton of hard to retain information and that’s something I always welcome in a tutorial system. Kudos to Sega for that.
Puyo Puyo Tetris features a comprehensive online mode that offers various different modes to test out your skills. I personally like referring to the online component as the “get my ass kicked” mode, as I have yet to win a single match online. You’ll quickly find out just how bad you are at Tetris when you hop online, it’s quite intimidating how good some people are. Regardless, this is the kind of game where losing online is actually fun and I still enjoyed getting my ass handed to me multiple times. Just like the arcade mode, there are various modes to test your meddle in, except you’ll be playing against real people instead of bots.
Ultimately, if you’re in the market for a new puzzle game that features a ton of modes, a great online mode and a fresh take on Tetris, I highly recommend checking out Puyo Puyo Tetris. I know that this review was majorly positive, but I really couldn’t find many faults with the game outside of difficulty spikes in the story mode. This is a game where both newcomers and long-time fans can get together and play for fun or competition and still enjoy the game win or lose.
Note: This review was based on a PS4 digital copy provided by the publisher.