Tetris Blitz for Windows Phone 8
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EA delivers as Tetris Blitz arrives for free on Windows Phone 8

September has been a strong month for Xbox games on Windows Phone, especially given the scarcity of titles in previous months. Six-Guns, The Sims FreePlay, and Angry Birds Star Wars II have all debuted as free or 99 cent titles. Now we can add another free to play game to that list with Tetris Blitz from Electronic Arts.

Tetris Blitz is a fast-paced two minute version of the classic puzzle game. It runs on Windows Phone 8 devices (including those with 512 MB of RAM). Head past the break for plenty of gameplay details and Store link!

Not your grandpappy’s Tetris

Tetris Blitz for Windows Phone 8

Tetris has always been a puzzle game mainstay, so what makes this version special? Tetris Blitz was designed from the ground up for mobile play. Instead of marathon gaming sessions, games of Blitz last for two minutes at a time. It’s a mad race to earn the highest possible score within that time and hopefully outdo your friends.

Adding to the excitement is the new Frenzy mode. Rack up enough points to fill a meter and you'll enter Frenzy mode. With Frenzy active, you earn twice as many points and have extra cascading opportunities. It also makes four-line Tetris matches harder to pull off though. Getting a Tetris increases your score multiplier, so you’ll need to balance everything all out to get high scores.

Quick controls

Touch-screen controls and Tetris haven’t always mixed very well. Yes, it’s a puzzle game, but one that involves rapid movements and the need for precision. Thankfully EA created a smart control system for Blitz. The game automatically highlights several locations to put each falling piece. Players can either tap one of those locations or cycle through them with the Cycle button. No need for virtual sticks here!

Power ups and IAPs

Tetris Blitz for Windows Phone 8

Complete games of Tetris Blitz to earn coins. These can then be spent on power-ups. These provide effects like removing random lines from the playing field, showering blocks onto the field, increase the score multiplier, add extra time, and more. You can take up to three power-ups into a match, greatly increasing scoring potential.

Not every power-up can be bought with coins, though. Several must be unlocked via In-App Purchase (IAP). Blitz does have a ‘Power-up of the Week’ feature in which one premium item cab be used several times for free. The weekly power-up can be permanently unlocked at a discount, should players fall in love with it.

Yes, Tetris Blitz offers numerous In-App Purchases. Players can buy coin packs in various sizes, unlock power-ups, and more. We’ll have a full In-App Purchase evaluation next week along with our review.

Time to Tetris

Whether you’re a diehard Tetris fan or never acquired a taste for the game, Tetris Blitz is worth a download. It’s great to see another Xbox game from EA, especially one that all Windows Phone 8 users can enjoy. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

  • Tetris Blitz – Windows Phone 8 – 32 MB – Free – Store Link

Thanks to Kyle S and Faisel B. Ahemed for the tip!

QR: Tetris Blitz

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Reader comments

EA delivers as Tetris Blitz arrives for free on Windows Phone 8

161 Comments

I loathe IAP and Freeumium games, but I will admit that it works for some games, such as Tetris Blitz or Uno & Friends. That said, I'd much rather just pay a few bucks up front and get all of the features and none of the ads. As for Tetris Blitz, you can pay $4.99 for non-ad version, which seems a little steep to me considering there are still IAP on top of that. Still, Tetris Blitz is a pretty cool game and in this case, I think it's good that it is free as it means all of my family and friends will download it. So, we can compete against each other view leaderboards. Like KooZac, Tetris Blitz has Facebook integration (which I also loathe) for leaderboards, but unlike KooZac, it also has Xbox leaderboards (you can view both), so I guess that's tolerable.

If I see IAP, that is all I need to never ever try the game. When I play a game I want to play the whole game not be limited by this bullshit that in the end costs you an arm and a leg. I would pay even $10 for a game if it was good, rather then have IAP screwing it up.
 

The whole game? The whole game in Blitz is free. You can play it as much as you want with no time limits. The IAPs are just for power-ups which aren't needed to play in the first place.

