Tetris Attack

aka: Yoshi no Panepon
Moby ID: 6024
Game Boy Specs
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Description official description

All is not well on Yoshi's Island! The devious king Bowser has cast a spell on the island's inhabitants, turning them into his mindless slaves. Only Yoshi has escaped its effects, and so he must set off to free his friends, and to defeat Bowser and break the spell.

Tetris Attack is a fact-paced action puzzler featuring the colorful cast of characters from Yoshi's Island. A stack of blocks continually rises from the bottom of the screen, and the player controls a cursor which can swap any two blocks horizontally. Make a row or column of three or more and they'll clear, potentially creating combos from new blocks falling to take their place. Combos will send large garbage blocks to your opponent, which must be eliminated by clearing a piece that is touching it, turning it into normal blocks.

The game offers a story mode against the computer, as well as a 2-player versus mode, an endless mode, a timed mode where a certain number of blocks must be cleared, and a puzzle mode where a set arrangement of blocks must be cleared in a specific number of moves. The game is based on the Japan-only title Panel de Pon.

Spellings

  • ヨッシーのパネポン - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Game Boy version)

33 People (21 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

Main Program
System Program
CP Program
Menu Program
Story Program
Communication Program
Program Adviser
Design Director
Graphic Design
Panel Design
Title Design
Design Adviser
Sound Program
Sound Effects
Music Composer
Original Yoshi Music
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 87% (based on 19 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 49 ratings with 4 reviews)

More addicting than Tetris!

The Good
Everything...each mode (Endless, Time Trial, Stage Clear, Puzzle and Vs.) offers unique gameplay challenges and helps develop all your gaming skills; speed, hand-eye coordination, critical thinking, forward thinking, pattern recognition, etc. The graphics are similar to Yoshi's Island, but a little more palatable for older audiences and offer a great backdrop to the action. The sounds and music never get in the way, instead working in tandem with the graphics to provide critical clues as to what's happening (hearing the Giant Garbage Block fanfare while playing against Bowser on Vs. is always a sign that you're about to get hurt...). Music is simple and hummable and you may even find yourself singing the tunes as you play.

There's even a two-player, head-to-head mode that features Time Trial and Vs. so you and a friend can have a go at the action together. Unless you're allergic to puzzle games - or you don't like Yoshi - , there's really no reason you won't like this game.

The Bad
The one singular complaint I have is the puzzles in Puzzle Mode are sometimes a bit too hard...I am even now pulling my hair out trying to figure out Stage 6-09. Otherwise, nothing.

The Bottom Line
A totally unique and thoroughly addicting gaming experience, the only real resemblance Attack has to the original Tetris is the title; in Tetris Attack, you have a pit full of colored tiles that you must switch horizontally to line up matches of 3 or more like-colors, but you can only switch two tiles at a time. While that is happening, new tiles are being pushed up from the bottom (except in Puzzle mode).

Sounds pretty easy, right? Well, it's more complicated than that...when a group of tiles disappears, any tiles above the new gap will fall down to fill it; if another group of tiles is cleared as a result, that results in a chain reaction, which gives you extra points and stops the rise of tiles for a moment. Also, you can line up more than three tiles at a time to form a combo, which has the same effect, if lessened, as a chain.

Chains and combos are the main push of the gameplay, as in Vs. Mode, those moves allow you to attack your opponent by burying them in Garbage Blocks, but more about that later... Combos are relatively easy, and anyone can learn to do them somewhat quickly. Chains are trickier and only true masters can get monster 20+ chains going. (This reviewer has only set up an 8 chain to date...). There are different ways to set up chains and the longer you can sustain one, the more points you will get and the bigger your attack will be in Vs.

Endless - What is sounds like; you play for as long as you can keep your stack of tiles from touching the ceiling. The catch is, the longer you play, the faster the tiles rise, forcing you to move faster and rack up higher and higher chains to stay in play. This is a good training ground for newbies at it allows them to gradually slide into the game, but challenges them enough to improve over time.

Time Trial - You have two minutes to get as many points as you can. This mode is an excellent proving ground for newbies who have been practicing on Endless Mode to test (or show off) their new skills in a non-competitive but challenging arena.

This is also the mode where pulling off chains and combos really pays off, as super-chains give major amounts of points.

Stage Clear - An interesting twist to Endless, you have to keep clearing tiles from the pit until a line appears. Once you see the line, you have to work to drop the tiles below the line to win. As you progress, the tiles rise faster and the line takes longer to appear.

