In my PlayStation 4 collection I didn’t have a decent party game, where when you have a group of friends round you can just stick it on and have some good old fashioned local multiplayer fun times. That is until I got my hands on Puyo Puyo Tetris. For those wondering what Puyo Puyo Tetris is, it’s a puzzle video game developed by the Sonic Team and published by Sega. It takes the Puyo Puyo series and Tetris franchise to make this crazy crossover. The game takes the basic gameplay mechanic from both games and brings about this mash-up.
So the fundamentals of this game come from Puyo Puyo’s and Tetris’s gameplay and a new unique gameplay which is called Fusion. Puyo Puyo has the player match four of the same coloured Puyo’s in a group together to clear them from you board and score points. If you don’t clear them then they will just keep on dropping and fill up your board, if a Puyo is stacked on top of an X then you lose. To clear Puyos you have to match four of them together and then they will pop but this doesn’t work if you try and match them diagonally, the Puyos have to be touching for them to pop. The controls are simple and easier to pick up; you can rotate a Puyo by using the X or the O button and this will allow you to have a new orientation. Using the left and right buttons on the D-pad will move the Puyos left or right so that you can line them up, pressing the down button will speed up the decent of a Puyo, this is called a Fast Drop. In some of the game modes you will encounter giant Puyos these class as four Puyos. While you have a giant Puyo, pressing X or O will change the colour. Use them to find the colour Puyo you need. When playing against opponents you get Garbage Puyos, these will be dropped on your board when you opponents successfully complete chains. Likewise if you complete chains then you are able to load them with Garbage Puyos. Chains can be made when you pop numerous Puyos at once, for example popping a group of Red Puyo but then straight after Popping a group of Yellow Puyos. The only way to get rid of Garbage Puyos is to pop coloured Puyos adjacent to them, Garbage Puyos are bad news and need to be cleared as soon as possible to keep you with a level board in the game. In the top right you have an indicator that tells you which Puyos are coming up next. Use this information wisely so that you can plan your next moves and set up chains.
Tetris has the player create horizontal lines using blocks of different shapes, these are called Tetriminos. Once you have successful made a horizontal line it clears. Very similar to Puyo Puyo the player moves the Tetriminos using the left and right buttons on the D-pad, it also has a speed up decent. You can use this by pressing the down button. In Tetris this is called a Soft Drop, you also get Hard Drop. These allow you to drop a Tetrimino straight away. This is performed by hitting the Up button. Score points by clearing lines, use the X or O button to rotate the blocks to open up new possibilities to make lines, the X button rotates left and the O button rotates right. In the top right again you have a list of the next few Tetrimino shapes that are coming up, use this to your advantage when planning your lines. You have the chance to clear four lines at once in Tetris and this will give you a bonus on your score. Like Garbage Puyos you have Garbage Blocks, these will appear from the bottom of the board and can cause big problems for the player, they appear when your opponents clears multiple lines at once, again likewise for you to send them to your opponents. Though they will always have a space missing in the line, try and fill up this spaces to get rid of them. In Tetris when your board gets filled to the top with Tetriminos you will lose, this is called Lock Out. If a shape comes up that you don’t need you can press L1 or R1 to hold onto that Tetrimino, this is handy because it can be used for another time.
Then we have Fusion which is completely new and unique to this game. It’s a mix between both games mechanics working at once on one board. Sounds quite complicated right. At first it was but after a few games you get the hang of it. Though I still prefer the original Tetris. The controls are the same as well as how you clear Puyos and Tetriminos, you have your warning indicator in the top right as well to give you the heads up on what’s coming down next but with this mode comes a new mechanic. This is called Smashing; while you have a Tetrimino active if you use Soft Drop or land on top of a Puyo it will begin smashing through the Puyos. Once it has started smashing through the Puyos you can’t control it anymore, keep in mind that additional Puyos and Tetriminos will continue to drop while the Tetrimino is smashing through Puyos, it stops when it reaches the bottom of the board or another Tetrimino. When it has finally finished smashing the Puyos the puyos that have been smashed will start to rain down from the top of the board, so use smashing wisely as it can be quiet risky. The best time to use smashing is against Garbage Puyos as they don’t fall back down from the top after being smashed. Keep in mind as well that the Puyos don’t rain down straight away after being smashed so remember where they came from and how many are coming back down because if your Tetriminos or Puyos go past the X at the top of the board you will lose. This mode is very challenging as making sure you are getting horizontal lines as well as groups of Puyo is mental but it does add to the intensity when trying to bet your opponent.
