It's hard to preview a game you've been playing most of your life – especially one that has no narrative, little in the way of visuals and long history of success in its simplicity.
But, I'm going to take a stab at it anyway with the upcoming downloadable installment of Tetris on the PSP Go.
What Is It?
Tetris on the PSP Go is a downloadable game that includes all the classic gameplay modes plus 12 common variations.
What We Saw
I saw the game I fell in love with 20 years ago. The colors were different and so was the music – but it felt pretty much the same for the 15 minutes I spent with it.
How Far Along Is It?
Tetris will be available when the PSP Go launches October 1.
What Needs Improvement?
That's… It? You can find Tetris almost everywhere these days – cell phones, flash game websites, the Wii, maybe even your dishwasher. You might even have a copy of it for Gameboy lying around you could still play. So to justify spending more money on a game I've 1) already paid for and 2) could probably program in Java for free, I'm going to need more incentive than just new music, some variations to gameplay and a different color scheme to the interface.
No Korobeiniki: Boo!
What Should Stay The Same?
Potential DLC Stuff: The 12 variations included at launch are good ones to have – clear 40 lines, treadmill mode where the playing field moves horizontally one space at a time as you play – but there are so many variations in the history of Tetris that the developer would have their pick for downloadable content in the future. Hey, they could even come up with something new if such a thing is possible.
Master Replays: For each mode, there's a video you can watch of a developer completing the mode in record time or with a maximum score. It's amazing to watch and can inspire you to develop new approaches to an old favorite.
I take Tetris for granted because it's been in my life so long. I expect the Korobeiniki song or some remix thereof and I don't expect to pay to play the game. You could say that I'm spoiled – or maybe that I've become a crotchety old person – and I'd have to say you're right. But it doesn't change the fact what makes Tetris special is nostalgia. And at the very least, the PSP Go version has that.