There’s only so much innovation you can bring to a classical video game until ripping it from its roots, disappointing the franchise’s fans or boring the heck out of the gaming world. Or all three at once.
So, with that in mind, can Electronic Arts put a new spin on the almost three-decade-old Tetris, keep things fresh and at the same time interesting? The American developers certainly seem to think so, as they’ve just announced the launch of Tetris Blitz for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.
We don’t have a very clear ETA just yet, but we know the game “will be available later this spring” in Google Play, so it shouldn’t be long now. We also know Tetris Blitz will be “the first-ever freemium Tetris title”.
Now, is that a good or bad thing? It depends of course on a lot of variables, starting with what kind of in-app purchases we’re talking about. There are freemiums and freemiums, and, while they’re usually heavily bashed by most gamers, if you know how to keep things casual for light players you have a winner.
Hardcore gamers don’t really mind spending an extra buck to reach glory and top the weekly leaderboards or unlock “bonus levels”. Then again, if you make a longer than 5-minute gaming session a living hell without the purchasing of special skills, you can forget about it.
But let’s leave speculations aside for a second, hope for the best and focus on what we know. For instance, it seems that EA’s “innovative new twist on the world famous puzzle game” will be the turning of Tetris from a marathon into a sprint (hence the “Blitz” name).
You’ll have just two minutes to clear as many lines and rack up as many points as possible. There’ll be special multipliers, power-ups and an elusive Frenzy Mode for the most skilled, as well as the classic score boosters through clearing multiple lines back-to-back.
Power-ups will be refreshed every week (kudos for that), while Tetris Blitz will also offer an alternative “Drag and Place” control option in addition to the classic “Swipe” way. In a nutshell, “Tetris Blitz wraps all of the best elements of the iconic Tetris game inside a bite-sized, frenzied experience that is perfect for smartphones and tablets.”, according to Nick Earl, Senior VP and GM of EA’s All Play label.
Hmm, sounds intriguing, but for some reason I’m not yet sold on the idea. Are you?