I was looking for a shorter game to play, and so I thought I'd finally check out Tetris DX. The game didn't really have much to recommend it, except that it was a slightly enhanced version of the original black and white Game Boy classic, and, in fact, a launch title for the Game Boy color when it was released in the fall of 1998.

Most likely only video game history buffs like myself really care about the minutiae of the different versions of Tetris, of which I've reported on four thus far: the aforementioned Game Boy classic, Natsume's Tetris Plus, Nintendo's 8-bit nostlagia-fest, Tetris DS, and Hudson Soft's Tetris Party Live. Being an older game Tetris DX lacks some of the things that have become part of the modern standard, including more than one preview piece, a hold box (which lets you set aside a piece for later use), and shadows plus a hard drop (an outline of the current piece appears in the well below, and you can press up to make it fall immediately to the bottom), but going back to the basics didn't feel like it put a damper on the fun at all. Basically the core gameplay of Tetris is awesomely addictive pretty much any way it's presented.

This iteration lacks the Nintendo cameos that the original had and replaces the now-iconic music with three tracks that seem more early 90's sounding, and adds the ability to save profiles along with highest scores by name, and also three new modes: get the highest score possible in three minutes, clear 40 lines the fastest possible, and vs. CPU. The vs. CPU mode is fairly challenging, and there's an interesting twist where you can battle yourself. The way this works is that the CPU mimics your play style, which presumably is purely on a statistical basis as the game records what percentage of lines you cleared during the unlimited marathon mode were four at a time, three at a time, two at a time, or one at a time (which, incidentally, caps out at level 30). The game records these statistics for the three profiles stored on the cartridge, so you can have the CPU mimic the other two users as well.

All in all this was a fun old-school version of the great Tetris gameplay that probably everyone knows and loves. Anyone with any other version probably doesn't really need to check this one out, but it was nice to cross this very minor first-party Nintendo release off my list.

Color these Tetris DX links:
- Video of the different possible endings (involving rockets being launched into outer space) you can get in the marathon mode
- Video of what is presumably the best possible ending, which is a virtual fireworks show, you can get in the time attack mode (I must have gotten the worst possible ending because my fireworks didn't make shapes.)
- As a side note: I'm guessing the vs. CPU mode doesn't have any endings, as I beat the mode on level 9 without any acknowledgement from the game
- The game also includes three cute little animations if you let the start screen play (the FAQ says you have to press buttons to see them all, but they actually just cycle through)
- A note on GameFAQs says that you can increase the probability of the I piece appearing by moving them from side to side as they fall. Interesting, if it's true.
- Entry at nintendo.wikia.com
- Obscure details at tetris.wikia.com
- Entry at Wikipedia