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Alive SE - EIL 2001
             The Next Tetris
          Blue Planet Software
        for NUON-based machines
Type: Puzzle
# of players: 1
Levels: ?
MSRP: Pack-in with Toshiba SD2300

The Classic Puzzler Returns

If you think you've mastered Tetris then think again! Now there's The Next
Tetris, a revolutionary twist on the classic puzzle game. More features,
more challenging, and more addictive than ever. The Next Tetris - it'll
blow your mind!


   * Multiple play modes, including Classic Tetris and The Next Tetris
   * New "breakaway" and "sticky" Tetris blocks
   * Special visual and gravity effects

Tetris. By now everyone has at least heard of the game or has been living
in a cave for the past 15 years or so. It's the game that has spawned
seemingly endless clones and variations, and you could say it basically
established the entire genre of puzzle games. All this because it's a good
game at its core - simple, addictive and increasingly difficult.
Unfortunately The Next Tetris doesn't do anything new to draw you off of
your GameBoy for a quick game of Tetris. There's not even a 2 player mode.

Before you ask, no you can't buy this game in stores - and be glad you
can't. As a freebie it's perfectly fine (considering there are also
improved demos of T3K and Merlin on the disk), but you'd do better to
spend your $20-$30 on IS3 or better yet the upcoming Bust-A-Move 4 if
you're really itching for a puzzle game. The Next Tetris is about as
uninspiring as it gets. The visual "package" consists of boring black
backgrounds with simple colored bricks and plain menus. The only
halfway-decent graphics are the opening FMV (wow!) and the way bricks of
the same color melt together. Aside from that there's nothing that you
couldn't have done back on an NES.

Music and sound effects are good for the most part. High-quality, clear
audio is definitely a plus, but the music itself is (again) uninspired.
Some techno-esque renditions of classic Tetris songs are about as
interesting as they get. Don't even bring up the song that says "Tetris"
about a million times (what game am I playing again? Thanks for the

The game controls well for the most part, not that Tetris is a game that
requires complex button combinations or things of that nature. It is a bit
touchy when you hit down on the d-pad to lower the bricks faster (a more
gradual decent would be nice), but luckily it's forgiving in that you can
move the bricks around a bit once they've landed.

So basically you have game that you could get on any other piece of
silicon ever created, but this time it's on NUON. I'm thinking Toshiba
picked this one as a pack-in because it's easy to play with the remote
(since the player doesn't come with a game controller in the box).
Bust-A-Move 4, please save us from these lame ports of mediocre puzzle

Graphics - 3

     I can't imagine graphics getting any more plain and boring than this.
     A few decent touches keep it out of the gutter completely though.

Sound/Music - 6

     Nothing to write home about, but it's better than Ballistic.

Control - 7

     The bricks fall too fast when you hit down on the D-Pad, but luckily
     it's forgiving when they land.

Fun Factor - 6

     Hey, there's no denying the fun of Tetris. Too bad it's been done a
     million times before. And where's the 2 player mode?
Overall (not an average) - 45%

Alive SE - EIL 2001