So that’s the basic mechanics of the game covered, now we move onto what the game has to offer. So you have an adventure mode. Playing this will have you follow a story and learn more about the worlds of Puyo Puyo and Tetris. It’s broken up into Acts that are made up of ten stages. Each stage gives you a different game type and winning condition. You will earn stars for completing stages the max being three. For example in one stage if you just complete it you will get one star but if you complete it in under 2minute and 30 seconds you will get three stars. Simple right. You will meet character from the Puyo Puyo universe and new character based upon the Tetris Tetriminos. As the story progresses you have the chance of unlocking and playing as an array of different character. It probably fits its target audience well but sadly for me the story mode was very bland and didn’t really entertain me. It got repetitive quite quickly and seemed quite childish.
You have solo arcade and multiplayer arcade. They are very similar in what they have to offer but Multiplayer arcade doesn’t have the challenge mode in it. It just allows you to play all the different battle modes on local multiplayer. All these modes allow up to four players CPU and if in multiplayer arcade four players locally. These modes allow for the player to choice whether they would like to play Tetris or Puyo Puyo. Unless of course you’re playing the fusion mode. When selecting a gameplay mode you can choice whether you want to do a battle or endurance. Battle is a single match against one to three CPU players if in solo arcade or however many locally players plus CPU in Multiplayer arcade and endurance sees how many CPU opponents you can defeat in a row.
Here is a list and brief description of the games battle modes, you have;
Vs: Players can pick whether to play basic Puyo Puyo or Tetris and when you clear Puyo Puyo Chains or Tetris Lines you send Garbage Puyo/Blocks to the opponents to try and trip them up.
Fusion: Puyos and Tetriminos will both rain down simultaneously and you have to try and beat the other player by making them lose.
Swap: this one plays two separate games at once, with each board swapping out at set intervals. So basically playing Puyo and Tetris at same time and it will swap which one you are playing. You will by making the opponent lose with either one of the boards.
Party: Items will appear on the board that will intensify the action, you get infinite lives and you will try and be the one at the end with the highest score. If you have the highest score then you win.
And finally we have Big Bang: Attack your opponents by clearing preset Tetrimnio or Puyo Patterns as fast as you can.
The Challenge mode in single arcade is made up of six extra gameplay types, these begin Endless fever, Endless Puyo, Tiny Puyo, Ultra, Marathon and Sprint.
Before you select a mode you can get a tip that will prepare you. In all these modes you can pick your favourite characters to play as. When playing against CPU I found that it would either be too easy when they’re on easy difficulty or to hard when they on medium, didn’t really feel a balance but this is just me. Even if you’re a rookie at both games don’t worry there is a lesson area that teaches you the basis of Puyo Puyo, Tetris and Fusion as well as some advance tips for the players that might want the extra hand. While playing the game you earn credits, these can be spent in the shop to get different voice tracks for character or even some funky looking skins for the Tetriminos and Puyos.
There is an online mode, where you can compete against other player around the world. You have the puzzle league which is like ranked matches when you play against people and you have free play which is the more casually way to play online because you can join/host rooms for people to come and play the different modes.
- Very good party game
- Lots of different modes for you to enjoy
- Great laugh with friends
- Not a good single player game
- The adventure mode was bland
- Would have been nice to just play Tetris or Puyo without the Battles
So if you asked me, would I recommend Puyo Puyo Tetris to you? The answer is yes but only if you have a regular local friend group that you can play with or you enjoy playing online with others. Puyo Puyo Tetris is not really a game for single players and it shows in its Story and lack of engagement. The party game feel is there as I have spent many hours playing it with my flat mate and it nearly destroying are friendship (kidding). When I’m playing it on my own I just get bored and pick up something else. The art style for the game is fun and the character designs are cool. The soundtrack is good as well and add to the gameplay at critical times when the music speeds up. I did enjoy the game but sadly not as much as I thought I would. My flat mate has the switch version and it lets you play original Tetris and Puyo Puyo but I couldn’t find this on my PlayStation 4 version. For these reasons I’m having to give Puyo Puyo a 6 out of 10.