Monday, March 19, 2007

Tetris Debuts On Xbox 360

I haven't given this much thought until today, but it's quite ironic that one of gaming's best known titles (at least to the "outside" world), now over 20-years old, is returning time and again on mostly every new console, with the same addictive gameplay. And the lesson it keeps on teaching us is that it doesn't take jaw-dropping graphics to make a great game: a brilliantly simple idea is fine, too. That idea was born in 1985 as Tetris, and it has remained basically the same ever since, with its latest incarnation being Tetris Evolution.

As announced today by publisher THQ, Tetris Evolution has just shipped for the Xbox 360 in North America. As the first next-generation incarnation of the addictive puzzle game, it features both the classic gameplay we all know, as well as some additional modes and options to keep it fresh. Such is the ability to download and customize themes, backgrounds, skins and icons, which is said to be a first in the Tetris universe.

In addition, all new gameplay modes include "Go Low", "Eraser" and the cooperative mode "Hotseat" where multiple players can manipulate Tetriminos within the same matrix. Tetris Evolution allows up to four players to engage in competition on a single console or contend via Xbox Live. The new online ladder system also enables players to track their overall skill level and accumulate Xbox Live achievement points to increase their Gamerscore.

All's fine and well, except for the price THQ expects players to pay for this Xbox 360 edition: $29.99. That sounds like a rip-off if you ask me... so don't ask!

As a final trivia, THQ's communique recollects that ever since Tetris debuted in 1985 on the PC, all the game's versions have sold more than 70 million units worldwide. Not bad, for a casual puzzler.


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