Game Review: Puyo Puyo Tetris (PS4)

The worlds of Puyo Puyo and Tetris collide within this ‘long overdue’ western release of Puyo Puyo Tetris; but was it worth the wait? Well that all depends in your skills within Tetris and Puyo Puyo; but it certainly gets a seal of approval from us!

  Title: Puyo Puyo Tetris
Publisher: Deep Silver UK
Developer: SEGA
Platform: PS4
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Audio: English
Subtitles: English (White)
Local Players: 1 – 2
Online Players: 2
Install: YES (2GB)

Our View:

Back in 2014 SEGA released the Puzzle-game-hybrid known as Puyo Puyo Tetris within Japan; a puzzle game which saw two similar competing puzzle franchises combined together to deliver an unexpected – and highly entertaining – puzzle game. Now, several years later, Deep Silver UK, in conjunction with SEGA, have delivered us a western release of the game for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 with the game itself receiving a full English make-over including its very own English Dub audio track.

That’s right; the first thing that surprised me about Puyo Puyo Tetris was the inclusion of a complete English Dub voice-over track for its in-game characters which, for a relatively obscure title such as this, is almost unheard of; but alas we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Puyo Puyo Tetris is the puzzle game which combines together SEGA’s Puyo Puyo franchise, which sees players remove Puyo Puyo bubbles in groups of four in order to obtain points, against Russian game designer’s Alexey Pajitnov’s Tetris creation, which sees players remove lines of tetrominoes by placing the pieces together in order to obtain points, for a rather unique puzzle gaming experience that offers two of the best puzzle games in one package.

Of course Puyo Puyo Tetris is not simply two games within a single package, as while players can choose to play Puyo Puyo or Tetris game modes with traditional rule-sets, a large portion of the game focuses on players competing against each other with the two different gameplay styles. It is basically Puyo Puyo VS Tetris and in some instances can be compared to one person playing Call of Duty against someone who is playing Battlefield; two very similar games but slightly different rules and it is the same here with Puyo Puyo Tetris.

In Puyo Puyo the objective is to get a high score by connecting four or more puyos together while the objective within Tetris is to get a high score by clearing lines of tetris pieces with the more lines cleared delivering the high scores. Both game styles, whether it be Puyo Puyo or Tetris, rely heavily on combo moves so that higher-scores can be obtained and it is here where the ‘complex’ nature of the game begins to take shape. Simply clearing lines (or puyos) will award points; but in order to obtain the top scores – and survive in the multitude of multiplayer events – speed and combo moves are needed.

For the most part Puyo Puyo Tetris is simple to play with the D-Pad being used to move the pieces around the board and input buttons being used to drop, store or spin the pieces that are currently falling to your desired location. However while this is the case some skill and speed will be required for those wishing to challenge the harder difficulty modes or take the challenge online against other players. Personally for me this is where Puyo Puyo Tetris falls down slightly as the game – as a concept – works perfectly but upon going online, or changing the difficulty to a medium/hard setting, I found myself being utterly destroyed by my higher-skilled-opponents. This suggests to me that newcomers may find themselves being put off from exploring more of the game due to its high skill requirements; which is a real shame as the competitive modes only make up a portion of what the game has to offer.

Puyo Puyo Tetris focuses itself on competitive gameplay; but those looking for something ‘a little bit different’ will be able to experience the games –rather expansive- single player campaign mode. It’s a story which explains how Puyo Puyo and Tetris came to be within the same universe and throughout this campaign mode visual novel styled dialogue sections, each of which feature a full English voice-over, will be presented before and after matches. This campaign mode is around ten chapters long with each chapter separated in to several missions that are graded with stars.

It is your ‘traditional’ puzzle game themed layout but unlike the competitive gameplay modes found within Offline and Online Multiplayer modes these matches are easier to beat so progression through the lengthy campaign can be done so with relative ease; which is a good thing considering that points earned within the campaign (and other gameplay modes) can be used to unlock additional characters and in-game items.

It is an extremely refreshing change of pace to see Puyo Puyo and Tetris brought to life in a rather colourful and comical fashion through this campaign mode; and it really gives this title an added weight to overall experience. Of course those wishing to simply ‘play the game’ can also take part in the various different gameplay modes found within Offline Multiplayer and Online Multiplayer.

For starters within the Offline Multiplayer experience players play six different gameplay styles, known as Versus, Swap, Fusion, Big Bang, Party and Challenge, with each offering a different kind of experience. Personally my favourite of these was Swap as it sees the game board switch between Puyo Puyo and Tetris with the winner being the one who survives the longest. Of course Fusion is another interesting addition which sees both Tetrominoes and Puyo Puyos fall on the same screen with each reacting differently; such as Tetris pieces being able to push Puyo Puyo bubbles out of the way. Each of these gameplay modes can be played against an AI opponent or with another player locally but each game style offers something different and unique which is surprising when at the end of the day it is still the same game; Tetris or Puyo Puyo.

Challenge mode on the other hand, which is also included as part of the Solo Arcade experience, is also another play style which sees the gameplay rules for each game tweaked slightly. Tiny Puyo for instance will have small puyo puyos appear on screen while endurance will challenge you to see how long you can hold out. Once again scores obtained within these modes are stored in leaderboards for you to share with other players.

Online multiplayer meanwhile allows majority of these same gameplay rules to be played online against other players in both ranked and free-play gameplay modes with online leaderboards tracking players stats through their Puyo Puyo career. It goes without saying that the online multiplayer element is a nice inclusion; but for newcomers it can be an incredibly frustrating experience when going up against a skilled opponent – something which I learned first hand.

As you can probably tell Puyo Puyo Tetris isn’t just a straight-forward puzzle-game; it is a game that features a lot of backbone and is sure to provide a lot of entertainment for newcomers and fans of the franchise. Sure enough some of the gameplay modes may be too difficult for my liking but the comical campaign mode, its full-on English voice over, and its long list of competitive gameplay modes, both offline and online, out-way the negative experiences I had. In short Puyo Puyo Tetris is the best puzzle game in years and comes highly recommended from us.

Score: review-stars-5

Puyo Puyo Tetris is now available for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch within Europe.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked on ZOMGPlay and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita or Xbox One.

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