Tetris Party hits WiiWare this Monday at a mere 1200 points. Considering all the modes you get for that paltry sum, it’s not hard to argue that price is no object. But maybe you’re not sold on the idea of a new Tetris that only took 18 years to make. Maybe you need some other incentive to pick and play the game. If that’s the case, consider buying Tetris Party if it could pay for itself. Hudson is hosting a Tetris Party tournament, which begins in December and runs until April, where winners of the tourney will walk away with an undisclosed amount of Wii points – potentially up to 1200. Keep an eye on tetrisparty.com for full details.I was pretty much sold after my first hands-on with Tetris Party at the Nintendo Media Summit. Stage Racer and Field Climber were my favorite modes; I like having to force myself to defy everything Tetris has ever taught me about not having blank spaces in the grid. I still get a little anxious when I see holes opening up in Duel Spaces, but then I remember that I want those spaces to remain open so I can score more points against my opponent when I close the gap from above.
It occurs to me that there is a generation out there that didn’t grow up with Tetris, so they can’t appreciate how new all the different modes feel after two decades of the same old game. Apparently that occurred to the developer, too, because they’ve included a beginner’s mode with a very basic grid and big, friendly-looking Tetriminos (blocks – we always called them blocks when we were kids). Playing this mode for even five minutes catches you up on about 20 years of gameplay (minus the “New Coke” experience) and gets you ready to defy everything you learn in that time when you set out to play Shadow or some other such mode that makes you leave blank spaces. Once you’ve got the basics down (and gotten used to the idea that you have to rotate pieces both clockwise and counterclockwise in order to survive Stage Racer), you’re ready to take on the competition either against other people in your living room, or online, or against the AI – which can get pretty vicious depending on the difficulty it’s set to. You’ll want it to be hard, though, if you’re set on entering the tournament. Each phase of the tournament will feature a different mode – you earn points for completing each phase which are then tallied on the website. Potentially, you could still rank high in the tourney even if you miss a phase (hard to imagine, but that’s what the PR guy tells me), but you’ll want to get in as much practice with all the different modes as you can between now and December. Here, have some screenshots: