Finally, even Apple Arcade has its version of the famous puzzle game by Aleksej Pažitnov, but as we see in this Tetris Beat review, could not miss an additional quid regarding the landing on Apple's subscription service: in this case, let's talk about the rhythm.
Among the many variations applied to the immortal formula of Tetris, this one of N3twork is particularly interesting, because it extends the gaming experience in sensory terms, creating that synesthesia between music, controls and coordination we have seen in the past in the productions of Tetsuya Mizuguchi and a few others. The mechanics of the game are obviously not upset that much, but the sensations that are felt by fitting the tetrominoes together are amplified by this musical digression of the Tetris, which requires a minimum period of adaptation to get out of the classical reflective logic and embrace the movement a weather.
In the last decade we have seen a wide range of attempts to modify Tetris through numerous digressions in various areas, always with marginal additions and not always functional, but often significant. In most cases, the best option has remained the classic one, however, also present in this case with the Marathon mode, but at least Tetris Beat represents a rather valid alternative to the usual fall of interlocking tetrominoes.
We are not at the level of completeness and care seen in Tetris Effect, nor of the multiplayer momentum given by Tetris 99, but Beat is undoubtedly one of the most interesting experiments we have seen in recent years on the same basis created by Pažitnov almost 40 years ago. As happens in the rhtyhm game real, the music is not just a simple accompaniment, but becomes an integral part of the gameplay, forcing you to follow the rhythm and act accordingly, with an effect that, although it is rather unsettling at the beginning, progressively enters in a instinctive, just like with music.
Il gameplay it is always the same: it is a question of fitting the geometric figures that descend from the top in order to fill the lines and make them disappear, thus preventing the screen from filling up to the top. Virtually useless to discuss the functioning of this mechanism and its addictive capacity, given that the almost forty years of Tetris history speak for themselves, but it is interesting to note some variations present within Tetris Beat. First of all, there are three game modes, among which Marathon simply represents the classic gameplay with the endless challenge to reach the highest score. The most original gameplay therefore emerges from the other two mode: Drop and Tap, both focused on short games linked to the duration of the musical pieces chosen as accompaniment.
Drop takes up the classic style of the game, but with the fundamental addition of rhythm: every single movement made, both as regards the rotation of the tetrominoes, their movement on the horizontal axis, the immediate fall or even the option to "postpone" a figure in order to make it fall later must be performed to the rhythm of the music in order to obtain bonuses. By ringing movements in rhythm with excellent timing, a multiplier is started that chains the bonuses increasing the score through rhythmic action. Used to getting into the classic dynamics of Tetris, this new setting can easily be confusing at first, but if you get caught up in the music it's easy to get into the flow of movements early.
Even more "extreme" is the mode Tap, which presents the player from time to time with two preset positions to choose from with the simple touch on the screen for the same tetromino, removing the freedom of movement and rotation and imposing, in this way, to get caught up in the rhythm trying to speed up the action and make the best choice in the shortest possible time. In both cases, the new modes feature the new Fever dynamic, which is activated when the multiplier reaches higher levels and allows you to accumulate even more points.
With a setting of this kind it is obvious that the soundtrack occupies an important place in the economy of the game and the choices are definitely functional to the context: in general they are synth pop pieces that are well associated with the action, but the lineup it is quite eclectic and includes 18 tracks from various artists such as Alison Wonderland, GARZA, Hannah Diamond, Octo Octa, Dauwd, CINTHIE and others. There are ups and downs and the kind of music it may not really meet everyone's tastes, but in general there is a good variety and above all the choices are well centered on the pace of the game, in some cases very effective.
Likewise, so too graphic style adopted is part of the clean and linear characterization that permeates the entire production, including lasers, neon lights, geometric figures and various abstractionisms, in this sense getting close enough to the excellent precedent constituted by Tetris Effect. In "landscape" mode, which at the moment is only visible when playing from Mac, the game window is too small, but it is a problem that obviously does not affect the use on iPhone and iPad, where the screen is arranged vertically.
The connection between puzzle game and music has already been experienced in the past, but this is the first time we find it officially adopted by a Tetris, and the results could only be explosive. The need to follow the rhythm requires a slightly different approach than the reflective style that is typical of the classic game, prompting immediately to act with speed and dynamism also due to the brevity of the sessions linked to the length of the songs, at least in the two new modes. , but for those who want good old Tetris there is still the Marathon. In any case, it is easy to get caught up in the flow of the game early with an instinctive response that is typical of rhythm games, so it is likely that the new gameplay can be enjoyed by everyone, even beyond a selection of songs with a little quality. swinging. For the rest, the game starts from an indisputable base and on Apple Arcade it is completely free of advertising or in-app purchases, both positive elements given some recent Tetris drifts in the mobile field.
- Tetris always works well, and is still present in its classic form
- The rhtym game fusion experiment was successful, creating a good alternative
- Three rather varied modes
- A bit confusing at first, imposing a different approach from classic Tetris
- Tap mode appears a bit limiting, with preset positions
- The music selection features highs and lows