Tetris couldn’t have been designed with more serendipity. Not only did creator Alexey Pajitnov put together the most instantly recognisable and enormously popular puzzle game, but he designed it in the shape of a mobile phone. Now that’s foresight. And while the game is currently selling in its millions of squillions for the handheld market, it’s still reinventing itself for the PC. Tetris Friends is a free, online collection of popular Tetris game types (Marathon, Sprint, Ultra, Tetris 1989, Survival and n-blox, along with sponsored promo versions, currently plugging Ice Age 3). There’s also multiplayer modes, with two and six-player Battle mode, and five-player Sprint game. A few videos have appeared pushing the multiplayer games, which are below.
It works pretty damned well, too. Registering doesn’t require tedious emailing back and forth – just dump details into the form and you’re straight in. And then you can fire up a single or multiplayer game instantly. I played (and won, because I’m so great) a five-player Sprint, and a six-player Battle game, with a waiting time of approximately one second. The music is horrendous beyond belief, as you’ll hear in the trailers, but it can be switched off once you’re in a game. There’s also some sort of currency system, where you can buy meaningless baubles with your tokens, which I’m sure is lovely.
The plan is for the site to both incorporate the casual gamer, with accompanying leaderboards, profiles and all the usual gubbins, and to provide a place for high-end tournaments, with professional players (I know) competing. To get a taste, have a look at the videos (and wonder in horror at who decided leaving the tutorial screens in was a good idea):
And yes, sure, I KNOW that “Block Party” is the most over-used headline ever, but look, right, see. People use it STUPIDLY. But this is a multiplayer Tetris game! THIS IS WHEN IT WAS FOR!