Tetris Blitz: Two Minute Tetrominos

Tetris is an insanely popular franchise and I’d happily bet that you’ve played the game in some shape or form during your time on Earth. One of the newest reboots on the classic game formula is Tetris Blitz, a two-minute take of the classic game of clearing lines.

Tetris Blitz‘s two minute games are a race for points, awarded by clearing lines, that’ll earn you a place on the app’s virtual leaderboard. It’s very much a freemium app, though, so while the app will often beg for cash, when you do invest you’ll be rewarded with unique powerups that offer a new way to play. Let’s dive in and take a look!

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Two Minute Tetrominos

The basic concept of Tetris is to clear lines, constructed with tetrominos of varying shape, without letting your construction hit the top of the game area. Tetris Blitz does away with the latter rule — when you hit the limit, the top lines will be removed by the game, although you won’t be rewarded with points when it does so — and focuses on points rather than survival. This is limited by time, though, so two minutes is all you have to try and acquire the highest score you can. Of course, the expected multiplayer mechanic that comes with most point-centric games is here too.

The core setup is not unlike anything you've played with before.

The core setup is not unlike anything you’ve played with before.

Tetris Blitz is a lot more fast-paced than you’re probably used to. Instead of spending time on calculating the perfect positioning for tetrominos, decisions must be made fast since it’s a race against the clock. You can save tetrominos for use later and cycle through a number of possible positions, but I found myself making sub-second judgements and not bothering with these as much. The fast-paced gameplay is refreshing and condensing a game of Tetris down to two minutes make this an excellent game for quick freetime such as when you’re commuting.

Tetris Blitz‘s very prominent audio offers a real sense of achievement when you clear a line and unlocking “Fever” mode for additional multipliers is incredibly satisfying. Tetris Blitz is as addicting as it is satisfying, though, and I found myself stuck in the “one more game” mentality more times than I would like to admit.

Lasers, Bombs and Magnets

A big part of Tetris Blitz is the power-up system, where bonus abilities are unlocked when you clear a line with a special, marked tetromino in. These power ups are limited to a number of games and purchasable with in-game currency, generated through gameplay or a number of other means.

Power-ups are the key to high-scoring games. You can choose to have one that pulls all your tetrominos to the leftmost available space so that I-shaped one you’ve been holding onto can drop down and take out many lines at once, or opt for one that simply adds an extra five seconds of game time.

Power-ups feature heavily in Tetris Blitz... but they'll cost you.

Power-ups feature heavily in Tetris Blitz…but they’ll cost you.

Unfortunately, if you’re playing the game without investing any real money, the in-game currency used to buy power-ups can take a long time to generate from gameplay alone, and it can lead to a disappointing experience when you suddenly switch from high-scoring, power-up-filled riots to earning a much lower score devoid of any unique tetrominos.

Freemium All The Way

Tetris Blitz is free and like most freemium games, can be played without ever spending a dollar. However, as I mentioned previously, that can lead to you often running out of the very abilities needed to feel real progression and leave you stuck with “square one syndrome”.

You can source in-game coins from watching trailers and completing surveys, but the game really wants some of your money and this naturally induces an unbalanced, pay-to-win culture. This is a common expectation for freemium games on mobile platforms now, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’d much rather have paid for the app to be free of this setup entirely.

Tetris Blitz gets really satisfying really fast.

Tetris Blitz gets really satisfying really fast.

Tetris Blitz does, though, have a little fun to investment. The Bonus Blitz feature allows you to buy a spin of a virtual board, being rewarded with a random prize of a power-up or some in-game currency, ranging up to 100,000 coins. As could be expected due to my luck, though, my two free tries at Bonus Blitz resulted in the lowest offering of 1,000 coins. If you opt to buy a bundle — which can include coins, powerups and other unlockable content from the game — getting a few spins of Bonus Blitz is a nice extra.

Final Thoughts

Tetris Blitz is insanely addicting and immensely fun. That’s nowhere close to being an overstatement; this truly is one of the most fun iPad games I have ever tried and I didn’t have a pre-existing history of Tetris fandomism when I first launched the app. Playing the game is consistently fast-paced enough to never let your attention tail off, and a real feeling of satisfaction is easily achievement from even the shortest length of time spent with the game.

It’s a shame that such a great game must be ruined with an oversaturation of paid DLC and purchasable currency, but I managed to easily have a few hours of fun without spending a dime. Easily one of my favourite iPad games, you should definitely give Tetris Blitz a try. And then some.


Summary

Tetris Blitz is a modern remake of Tetris, condensed down to fast-paced two minute games.

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