Ages 8 and up
The dog days of summer have certainly descended early here in Downers Grove. Between the heat AND humidity, I just wasn’t up for reviewing a “brain burning” game (my brain is hot enough!), so I snagged a copy of Tetris Link.
Tetris Link is a 2-4 player game based on the massively popular computer/video game vying. The familiar shapes and colors are there, along with the two-dimension stacking mechanic – but that’s where the similarity ends. In Tetris Link you are vieing for victory points generated when you connect shapes (called ‘Tetriminos’) together. If you manage to connect three of your color Tetriminos together, you are awarded three points. Connect to an existing link, and you get an additional point. If you leave an open space while playing a piece, your are penalized based on the number of ‘squares’ left open. The player with the most points at the end of the game is declared the winner.
To determine which Tetrimino to place on your turn, each player roles a unique six-sided die. If a shape comes up that you no longer have in your ‘hand’, play passes to the next player.
The game board is unique in that it is a clear “sandwich” with columns in which the Tetriminos are inserted from the top, dropping down to mesh with the others. Coupled with the translucent vivid colored pieces, the play field is visually appealing and reminiscent of the video game. A clever scoring track is also included – integrated directly on the game board – making it very easy to see who is in the lead.
Completing a full game won’t take more than 20 minutes with 4 players – definitely a fast and easy play.
It is entirely possible (and likely) that players will insert a piece in order to mess up the well laid plans of their opponents. It is this aspect of the game which needs to be understood before purchasing a copy of Tetris Link. If you don’t like games which out-and-out pit one player against another, then Tetris Link (as simple as it is) may not be for you. However, if classics like Sorry! and Survive: Escape From Atlantis are to your liking, then Tetris Link won’t bring about any unusual angst.
Give it a try – I think you will find that Tetris Link is a surpsingly fun take on the video game classic.