"Magical Tetris Challenge" is a video game released for the Gameboy Color console in 2000 by Capcom. It is a remastered version of the popular "Tetris" game of the mid 1980s and features popular Walt Disney characters. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.
The game of Tetris is a simple concept. Odd shaped blocks fall from the top of the screen at a progressively quicker pace and the player must fill the display to create one complete line using these blocks. A complete line will remove the blocks from play and the player must continually play until he or she is no longer able to continue (the blocks pile up to the top of the display). Magical Tetris Challenge offers the player various gameplay modes which breathe new life to the tireless concept. Each mode suggests that the player is competing in a head to head game and are accessible by completing the "quest" mode. In the quest mode, the player will assume the role of one of the popular Disney characters including Mickey Mouse and Goofy, and travel around a small world to challenge other characters to a game of Tetris. Should the player be victorious in this game then the player will be awarded a coin; a player must acquire all of these coins to "unlock" the hidden modes. The player may also compete against a human opponent by use of an optional game link cable.
The graphics of this game are standard to what one might expect from a puzzle game. There is little to review in this department but there is an abundance of colour which makes for pleasant viewing. The game is presented on a dotted grid design which does allow some ease in play but is visually pleasing. The audio is also of a comparably good standard with enjoyable musical scores accompanying the player. These sounds are not particularly dominating during play which does suit the puzzle environment well.
Overall, I would recommend Magical Tetris Challenge to prospective buyers. I did not find the Disney characters to be particularly appealing to me but did enjoy the new modes of play which are accessible after playing a series of "classic" games.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking…how could Tetris be done better? The big deal is that this is still Tetris. The game hasn't changed a bit, remaining the classic puzzler it always has been. And while you absolutely have to know the game by now, I have to do my reviewing duty and explain the general gameplay in a nutshell. So here goes: Blocks constructed of four square pieces (a total of seven different shapes) fall from the top of the screen one at a time, and its up to you to fit the pieces (by rotating them in 90 degree increments) in such a way that a complete horizontal line is formed. Once that happens, the line disappears and the pile of blocks on top of that line settles down a notch. Okay, but that's just the classic part of the game. While Magical Tetris Challenge has the standard solitaire marathon game, there are other options to take advantage of: Up/Down Tetris. In this mode, you're up against an unseen opponent (or a human player through a link-cable setup). Every time you clear a line, it gets sent to the other player with one gap missing (if it was a solid line, it would be completely unfair…wouldn't it?). Magical Tetris. Like Up/Down Tetris, you're playing against an off-screen opponent. Every time you clear a line, it puts a Magical Tetris piece in the waiting queue of the other player. A Magical Tetris piece is a more-than-four block piece that's much harder to place on a playing field. The higher the combo, the more Magical Tetris pieces get sent to the other player. But (and here's the big deal) if he clears more lines than you, his Magical Tetris pieces will pop out of his queue into yours. Signal Tetris. Here's a hard-to-describe mode, and one that'll really throw Tetris fans for a loop. At the bottom of the bin is a pattern of red and blue lights. On top of that is another series of red and blue lights. Your task is to clear out lines in such
a way that turns the red lights blue and blue lights red of the second line in the same pattern as the bottom line. The lights change when you clear a line, but only the light that's immediately under the last block that filled in the solid line will change colors. Confused? Well, you'll understand when you actually play it. Let's just say it's one of the hardest modes in the game. Tower Tetris. This is a standard game of Tetris, with one twist: your task is to constantly clear out the rising pile of gray blocks until a keyhole shows up. Clear out the line with the keyhole and you've passed the level. Target Tetris. This mode is very similar to the puzzle options in many of the Tetris clones on the market. Here, you're given a specific layout of blocks, as well as a specific number of Tetris pieces. You must clear out the acorn blocks with the given Tetris pieces – this mode teaches you the "wrap around" technique where you can rotate blocks into gaps where they would usually stop falling. There are approximately a hundred of these puzzles to solve. Harmony Tetris. Harmony Tetris is only available with a link cable – in this mode, you're actually playing Tetris together in different bins, but the lines you form won't immediately disappear. When you form a solid line, it'll stay on screen until the other person forms a line himself. You two must constantly clear out lines, otherwise it'll cause the other person's bin to fill up and end the game. It's a unique twist, but really, really odd. Quest mode. In this mode, you play one of four characters (Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Goofy), and must wander the land, challenging other Disney characters to games of Tetris. When you win these games, you're awarded a coin – get all the coins on your card and you win the game…uncovering a few hidden Tetris modes. All the modes above (with the exception of Harmony
Tetris) are available in Quest Mode, and it depends on which character you challenge that determines the game you'll play. The Tetris game has been tweaked for the better – it's obviously giving early players guidance, since the bin is marked with tiny dots to show the columns and rows the blocks will fit into. The pieces also don't immediately lock into place when they hit another block – but that's the way I like it…it's kind of a last ditch option just in case you screw up. In some modes of Tetris, you'll also find a two block piece that can't be rotated…instead, it spits a limitless one block pieces into the bin every time you hit the button. This thing is a good addition, and if you don't like it you don't have to use it. There is one single flaw in an otherwise perfect presentation: the records do not save the record number of lines cleared. This is mark we judge Tetrisphiles by, not by the points but by the number of lines cleared. It's a minor complaint, but it should have been included. I'm just glad the game has the battery back-up – there's nothing more annoying than a game that shows high-scores but loses them when the power shuts off. This is the Tetris game to own folks, even if you don't like the cutsy Disney characters. There's a ton of variety in this little Game Boy cartridge. The graphics are excellent, the music is catchy, and the control is right on…it's a perfect Tetris game. And since Tetris is one of the greatest videogames ever created, Magical Tetris Challenge well deserves a perfect score.