Tetris Friends is a free browser based game. The sites itself is still in open beta, meaning that anyone is able to jump over to their site and sign up. The site itself contains several versions of Tetris that can be play against opponents or for a score. Tetris Friends can be found at:
Tetris is one of the best games that has ever been made. Over the years and the remakes, there have been two basic types of Tetris that have emerged; those that get the correct feel of the game and those that do not. Tetris Friends is one of the few Tetris games that simply understand the overall feel of how a Tetris game should be constructed. While it has many different game modes that can be played on the site, at the core all of them are simply Tetris.
Currently Tetris Friends has about 10 different variations of the game running on the site, anywhere from the more classic 1989 version that was packed in with every Game Boy, to a newer 6 player battle mode. While there are some other game types on the site most of them are variations of those two. For most games, this would seem more like empty offerings, but Tetris Friends manages to get the simple gameplay of Tetris down so well that it continually proves that when a game is in no way broken it shouldn’t be fixed.
Although the one thing that does seem to need fixing with this free-based online game is the matchmaking system used for the battles. Everyone starts Tetris Friends as a rank one player and slowly has to work up the ranks, which is pretty standard. What is odd about this, though, is the slow pace at which it is done. The game has a five star gauge that must be filled to rank up, stars –or parts of them- are awarded for winning or doing well in matches (or taken away for doing poorly). While this does work perfectly fine when the game finally finds a level of challenge that is adequate, the problems come from how slowly the game gets there. The game will bump the player up several levels if they manage to utterly destroy the competition, but that probably will still leave the player several levels away from any amount of a good challenge.
Aside from that one little complaint, Tetris Friends does offer a chunk of motivation to keep playing in the forms of unlockable content, mostly in the way off additional skins to be used during gameplay. Every round the player is awarded tokens for play based on how well they have done. These tokens are used to unlock things, at this point in the beta they are mainly cosmetic pallet swaps to the Tetris blocks. While not overly impressive it does seem like new things are added with some consistency, meaning that there is always a reason to keep playing.
The added content seems to be one of the best drawing points of the site as well. Since I have started playing the game, there was an entire mode that was added in as well. Although it was a promotional game for Ice Age 3, it was still even more additional content that has come to the site in relatively short order. This seems to be one of the big draws to the site, as the people behind it don’t seem to be too scared of continually expanding on the game.
The best part about this that this is a free game that can be accessed from pretty much any computer with an internet connection. The site itself is even rather helpful with an entire tip section that does a rather good job of explaining the finer points of Tetris, even if the first several chunks of it are clearly geared towards people who haven’t played much Tetris in the last decade.
Tetris Friends goes out of its way to prove its value, not in the amount of money that it costs to play it (which is nothing) but the amount of time that it is willing to absorb from your life. Not much done on this site is a new way of looking at Tetris, but it doesn’t need to be because it does everything so well. If you are reading this review you owe it to yourself to go, start an account, and bookmark the page. Tetris Friends has a way of finding its way under your skin, and it feels so nice once it is there.