Sod the recent brain training games – Tetris teaches you the most important skill youâ€™ll ever need. Namely, how to pack a shopping bag properly. Before the block falling opus arrived some twenty years ago I used to put eggs at the bottom of the bag, cans of beans on top of loaves of bread and all sorts. It was utter chaos, I can assure you.
There have been countless Tetris clones, sequels and spin-offs but with the odd exception – such as Tetris DX – theyâ€™ve managed to stuff up the winning formula by including needless gimmicks or packing the screen with too much clutter. With this in mind itâ€™s a pleasant surprise to find that the new modes present in Tetris DS are actually quite decent. Thereâ€™s a Zelda-styled mission mode with such challenges as â€˜clear three rows in one goâ€™, a touch mode that involves sliding a huge stack of blocks around with the stylus and a Metroid themed affair where thereâ€™s a 4×4 block in the middle of the screen and itâ€™s up to you to stick other shapes to it to form larger squares.
When taking the game online you can play classic Tetris against another player, Push Tetris or four-player Tetris with power-ups such as the ability to cloak the boxes that show what shapes are next to appear. Thereâ€™s no voice chat and if a sore loser disconnects the game is over and you have to find a new challenger, but apart from these gripes it plays a fine game of fall-o-block-o. Plus thereâ€™s something very cool about playing against Japanese Tetris obsessives. In short, itâ€™s Tetris. But itâ€™s Tetris done well.