From its origins on PC, to Tetris 99 on the Nintendo Switch, there are countless versions of classic Tetris out there. Odds are, the Tetris Company will continue to iterate on the traditional Tetris formula until the end of time. However, there have been a number of offshoot puzzle games that don’t play like Tetris, but bear the name anyway. Let’s take a look back at a trio of these: Tetris 2, Tetris Attack, and Tetrisphere!
When one thinks of Nintendo, the mind tends to gravitate towards their A-list games. Titles that have either garnered a level of success and critical acclaim that puts them at the head of the pack. Mainline Super Mario games easily clear this bar. So do the mainline Zelda games. While it’s one of the newest franchises, the massive success of Splatoon would put it up on that pedestal as well. Where you and I draw the line may vary here and there, but I think we can generally agree on which Nintendo games are at the top and which ones aren’t on that same level.
It’s not necessarily because these games are worse. Maybe they just haven’t found their footing. In spite of being great since the start, it took Fire Emblem decades of time and like a dozen releases before finding a wider audience. Some franchises sell well enough to still get multiple sequels, such as WarioWare or BoxBoy. Others are meant to be niche products, such as Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball. Though Nintendo probably would like for all of their games to sell in the 10+ million range, I get the sense that they’re willing to make and publish B-tier games so long as they make enough of a profit to justify their creation.
In any case, not every game and franchise in Nintendo’s ecosystem is on the same stratosphere. But with a bit more love, maybe some of them could be. Here are a few of my picks for B-tier Nintendo games and franchises that deserve another shot.
Back in 1996, Nintendo released a North American version of their puzzle game, Panel de Pon. You may remember it as Tetris Attack. You may also recognize this game as Pokemon Puzzle League on the Nintendo 64 or Planet Puzzle League on the Nintendo DS. If you do, awesome.
It’s a shame that Tetris Attack/Puzzle League have never taken off in North America, because this series of puzzle games are, in my opinion, the best puzzle games that aren’t regular Tetris.