I’ve been playing a lot of Planet Puzzle League lately. Tetris Attack is one of my all time favorite games, which means that nobody wants to play it with me anymore. So being able to play the game online was a huge selling point for me.
More impressions inside.
There are 3 ways you can play online: Novice, Free Play, and Birthday Mode. In Novice mode you play against low-skilled players. Do too well, and you’re barred from playing it any more. I got barred after one round.
Free Play pits you against anyone and everyone, and you compete for bragging rights. I was able to find the most opponents here, likely because the battles are not ranked, though that means that you also won’t show up on any leaderboards.
There are leaderboards, but they only show up in online play in the last mode, Birthday mode. This is where you compete with other people that have the same birthday entered into their DS that you do. If my birthday is any indication, it’s currently very easy to be ranked on the leaderboards for your day. I was ranked third in the world after only winning 5 games.
Single player is standard Tetris Attack/Puzzle League fare. If you’ve played this game for other systems, you’ve played this one. The differences are pretty minor. There are no longer any dark blue tiles, for example. All of the standard modes are there: play for 2 minutes, play until you hit the top of the screen, and puzzle mode where you try to clear the screen with a limited set of moves.
The game, by default, makes use of the ‘book’ orientation of the DS, i.e. rotate the thing 90 degrees so it looks like a book with the touch screen over on the right. You can use the stylus or the control pad to control the game. The problem I had with it is that when using the stylus is that it got in the way and I missed some clears. Using the control pad wasn’t really an option, since you had to put your hands at 12:00 and 6:00, which is a little uncomfortable. Turning the display to ‘normal mode’ and eschewing the stylus controls seemed to be the best solution.
Online mode disappointments aside, this is a solid Puzzle League game that takes the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach.