Reviewed by Scott McCall
I've been intrigued with Tetrisphere and its concept for two
years now. During this time, the game has been delayed several
times and has been renamed twice (Phear to TetrisPhear to
Tetrisphere). But like all other N64 games that have been delayed,
Tetrisphere exemplifies Nintendo's commitment to quality and
proves to be well worth the wait.
Tetrisphere is an extremely unique puzzle game, which makes
it very tricky to describe properly. Despite the "Tetris" in its
name, it really has nothing to do with it other than the Tetris-shaped
pieces. Basically, the object of the game is to remove
Tetris-shaped pieces from a sphere with like-shaped pieces.
The sphere, by the way, can be rotated 360 degrees. In order
for you to remove a piece from the sphere, there must be at
least two pieces touching each other. Fortunately, the cursor
turns white when it's OK to drop. But when it's black, the piece
cannot be dropped, otherwise you will lose one of your three
"lives." There are many, many other strategies and intricacies
in the game, but I'll let you find out more on your own about
There are seven different modes of gameplay in Tetrisphere: Rescue,
Hide & Seek, Puzzle, Time Trial, Vs CPU, VS (human) and Practice.
The main mode in the game is Rescue. The object of this mode is to
remove enough pieces from the sphere to let your robot friends
escape from the core. However, most seasoned Tetrisphere
players end up liking the Hide & Seek mode the best. In this one,
there are a variety of goals that must be met. Other favorites
will include the two versus modes. Vs CPU is self-explanatory -- it's
a one-on-one battle against a computer player. And, surprisingly,
the opponents are pretty good. There is also the two-player
VS mode. If you can actually find someone else who is as
good at Tetrisphere as you, this mode starts to approach the
intensity of a good Tetris Attack game.
Graphically, Tetrisphere is quite amazing for a puzzle game.
The game's graphics are incredibly colorful and clear, the
3-D sphere animates with amazing fluidity, and the psychedelic
backgrounds are interesting. Aurally, Tetrisphere is even more
impressive. Tetrisphere's much-ballyhooed sound is easily
the best on the Nintendo 64 from a quality standpoint. Taste-wise,
however, it won't be appealing to a lot of people. Nevertheless,
one can't deny how well the music is composed and how good
it sounds, even if they are not a fan of techno-type tunes.
In the end, Tetrisphere will go down in history as one of the
better puzzle games of all-time. Unfortunately, there is a
huge learning curve for the game, and this is why it won't be
ranked amongst the likes of Tetris and Tetris Attack.
However, the player that takes the time to learn and understand
the gameplay will be greatly rewarded. Tetrisphere is just an
extremely slick presentation that ranks in the upper echelon
of N64 games. Don't let this one pass you by.
Graphics: 4.2 out of 5
Sound: 4.5 out of 5
Control: 4.4 out of 5
Gameplay: 4.5 out of 5
Lastability: 4.8 out of 5
Overall: 4.5 out of 5