Tetris Attack (Nintendo Game Boy, 1996)
After writing about my memories of Tetris last time, here’s a look back at a variation on that classic game that I have also enjoyed. Tetris Attack was another Game Boy game where you had to line up the blocks to eliminate them and score points, but there were several variations on this. The game also featured various characters from the Super Mario Brothers series to encourage you along such as Yoshi.
There are five different modes to play, the first mode endless. You have lots of squares on the screen which contain different shapes in them. You have to move the cursor using the directional buttons to create three squares with the same shape connecting either horizontally or diagonally to make them disappear and score points.
Because the shapes scroll on the screen rather slowly at first, you can use the B button to make them appear quicker, but when your squares are one row away from going off the top of the screen which will end your game, they start bouncing up and down and the music gets more intense so you must act quickly to rescue your game. As you progress the speed of the shapes appearing increases so you have to keep going for as you as you can.
One of the things that I like most about Tetris Attack is that when you link three squares which disappear, if the remaining ones drop down and create a link too you get a bonus, and if you can move the squares quickly enough you can set off a chain reaction which gives you a really high score.
There is also a time trial mode where you have to score as many points as possible in two minutes which was always a good challenge. I also liked puzzle mode where you had to clear the screen of all the squares in a limited number of moves. As the levels progress this gets much harder and I spent a lot of time playing this mode. There was also a stage clear mode where you had to eliminate a particular number or squares to progress to the next level.
Finally there was the versus mode. You play against a computer opponent, there are two bars. You have to empty yours to defeat the character by creating chain reactions. They make it harder for you by having a bar which when it fills up every time makes them drop more squares on you. There are various modes of difficulty and if you can defeat the final character which was Bowser then you win the game.
Tetris Attack was one of my favourite puzzle games to play when I was younger, and I must have easily played it as much as the original Tetris and Tetris DX. Even when recently watching various clips that have been uploaded online of people playing the game still got me pleased when they had a big-scoring chain reaction and all kinds of weird things started to happen on the screen, and there was also a version released for the SNES. Also around this time I used to enjoy another spin-off called Tetris Blast and I’ll be writing about that next time.