Import Game Review: Puyo Puyo Tetris

This review covers the Xbox One/PS4 version of the game only, though slightly different versions are also available for Nintendo 3DS, Playstation Vita, Playstation 3, and Nintendo Wii U.

If you look at the history of puzzle games, there are two franchises that stand above the rest, with more incarnations, more popularity and higher longevity than any others. Those two franchises are Sega’s Puyo Puyo series and Alexey Pajitnov’s Tetris. What do you get when you combine the two? Puyo Puyo Tetris, of course.

I’m not sure how it took so many years to bring these two legendary franchises together, but with the release of this game, you finally get the best of both worlds in one package, including most of the basic competitive and single-player modes from both the Puyo Puyo series and Tetris, as well as a variety of new modes exclusive to this game. The game does much more than just lazily throw elements from both games together, but stands apart as a unique game of it’s own, using classic elements from both worlds to create something new.

With the recent release of the Xbox One and PS4 versions, the game includes everything from the original game as well as updated graphics and presentation, plus all the extra content and modes that were downloadable content in the original console releases. This brings the count up to 11 local modes, with each mode having other options within them to switch up the way the game is played a bit. Most of the competitive modes in Puyo Puyo Tetris support full 4-player local support and there’s a full online mode as well.

To start things off, Adventure mode is the new story mode, and it’s largely modeled after the story modes from the Puyo Puyo Fever entries to the series, since Tetris has never had a real story mode. This mode combines all the adorable characters from the Puyo universe and has a new set of characters to represent the Tetris side of things (all named after the puzzle pieces from Tetris) and has you play through over 100 mini-stages with fully voiced story bits between each stage.


Each stage in Adventure is of a different variety, some being competitive battles against an AI opponent and some being a solo play where you test your own skills with matching Puyos or Tetrominoes. Of course, it gets gradually more difficult as you go, and this mode also lets you unlock all 8 of the extra characters.

Outside of Adventure mode, you have Dream Arcade mode, where all the other local modes are available, including:

  • Classic Vs.
  • Puyo-Tet-Mix
  • Swap
  • Party
  • Big Bang
  • Endless Fever
  • Endless Puyo Puyo
  • Endless Chibi Puyo
  • 40-line Tetris
  • Marathon Tetris
  • Ultra Tetris

So, in essence, if you want to, depending which options and modes you choose, you can play standard single-player or competitive Tetris, or play single-player or competitive Puyo modes without having to change games, consoles, or controllers. This is essentially like having both games together, even not counting all the new modes, and is very convenient if you have friends over who enjoy puzzle games, everyone can play without having to keep switching games.

Highlights of the Arcade modes are Big Bang mode, which puts you into a constant “Fever” mode if you choose Puyo pieces, or Lucky Attack mode if you choose Tetris. Regardless of which one you choose, this is the most fast-paced and exciting mode that’s ever been featured in either series, and supports up to 4 players. Here’s a preview of Big Bang mode:

The Puyo-Tet-Mix is another interesting mode where both Puyo and Tetris pieces are played in the same play play field with interesting new mechanics, being switched every few drops. The other mode that mixes both Puyo and Tetris pieces is Swap mode, where you have two separate play fields that switch back and forth on a timer, each featuring the pieces from either game.

The presentation, music, and graphics on this updated HD version for the new consoles is done exceptionally well. This is as colorful, fun, and exciting as either series has ever been. Though the style in general draws more from the Puyo world, it still incorporates many elements and scattered music from Tetris that could still make Tetris fans feel at home.

It’s safe to say that if you’re a fan of either series or just a fan of well-made puzzle games in general, this is an absolute must-buy. There’s very little Japanese skill required to navigate the game and it’s region-free for Xbox One and PS4. Puyo Puyo Tetris is available now and can ship worldwide from the sites below:


Buy Puyo Puyo Tetris:

Xbox One version:


Playstation 4 version:


About Steve 88 Articles
Steve is a contributor and resident music nerd for Selective Hearing, specializing in Japanese idol industry commentary and coverage. A lifetime musician, film lover, journalist, video game fanatic, philosophy enthusiast, and idol aficionado. A dweller of the idol scene since the late 1990s, he loves to discuss industry trends and ideas, past or present.