Tetris Splash Review

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Publisher: Tetris Online
Developer: Tetris Online

Platform: Xbox360
Reviewed on Xbox360

It's a water-themed Tetris game! That transforms into an aquarium screensaver! It has all the fun of stacking blocks mixed in with the thrill of collecting virtual fish!

Kyle Ackerman

Tetris Splash combines the best of traditional Tetris play with... an aquarium screensaver? Only because the game supports robust six-player online multiplayer Tetris competition can I get past the Frankenstein's Monster-like construct that is Tetris Splash and recommend its play.

At its heart, Tetris Splash is just Tetris – one of the oldest games still constantly played by gamers everywhere. It's the game in which players arrange falling Tetriminos in a play field, eliminating complete lines while listening to that infernal tune that locks onto your brain and won't let go. Tetris Splash offers some of the best graphics you've ever seen in a Tetris game, complete with an aquatic theme, but it's still Tetris – a game where graphics fundamentally don't matter.

Want to Invest in Some Fish?

Of course, Tetris Splash is also an aquarium screen saver. Players have the option to display a fresh- or salt-water tank, and can decorate it in a variety of ways and select from several fish with which to populate the tank. You can then set the game to "screensaver mode" (or just leave it inactive) and your television becomes a tank full of fish. Achievements can help players unlock the ability to have more fish, and will unlock certain content, but here's the part that seems strange: $10 only buys you Tetris, the virtual tank and a few virtual fish.

If you care about the way the tank appears on the screen, you'll have to plunk down a few more Microsoft Points for other fish. Want a sunken pirate ship or coral for the tank? That's a few more points. Certainly, a well-stocked tank will cost you far less than a top-notch aquarium in real life, but it seems like a big investment just to leave your Xbox 360 and TV on so fake fish can swim in the background for your next cocktail party. Would the Tetris fish really add class to a dorm room or make a family room seem more homey?

Multiplayer Four-Square (or at Least, Tetriminos)

Multiplayer is absolutely the core of Tetris Splash. If you enjoy completing a Tetris and sending lines to infuriate your opponents, Tetris Splash lets you do so against up to five other players. The matchmaking works beautifully, and it's easy to jump in and face off against other Tetris masters – when there's someone around to play. If there's a reason to invest the 800 points ($10) into Tetris Splash, it's to play against other real opponents. Of course, it would help if there were more opponents online at any given time.

Tetris and Tetris-like games are available in so many places (often for free on the PC), that it's hard to see paying $10 for Tetris, even with aquatic-themed graphics. It's equally hard to see anyone paying that much for the aquarium screensaver, especially as a well-decorated aquarium screensaver would run something more like $15 to $20. So really, Tetris Splash is a game you're only going to pick up if you need the multiplayer. But I still have to ask – who thought, "They'll buy a new Tetris, if only we add fish!"

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on November 5, 2007 11:39 AM.

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