When it comes to puzzle games in their purest form, Puyo Puyo and Tetris sit firmly towards the top of the pile. Both hugely successful in their own right, two became one back in 2014 in the form of Puyo Puyo Tetris, becoming a massive hit in Japan. It didn’t reach our shores until three years later, but when it did, the amalgamation of cute blobs and Tetrominos took over our consoles. I enjoyed the original, and I am so happy there’s a sequel merely a month away from release. Luckily for me, I got a chance to play the Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, and it’s exactly what the world needs right now.
If you are not at all familiar with what Puyo Puyo is, let me fill you in. Much like Tetris, two Puyos joined together fall down a grid, and you can rotate and move them so they land how you want them to. More will descend the grid, and by connecting four in any way other than diagonally will make them disappear. If you make them land in a particular way, when one group of Puyos disappear, others may fall into a position that allows for another group to connect. By doing this you’ll create a chain. The more chains you get, the better your score, but it also means you can send immovable blocks or Garbage Puyos to your opponent to mess with their flow.
After playing the first World in Adventure Mode, I was in love with the characters and the story. It’s silly and simplistic, but its filled with an innocence and charm seldom seen at the moment. Each level is comprised of a visual novel segment where you’ll meet characters old and new, and then a game will ensue. What is great about the mode is the inclusion of an auto-difficulty, meaning it adapts to how you play. The only time I struggled was at the end of the first world, but I soon fell in love with another great addition to the series.
Skill Battles seem to be an important part of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. It adds a JRPG-style battle to certain games where you need to deplete your enemy’s HP whilst using a range of skills whilst still playing a game of Puyo Puyo or Tetris. It was tricky to know what I needed to do, but that’s because I didn’t watch any of the handy tutorial videos that are on offer for every aspect of the game from the main menu. Three of your party will team up to take part in a Skill Battle. Each character has a different ability with each one costing a specific amount of MP. One power might switch the majority of your grid to the same colour or replenish some of your HP. It’s a test of wits as both you and your opponent have a lot to think about.
The Skill Battle mode can be played outside the main story, along with the same five that appeared in the original: Versus, Party, Big Bang, Fusion, and Swap. As it was a preview I didn’t get to play online, but these modes alone are enough to keep me playing for hours. Fusion is rather tricky as it blends Puyo and Tetris in the same grid, but it still didn’t stop me from playing a lot of it. Although it is only one new mode, Skill Battle is the real standout for me, and I can’t wait to see it come into the main adventure a lot more.
Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 has the same addictive gameplay as the original, with sharper visuals and a great new mode in Skill Battle. I am looking forward to diving into more of the Adventure Mode and playing against others online, but so far I’ve had a blast on my own. It’s fun, bright, and light-hearted, never failing to deliver on what has already been established as a fantastic franchise.