Sunday, September 29, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 91 - Tetrisphere

Tetrisphere is another of our favorite N64 games and is our featured title on day 91 of Eric Vs. 365. It is one of the few actual unique takes on classic Tetris and offers a ton of content, fascinating gameplay, and great presentation that helps it stand as one of the best puzzle games ever. Click here to read more and watch gameplay.

I always loved Tetris so a brand new "3D" Tetris on my favorite system, the N64, was the best news I ever heard back in 1997. Originally developed as an Atari Jaguar game, Tetrisphere landed on N64 after the Jaguar died of a heart attack while sitting on the toilet. Bad news for the 5 Atari fans at the time, but great news for the rest of us.

Tetrisphere isn't quite as simple as just Tetris on a ball. The gameplay is more objective based where you're trying to dig into the ball by dropping Tetrads to make the same shaped pieces disappear. A major change from typical Tetris is that you can grab pieces on the ball and slide them around before you drop your next piece, which allows you to line up massive combos and clear a ton of pieces at once. You only have a limited time to do this, of course. 

The game gets a lot more complicated the deeper in you get and, unfortunately, I don't even come close to showing any of the higher levels in the video. You end up with more piece types at a time, different magical items, and different stuff starts happening. It is a lot more strategic and interesting and difficult than it originally appears in the first batch of levels. If it looks interesting at all, definitely give it a shot.

I've got to give Tetrisphere a shout out for a couple of other things, too. The music is awesome and presentation overall is solid. It really feels like an experience the PlayStation probably couldn't have produced. It also stands out as one of the few games that actually use the N64 d-pad instead of the analog stick. That by itself makes Tetrisphere stand out.