• Electronic Arts Tetris v4.21.41.N-GAGE.SymbianOS9.1.Cracked-BiNPDA

Gameplay

It's Tetris, which if you don't know (cue the usual comments about being from another planet) involves arranging falling blocks or "tetrominoes" into horizontal lines which makes them disappear.

There are six modes, all variations on the usual Tetris formula:

- Marathon: Pretty much the classic Tetris, you try to score as highly as possible while making up to 150 lines.

- Ultra: Score as much as possible in two minutes.

- 40 Lines: Create forty lines as quickly as possible.

- Versus: You play against a computer opponent. Each of you has your own Tetris playing area, and you can "attack" your opponent by creating more than two lines at once. Attacks cause extra blocks to appear in their playing area.

- Clash: Another player vs. computer mode where you both try to get to a certain score first by placing blocks in the same playing area.

- Challenge: A "pass around" multi-player mode for up to four people where you pass the phone between players and the winner is the one who scores the most. Everyone in the round gets exactly the same tetrominoes in the same order, so it's a level playing field.

These modes successfully cover all the main playing styles and skills, though it's a shame that only one of them (Challenge) involves other humans. All the modes have numerous options which let you tweak the game to suit your personal preferences, and you can also redefine all of the keys too. There was no option to change the screen orientation though.

Actually playing the game works without any problems, the blocks drop fine and you can use any control keys you want to. This is Tetris, and it's an addictive game on practically any gaming platform.
The main problem with the gameplay though is the menu system you have to navigate, which makes even simple actions cumbersome. Tetris is the ultimate instant-play title, but for example if you want to change modes while playing, here's what you have to do: pause the game, select the menu option, confirm you want to leave the current game, press the single player option (even if you're using multi-player Challenge mode), then within the next few seconds press the d-pad button to be taken to the "game settings" screen. If you wait too long to press the button, it takes you back to where you started. The graphics make this hopping from screen to screen even more frustrating but more on that later.

A couple of the vs. computer modes: Versus and Clash

Graphics & Sound

Graphicswise EA haven't exactly pushed the boat out here. It's Tetris, it's the same old blocks you've seen since the 1980s with the same playing area too. It's perfectly functional, but there's absolutely nothing spectacular here.

This simplicity might be okay if it helped the flow of the game, but this is marred yet again by the awkward menu system, this time in its graphics department. Apparently suffering from CSI syndrome, the N-Gage version of Tetris takes the terrible design decision to make every single screen appear with animated sweeps, and every single word appear with nonsense-turning-into-english animation. This might be okay for the opening credits but it should not appear every single time in every options menu of a phone game, particularly one like Tetris where you play it in very short bursts.

Sound is very disappointing. There's no music at all except a very brief clip of the classic Tetris tune on the title screen, and the in-game sound effects are utterly forgettable.



N-Gage Arena

There's an online rankings sytem with global leaderboards which show the top ten players in each game mode. That's it.

The vast majority of players are extremely unlikely to ever get anywhere near the top ten so you can safely ignore the leaderboards, and if you're not in the top ten it doesn't even tell you what your current ranking actually is.



Overall

A universal phenomenon on new gaming platforms is that the third party software during the launch period is extremely shoddy. This has always been the case since the very first home computers and consoles, and it will probably always be the case. Third party developers hate the financial risk of releasing games on a new platform, and they will be technically unfamiliar with new hardware too, so their first games tend to be quick and easy ports of games from older platforms.

If you want the real official Tetris on your N-Gage-compatible phone then this will probably do the job, and to an extent reviews like this are pointless because a lot of people will buy this game on the name alone.

However, if you want a quality conversion of a classic game which makes full use of the N-Gage platform, this is not it. There's no online multiplayer, no Bluetooth multiplayer, only one hotseat mode, the menu is needlessly difficult to navigate, the graphics are bland and the sound is practically non-existent. This reeks of a cheap "will this do?" cash-in using a famous licence.

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