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Review: Tetris
02.09.11

Review: Tetris

How many will fit? Tetris games have fallen like the
series' four-block shapes since the 1980s, timed to fill
gaps in every device, from Game Boys to home theaters.
Yet each take on the classic stands with its comrades:
Blocks rise, lines leave. Delete to complete. Build the break.
A new piece of the Tetris wall lands this year:
PlayStation 3, download-only, ten dollars. It's new, they say.
Online battling. High definition. Eleven alternate modes. Er, surround sound.
As if my dreams of falling "tetrads" don't suffocate enough,
now Tetris wants to fill my ears, too? Volume down.
The modes, really, form the bulk of this Tetris, and
they're as welcome as a random Tetris shape. Some fit,
some don't. "Treadmill," "Magnetic," and "Flashlight" merely
pull, shift, or blind the player. Not modes, but burdens.
Others prove fun, like "Chill," whose pieces harden over time,
feeding the speed. "Scanner" clears lines in timed waves,
and "Shared" splits the grid—a first for the series—
so duos can collaborate to insult architecture. The rest is
known: We have played online, we have dabbled in mutations.
We play, yet again, to reclaim the known, the assembly, the fit:
Full towers fall with force. Points rise. This lovely Tetris.