What can be said about Tetris that hasn’t been said before? As a puzzler classic, it’s probably one of the best-known games of all time. The gameplay finds you directing falling blocks into slots to fit them together; when you have a full row, the row disappears. But you already knew that, right?
When it comes to EA’s Tetris for iPad, it ultimately comes down to the experience that’s delivered. Is it a quality part of the franchise? And what does it bring to the table that justifies the $7.99 price tag? Seriously, that seems like a lot for a game that’s available in so many other places and variations — some of which are free.
The game presents the standard Tetris that everyone’s familiar with, with plenty of block-dropping fun to satiate the needs of any Tetris fan. It even includes the classic theme music. It offers two game modes: Marathon and Magic. Marathon lets you play ad infinitum, with endless levels, provided you don’t lose. Magic is more focused, with specific goals (“Clear 10 rows,” “Clear 20 rows,” etc.) and power-ups.
The power-ups are one of the unique aspects to the iPad version. Achieve your set goals and you’ll be rewarded with tools you can use to mow through your levels faster. Power-ups include a wrecking ball, smashdown, magic crayon (you draw the shapes of blocks you want), minimizer, and bubble wrap. Each one creates a different effect on the game board, clearing blocks in creative ways.
The iPad’s control for fast-forwarding your block drops is to have you swipe the block straight down. You also control where the blocks fall by swiping back and forth to your preferred spot. These two controls are meant to work in tandem, but several times, I set off the swipe-down without meaning to, causing blocks to land in spots I didn’t desire.
Overall, Tetris for iPad is a fine, polished implementation of the famous game, but spending eight bucks on it feels too steep for so little innovation — particularly with such a glaring touchscreen bug.