- Atari Tetris -

- VIEWS -
REVIEWS
INTERVIEWS
EV BOARD
THE VIEWS

- DOWNLOADS -
EMULATORS
ROMS LITE
ROMS

- OTHER -
NEWS
LINKS
NEWS w/o ICONS


HotRod FAQ

Atari Tetris - November 2, 1999 by Dorsola
Game:Atari TetrisCompany:Atari
Type:PuzzlePlayers:1/2

Okay. I'm not even gonna ATTEMPT a Russian accent. It would be a major insult to THE most famous puzzle game of all time: Tetris. No, I think I'll just give it as good a review as I can. :) In this adaptation of the classic Russian game, in which you have to arrange a set of random falling blocks to form lines, Atari gave us a couple of new things to play with. As always, this company took a simple concept and improved on it.
Unfortunately, this particular version of Tetris had a few shortcomings (which can be a major problem in pure puzzle games). The two most notable problems are with the controls and the sound. I'll deal with the controls first: Basically, your stick can move left and right, and down (for dropping pieces). No up direction, as none is needed, but the sticks used in the actual arcade machines were your standard 4-direction sticks, and therefore suffered a bit from an unused direction and sensitivity problems. I cannot count the number of times I tried to drop a piece just to have it move off to the left or right on the way down! In a fighting game, this might cost you a move or two, but in a puzzle game, where every move is crucial, this could cost you a quarter!
While other Atari games often made use of two Pokey sound chips (which could do all sorts of neat things with a square wave), Tetris was really the first game where they used both chips to play music AND sound effects. An interesting bit of programming, but this unfortunately detracts a bit from the quality of the otherwise interesting music. Fortunately, they showed a bit of international flair in their music, as many Tetris games for the home market also did.
Carrying on in classic Tetris tradition, the screen is laid out plainly and simply, drawing your attention straight to the playfield. The blocks are actually solid pieces falling from the top of the screen, as opposed to arrangements of squares like in most other Tetris versions. This is a nice touch, as is the little Cossack that occasionally pops out to dance for you when you beat a level. Even though the graphics are pretty simplistic, they don't HAVE to be anything special, since this game is all about gameplay.
In addition to the classic "Make and clear lines" strategy, Atari gives you a few new challenges as well, from varying levels of prearranged blocks to extra blocks that appear randomly in your playfield. This makes the game all the more challenging, and at the same time it simply begs for one more quarter to see if you can do better! Add that to perfect emulation in MAME, and you've got yet another way to enjoy the world's most popular and most notorious puzzle game ever!
Graphics
8
6
Sound
Play Control
6
10
Challenge
Replay Value
10
10
Performance

Screen Shots

Screen Shot 1
1999 EmuViews