Amazon.com It seems as if the world's fascination with the Russian-created puzzle game Tetris will never end. Hasbro Interactive and Atari have introduced yet another challenging version of the shape- shifting classic Tetris. The new format follows rules similar to the classic game. However, there are now new objects (sticky blocks and cascades) to contend with. The sticky blocks add a clever twist to the action, since they connect themselves to other pieces of the same color when placed next to one another. These resulting sticky blocks are bigger and less mobile than regular blocks. As in the original Tetris, clearing a line of blocks will often result in a chain reaction that can cause other blocks to fall. At this point, the game can get quite frantic since these blocks often end up creating matches that trigger more chain reactions. It's a dizzying experience--but that's the charm of the game. Players can choose from marathon mode (a single-player sequential game), two-player competition, or puzzle-style levels that require you to clear prepositioned blocks in a certain amount of time. The new elements make this updated game more challenging than the original, yet The Next Tetris retains all the charm of the game that started it all. Even diehard Tetris fans will have a difficult time finding fault with this game, since it includes a faithful reproduction of the original version as well. --Carrie Bell Pros: Utilizes dual shock analog controller Sticky blocks add new dimension to gameplay Cons: More expensive than the original title Review Think you've mastered the game of Tetris? Know how to defeat all your friends? Know exactly where each block should go the second it touches the screen? Well, forget all that and throw it out the window. The Next Tetris is here, and you're going to have to unlearn everything you know. This is the game's most appealing feature, but also its biggest flaw. Unlike previous incarnations of the Tetris brand, there is a definite end to each stage in The Next Tetris. The game places blocks on your screen at the start of the match and it's your objective to clear them off. This held my attention at first, but after a few minutes I was simply aching to go back to Tetris on the Game Boy Color - it just didn't feel right to only clear boards. Tetris has always been about seeing how long you can last. Then I discovered how to make use of the new multicolored Next Tetris blocks. Now this was a game. This is where you'll have a whole new game of Tetris to master - I played the game every single night for about a week, and I still didn't come close to figuring out exactly how to place each block. But the block placements I did come to understand really left me with a feeling of accomplishment. So it's not the old-style Tetris we've known over the years, but The Next Tetris manages to become a fun game in its own right. Kudos to Blue Planet Software for coming up with this new spice for the Tetris formula. Where The Next Tetris - and basically any Tetris, for that matter - really excels is in its two-player game. The "first one to clear the blocks wins" formula makes for great rivalry and is quite addicting. But here's where I noticed how one really has to relearn Tetris strategies. Instead of attempting to make sure there are no gaps in your lining of blocks (as you've been trained to do from past Tetris games), in the Next Tetris it's OK to have gaps - often, they cause big chain reactions when blocks fall. Also, performing a Tetris (clearing four blocks at one time), the biggest accomplishment in past Tetris versus modes, does nothing more than shake your opponent's screen in this version. These new features definitely take some getting used to. Tetris has never been about advanced graphics, so when I say that The Next Tetris' graphics look pretty generic it should come as no surprise. There's nothing wrong with how the game looks, but there's nothing really new or extraordinary to be found here. The
- " Challenging update of the classic arcade game "