I'm a long-time fan of both the Tetris and Puyo Puyo series. Tetris is the more-familiar and easier series for me, and I've been gradually chipping away at the mountain of Tetris games out there, the hitherto most recent of which was Tetris 99 which I blogged about in April of 2019. Admittedly, I haven't played nearly as much Puyo Puyo, but I did blog about my playthrough of the Japan-only release Puyo Puyo Tsuu on Wii near the end of last year.

This brings me to Puyo Puyo Tetris, one of the Switch's launch titles, and a game that I picked up pretty early on. I had actually played through a decent chunk of the story mode while on a long flight, but then put it aside for no particular reason. I was happy enough to pick it up again and blow through the rest of the story mode, and I enjoyed how that mode forces you to work your way through all the variations of Puyo Puyo and Tetris that the developers came up with. Alex from NintendoLife disliked the story part of the story mode, but I found the over-the-top antics of the quirky cast to be entertaining and enjoyable (the highlight being the muscle fish man). It was also fun to hear a lot of familiar voices, as the game is fully voice acted and features a ton of actors who have also worked on the Fire Emblem Heroes game.

As for the game modes, you could, of course, just play Tetris or Puyo Puyo on its own, but the game introduces pretty much every permutation of the two you could think of. You can play Tetris while your opponent plays Puyo Puyo, or vice versa. You can both play head-to-head Tetris and at regular intervals the board switches to Puyo Puyo, and so forth. There's a weird fusion mode that is mostly Puyo Puyo focused, but drops huge Tetris blocks that add a layer of strategy as they can rearrange your Puyos, and as another wrinkle, you can also play either of the two game types in a "party" mode that adds in items with helpful effects. There are also miscellaneous a mode that focuses on making chains (much more worthwhile in Puyo Puyo mode than Tetris mode), and for pretty much all of these modes you can play in a solo mode (timed or marathon), vs. the CPU, vs. online, or vs. local.

Phew! Although I said I played through the story mode, that isn't quite true, as I only beat the main story, which consists of seven chapters. There are an extra three episode-like chapters that unlock at that point (I think they were originally DLC in the original Japanese release of the game), but they're not related to the main story. For every stage in the story mode there are three targets where you can aim to earn up to three stars, and although getting all three stars in the first few chapters were easy enough, it would definitely take a lot more effort to perfect every challenge. For me personally I've still been playing Tetris 99 semi-regularly whenever they introduce a new skin, so this on top of my long history with the series made the Tetris stages pretty easy for me. My PP skills, in contrast, were pretty lacking, though, and it took time for me to remember how to even do three chains consistently, ha. Anyway, overall I enjoyed my time with the game, and although I don't really consider it an essential version of either game, it's also kind of a nice two-for-one modern experience of both. I really don't see the point of a sequel, but Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 was released at the end of last year and apparently introduces character-specific skills. I can't say that I'm rushing to play that game, but I'll keep it on my radar and I'm sure I'll get to it eventually after I've caught up a little on some of the older games in both series.


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