Puzzle - Excellent practice for identifying chain patterns, Puzzle Mode gives you a specific number of tiles and a limited number of switches to clear every tile. There is always a solution, even if it's not always obvious, and of course the puzzles get harder and harder the further you progress.

Vs. - The Big Match. Sometimes called "Story Mode", 1 player Vs. pits you against a series of opponents, each of which is faster and more skilled than the last.

The story goes, Yoshi's eight friends have been brainwashed by Bowser's evil magic, and the only way to free them of the spell is to defeat them in one round of Tetris Attack. Once freed, your friends will fight with you to defeat the four Boss characters, which means you can select them as your "avatar" on screen. There's really no difference between the characters other than what they say when you attack...and if a character other than Yoshi falls during a match, they are no longer selectable.

The biggest difference of Vs. mode to any other is when you complete a Combo or Chain, it drops a large Garbage Block on top of your opponent's pile, which serves to block the movement of tiles and/or raise their stack to the ceiling quicker. Combos, no matter how large, will only drop small Garbage; never more than 5 tiles wide. Chains, on the other hand, will drop Garbage that crosses the entire pit and can even be two, three, four or more layers thick!

Whenever a chain beyond x2 is done, another layer will be added to the Garbage. So, for example, if you did a x5 consecutive chain, a Garbage 4 layers deep would fall on your opponent. This is good for you as Garbage can be eliminated by clearing tiles that touch the Garbage (the effect will be passed through multiple Garbage Block that are touching each other, regardless of whether every Garbage touches the tiles) and turn to tiles, but when this happens to deep Garbage, only the lowest layer will turn to tiles, and the other layers will revert back to Garbage. This is both a curse and a blessing; the curse is you have to clear each layer of a deep Garbage separately, the blessing is, if the Garbage is really deep, the converted tiles won't drop immediately, allowing you to set up a counter-attack using the converted tiles. The other part of the deep Garbage blessing is the fact that while the Garbage is converting, the tiles stop rising until the conversion is finished.

There is another type of Garbage, too, called Metal Garbage, but this requires special tiles to attack with. In addition to the normal colors, in Vs. mode you will occasionally get gray-colored tiles with "!" on them; line three of these up to send a Metal Garbage on your opponent that stretches across the screen. Line up four and you send two Metals and a three-tile-length Regular Garbage to your opponent.

Metals can be used strategically, as they must be cleared separate of Regular Garbage; if a Regular Garbage is converted while touching a Metal Garbage, only the Regular Garbage will be affected and the Metal will have to be cleared with a separate set of tiles. You can use this to your advantage by dropping a Metal or two amongst a large number of Regulars (especially Deep Regulars) to make it that much more difficult for your opponent to clear all the Garbage quickly. This strategy can usually sound the death knell for your opponent in the late-game when the tiles are rising fast.

2-player Time Trial - Same as 1 player, but this time you are competing with another player to see who can get the highest score in two minutes. This is the less confrontational 2-player mode.

2-player Vs. - Same as 1 player, but like with 2-p Time Trial, you are now competing against another person in a best-of-three match. All the other rules are the same.

No matter which mode you play, you will be challenged, but you'll always come back for more, too, because once you get Tetris Attacked, there's no going back!

Game Boy · by Tom Jacob (6) · 2005

Another successful variant on Tetris

The Good
I have stated before that Mario can be used on pretty much anything as some sort of quality-guarantee stamp, the beloved Italian plumber has been in so many different games and genres that context or consistency have long since been abandoned. It however seems that Tetris wasn't Mario's thing, so instead we have Yoshi and his buddies as the main theme of this game. The results are quite astounding, not only is the game packed with a cheerful atmosphere, but I would honestly say that I like this game better than the original Tetris because of this.

The music and sound-effects are the only components that weren't taken from the Mario or Yoshi franchise, though you'd be justified in thinking that they were. The brilliantly composed songs really fit with the aforementioned atmosphere this game has going and sound-effects were always a joy to hear. There are also some smaller parts that are new, such as a character who is practically a walking alarm-clock, but nothing really worth mentioning.

Now that we have the atmosphere down, the next step should be the gameplay. In Tetris Attack you pretty much play a variant on the classic Tetris, blocks rise up from the ground and you have to swap the positions of different blocks to form rows of three. Once you get a row of three or more, the blocks disappear and you get points, however, if the blocks reach the top of the screen, the game ends. This creates a very fast-paced puzzle game and especially in the versus-mode you'll have to think really fast and learn to think ten seconds ahead of what you're doing.

