Tetris is an incredibly well-known puzzle game worldwide, from its iconic music to block piece shapes, most people will immediately recognize a tetromino when they see it. The Puyo Puyo series on the other hand is a widely popular puzzle game in Japan that hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention from the western audience. Its first release hit arcades in North America in 1992 and was scarcely seen again until another iteration of the series was released in 2002 for Gameboy Advance. Puyo Puyo’s last release in the west was over ten years ago on Gamecube, but now the series is making a return to the west in one big puzzle crossover known as Puyo Puyo Tetris.
While Puyo Puyo might not have the worldwide recognition of Tetris, those who like puzzle games likely will notice some very familiar in its gameplay. The name Puyo refers to the round blob looking creatures with eyes, and much like Tetris they fall starting from the top of the screen. Each Puyo is one of five colors, with the basic goal being to make at least four of the same color to touch in order to pop them. It might not seem to challenging a concept, but players will quickly learn that Puyo Puyo is all about dishing out as many combos as possible. It’s important to plan ahead, lining up the Puyo in such a way that setting off one set of Puyo popping will lead to multiple others to pop as well, which greatly opponents by filling their screen with grey blocks. Playing in Tetris mode works similarly, as players will want to break multiple lines at once to slow their opponent down before they get out any combos of their own.
Puyo Puyo Tetris has multiple different modes for players to tackle both alone or with a friend. There is the single player story featuring the wide assortment of Puyo Puyo characters, which challenges players to complete an objective or defeat a computer opponent. For a more personal match players can also go the more traditional route by challenging up to three other people at once in either Puyo Puyo or Tetris mode to see who will be the last one standing. Puyo Puyo Tetris also offers two unique modes outside of story that are swap and fusion, which combines both block modes at once.
Typically when playing through the story or challenging a friend players will pick either the Puyo or Tetris blocks to play and can’t change in the middle of a match, but fusion mode mixes both modes into one for a chaotic mix of popping Puyos while trying to make lines with Tetris blocks at the same time. Swap mode mixes the two together in a completely different way, having both players first start in either Tetris or Puyo blocks but after a set amount of time will swap to the other blocks on a completely new board and continue to swap on this set time limit. The mix up in swap mode forces players to simultaneously manage two games at once and keep track of everything that’s going on in order to take on their opponent. Not to mention, in addition to all these different modes there are many different rules that can be applied to mix up each match to make each one more challenging and unique than the last.
The mix of both Puyo Puyo and Tetris is a great combination that couldn’t be more suited for one another. With multiple different ways to play against computers, friends or even go online and challenge players around the world, Puyo Puyo Tetris has a wide variety of ways to play. Puyo Puyo Tetris even offers multiple tutorials for those looking to learn the basics, and playing through the story mode is a good way newcomers to get used to going up against other players. Whether a fan of one series or just interested in a challenging puzzle title, Puyo Puyo Tetris will deliver and likely surprise those interested in playing. Players can check out Puyo Puyo Tetris coming to Nintendo Switch and PS4 on April 25 for North America and April 28 in PAL regions.