It might be strange to review a video game that came out for a handheld system in 1998. That being said, I love Tetris and it’s my website.
I’ll do what I want!
I’ve logged hundreds of hours in Tetris DX. I played it a ton on trips and just to pass the time. I can play on level 30 for a good long time and get a pretty high score.
I’m not the best in the world at Tetris, but I’m competitive and capable enough to tell you what a good Tetris game is.
Tetris DX is the best version of Tetris I’ve ever played. There might be a better version, but none has hooked me like Tetris DX did.
The combination of flawless controls, simplicity, speed, and great music makes this a nearly perfect game. I struggle to find something wrong with Tetris DX.
Newer versions of Tetris have added modes, improved graphics, and added online play. You can play Tetris on your phone and it’s pretty darned good.
Still, they haven’t improved over Tetris DX.
I would call Tetris DX the definitive version of Tetris on any platform.
“Feel” Makes Tetris DX Great
Some of what makes any Tetris game good is feel. Feel is critically important.
The reason is as the game gets faster you need to play on instinct. Playing Tetris at a high level is about knowing what to do without thinking.
Part of it is the simplicity of the Game Boy’s controls. You can move and rotate one direction or the other. That’s it. Nothing else gets in the way.
Part of it is how responsive everything is. You feel like you are in direct control without lag of any kind.
Part of it is the tempo of the game. It gets fast, but the progression is comfortable. The speed never overwhelms the hardware, frame rate, or experience.
That all combines to make Tetris DX have a perfect Tetris feel.
Other Nice Things
Simplicity and focus make Tetris DX something to appreciate.
Modern games tend to prey on the part of your brain that desires progression. Tetris DX was made in a time before psychology took over game development.
There are no experience points to gain. There is nothing to unlock. You play Tetris and try to get a high score.
I love that.
The graphics are simple and nice. Not distracting, not cheesy. They work well for Tetris. It is a good example of the Game Boy Color being an improvement over the original Game Boy.
The music is great. The classics are there and they sound great. There is something classic about Game Boy music.
Here, have a listen:
If you haven’t guessed by now, Tetris DX for Game Boy Color is my favorite version of one of the best games of all time - Tetris. If you get a chance to play it, you should.
Verdict: It’s freaking great!
P.S. I unpack more ideas in Creative Genius