Wednesday, January 25, 2017

They'll Make Anything Into a Card Game (Tetris: The Card Game)

Ah, the famous Tetromino.  A source of pride for many.  It can create feelings of accomplishment and wonder, or anger and frustration, depending on the shape.  Except that backwards Z one, no one likes you Back-Z.  We trained our minds to twist and turn these shapes, letting them fall where they may, hoping to get that one long one, and claim a victory.  Now, we shall dwelve past the digital realm of the Tetromino, and see the Card Game that is Tetris.

GAME DESCRIPTION:  Tetris: The Card Game is designed for 1-4 players.  The goal is to clear the most lines and have all your cards face-down before anyone else does.

SET-UP:  Once the deck is shuffled, each player gets 10 random cards, with the single Tetromino (or Tetris piece) all face-up, in 2 rows of 5, called Score cards.  Then, each player is dealt 1 card into their hand, with the Tetromino side hidden from the other players.  The deck is then placed with the single Tetromino face down, so the Matrix is face up.

PLAYING:  When it is a players turn, they draw so they have 2 cards in their hand.  The current Matrix on the deck shows that players board.  Their goal is to play one of their cards so that it would clear 1 or more lines on that card.  Then, the player flips over an amount of their score face-down equal to the amount of lines that would have been cleared, and the turn passes to the next player.

PENALTY:  If a player cannot clear any lines, then they instead discard a card, and flip 1 of their score cards face-up.  If all their cards are face-up, then nothing else happens, and the turn passes to the next player.

SPECIAL:  There are also special cards which can be played instead of playing a Tetromino or discarding a card.

  • ROTATE:  Each player passes their hand to the next player
  • POWER-UP:  Replace this card from your hand with any players Score card, and play or discard 1 more card from your hand.
  • DROP 2/4:  Any player targeted by one of these cards flips either 2 or 4 cards, according to the number.
  • BOMB:  All other players flip a Score card face-up.
WINNING:  Once a player flips all 10 of their Score cards Tetromino side face-down

CONCLUSION:  Tetris: The Card Game isn't really Tetris.  Sure, it looks and feels like Tetris, but where planning and luck went hand and hand in the Video Game, the Card Game is more reliant on chance then careful maneuvering and playing 10 turns in advanced.  Still, the speed and relatively low price make up for the "lack of Tetris" in the game.  This is the kind of game easily played on a long trip, or during a short break.  Don't expect to sink hours into this game like most have in its original form, but I do recommend checking it out if it seems interesting.

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  There is also a "Single Player mode". which I haven't had the chance to play.  It appears to be more of how quickly you can win, rather than competing with another player.  I don't feel that playing it is necessary, or even as enjoyable as with other people.  But take that with a grain of salt.  I do like the idea of including a way to play without other people, but it is hard to make a game that is enjoyable both on an individual level and with friends, so I appreciate Tetris trying to pull that off.

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