The versus-mode is probably the best part of this game, just like how it was with Dr. Mario. You and a friend both get your own screen and you need to make sure to keep your blocks low while also trying to sabotage the other player. Making combos will cause extra blocks to drop on the other players, which gives you even more incentive to think ahead of your moves.

Challenge mode is also pretty fun and has you going down a number of different worlds with increasingly difficult stages. It starts out pretty easy, allowing new players to learn how to play the game before been thrown into the faster levels. Difficulty is pretty good in this game overall, setting the game on an easy setting will have blocks appearing much slower and start you off pretty easily, while setting the game on a higher difficulty will have much faster scrolling and blocks may already be stacked up pretty high.

This game as a whole subscribes to the ancient "easy to learn, hard to master" philosophy. Almost anybody can pick the game up and play it fairly well on the first try, but to become really good at it, you will have to spend a lot of time with the game. If you go on Youtube and look this game, there is bound to be some videos of people showing off insanely fast moves and I have even seen one of them do it in real-life. It's pretty amazing to watch, to say the least.

The Bad
I think the game would have benefited if you had the option to swap blocks around vertically. One opinion I have always had about puzzles is that the player should always be able to finish them. I hate it when I am trying to solve a maze in a newspaper and I make a mistake, I can't go back and undo it or something like that. I have also never been a fan of games like patience. Tetris Attack also falls for this trap because sometimes there are just no moves to make and nothing the game gives you can help you make some, been able to vertically swap blocks would have solved this.

In the challenge mode you get passwords, which are an ass to write down and I always end up losing the notes. A save-system had been used in games before and after this one, so why can't we have it?

The Bottom Line
Tetris Attack is a game that is very dear to me, it been one of the first games I ever played on this system and a title I wanted to experience again for a very long time. There are some minor problems, I am not really cool with only swapping the blocks around horizontally and the lack of a save-system is kind of annoying, but overall I don't let that ruin the game for me. I play Tetris Attack when I am feeling a bit down, because this game is made to make people smile. From it's overly cheerful presentation to it's enjoyable core-gameplay mechanics, Tetris Attack is a very good puzzle-game.

If you have a Super Nintendo and consider yourself to be a collector, then this game would make for a wonderful addition. This title is also very good for the Mario fans and the casual gamers, even children like my little sister seem to really enjoy this. If you don't like puzzle games are simplistic games to begin with, then this is likely not you thing though. Just like how these games are incredibly hard to review for me.

SNES · by Asinine (956) · 2012

Absolutely beautiful game with killer music.

The Good
Tetris Attack is a fun and addictive game with a Yoshi theme. It has a unique twist on the classic Tetris gameplay, where instead of blocks falling from the top of the screen, a complete row of random blocks appears from the bottom, causing all the current blocks to be pushed upward. The objective is to prevent the blocks from reaching the top of the screen by aligning 3 or more of the same colour to eliminate them. The game has 4 modes for single player: Endless, Time Trial, Stage Clear, Puzzle, and VS. In Endless mode, you aim to score as many points as possible by making combinations of blocks until they reach the top of the screen. Time Trial mode gives you a limited time to rack up points before moving on to the next level, and Stage Clear mode is a story mode with 5 levels per round, including bonus rounds. Puzzle mode challenges you to eliminate blocks in a certain number of moves, while Versus mode is a 2-player mode against the computer. There are also 2 2-player modes: Time Trial and VS. With so many options, Tetris Attack is a great game for improving your strategy and reflexes. Just be sure to take breaks to rest your eyes.

Best of all is the soundtrack which has inspired many modern remixes from musicians like Doffu and Overclocked.

The Bad
The game can get extremely challenging. I need frequent breaks to rest.

The Bottom Line
It resembles Tetris in some ways but provides a new puzzle gaming experience with an awesome soundtrack and beautiful graphics.

SNES · by Delvin Kwok (2) · 2023

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • March 1997 (Issue 92) - SNES Game of the Year+ Hand-Held Game of the Year + Puzzle Game of the Year (SNES version) + Handheld Game of the Year runner-up (Readers' Choice) + Puzzle Game of the Year (SNES version) (Readers' Choice)
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #16 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (SNES version)
  • Game Informer Magazine
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - voted #96 in the Top 100 Games of All Time poll

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 6024
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Nintendo 3DS added by Michael Cassidy.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Satoshi Kunsai, chirinea, Alaka.

Game added March 22, 2002. Last modified April 19, 2024.