After playing around with Tetris Blitz all morning, I have to agree with John20212. While I originally thought that the Freemium model was okay for this game (although, I wasn't crazy about it), now I think it ruins it. You're right in that you don't need the boosts to play: you can play the basic game for free. The problem, though, is that removes what should be the most rewarding part of the game: leaderboards. You can compare high scores with Facebook friends and Xbox friends, but unlike other games without boosts, you can't compete unless you use boosts (which everyone does because many of them are given away for free). This removes any fair point of comparison: there are no standards. A high score is a high score regardless of how many boosts or which boosts you use, essentially making the leaderboards meaningless. Using even just 1 boost can easily quintuple your score, so if I pull in 50k with no boosts and my friend pulls in 450k with three boosts but all the leaderboard does is show that 450k > 50k, what fun is that? The leaderboards are not a measure of skill but a measure of who juiced up the most. It's the same reason we don't let the records of athletes who use PEDs stand: because it's not a fair comparison. In contrast, if I have a higher score than my friend on the Hexic Rush leaderboards, that is a clear sign that I'm more skilled than he is, which is ultimately much more rewarding. I understand why these companies do these Freemium games, I just worry that the trend is clearly going in that direction (even for paid games like Halo: Spartan Assault), and it is permanently taking the fun out of what was the best part of gaming: the social aspect of competing, fairly, against friends.

I gave up on public leaderboards many years ago. It's so full of cheaters that I just don't care. I may compare amongst my friends, but as there's only 1 still using WP that's also a pointless endeavour.

I understand leaderboards are important to you... but its not to everyone.  I couldn't give 2 craps what anyone else scored in this game, I'm only competing against myself to improve score.
 
And, many of the power-ups are still able to be used without paying real money.  You earn coins just from playing that can be used to activate powerups.
 
Now, there are powerups that are not available at all unless you purchase them with cash and unlock them permanently, but its genuinely not necessary.   I can score high with the boosts available to me, and I even came close to my highest score once not using any boosts.
 
However, after playing this all night last night, I will admit that it doesn't seem possible to score over 200,000K without a powerup or finisher of some type.
 
Freemium games don't bother me becuase I'm never going to pay real money for in-game junk.   I have not played a single freemium game where I could not progress without buying something. 

Nicely said about the leaderboards, K Lando. I do like competing against my friends, but an imbalanced leaderboard doesn't hurt my enjoyment of a game too much.

Clearly leaderboards are important to a sizeable percentage of gamers or developers wouldn't take the time to put them into nearly every game now, and my point still stands: the IAP boosts in this game render the leaderboards meaningless, and that irks a lot of gamers.
That said, even in your situation where you only enjoy competing against your own high score, most of your high scores are not comparable (unless you absolutely always used no boosts are always used the exact same boosts, but this is unlikely). Again, that's fine that you don't care about leaderboards, or even about a point of comparison with your own high score, but many do and we are really worried about the recent trend toward IAP in gaming--especially when it interferes with the social aspect of gaming (competing with friends).

People that point out that Freemium games are okay because you don't "have" to use them to play the game are missing the point: the games are set up so that if you don't use them, it is absurdly difficult to beat the game (all the while getting repeatedly nagged by the game to buy things), which really makes it a lot less fun. Sure, I can grind away 100s of hours to get enough coins, but I'd rather pay for a game upfront and have full access to it. Nevertheless, in Tetris Blitz, if you're an Achievement hunter, it is impossible to get many achievements without using boosts (some of them explicity require boosts).

 

Yes!! I'm with you Dan. This actually forces you to play your game in a manner that you can push to the max. Most of us in India don't have credit card (goddamn too high rates), we can't buy games using a debit card, hence a better option.
 
PS. Though I gotta agree with others that how it interferes with gameplay, it is purely optional to buy them. I have completed a lot many games without using items from IAPs.

Debit cards are perrrrfectly usable for MS wallet. I'm using it from Axis bank normal savings account and so does users from other banks. Just search the forum.

yeah...shutdown the phone. i had the same problem you had- can't shut the damn thing down...can't even open the main menu! wth?!?!

same problem here. the main menu button doesn't work in pause menu. the fix - go to start screen, open 8 different apps one after the other, this way you will just close the game as WP keeps the last 8 apps open/suspended. but there should be a way to go back to main menu, that's a bug probably.

Yeah me too even i like iap it is profitable for the developer also as more people will dwnld if it is free

I hate iap's, and it seems to be liked by people who don't like gaming much. Not wanting to judge here, it is what it is, but if a Euro, or two or three makes that much of a difference to one's lifestyle, there are bigger problems which need to be addressed prior to games. And, I don't need to have all the games available, I just want/need the ones I really like and want to play, but nowadays this new crowd tend to treat them as worthless, disposable items. Rant over.

Idk dude me and my major group of friend are hardcore gamers and after this was released while I was playing GTA, we all agreed that all games should be free/heavily discounted with IAP. Then again, that's just me and my crowd, I think you have it backwards, most people who dont game much that I see love IAP.

Already downloaded it and it's ok!
Only problem (as i already reported here) is the fact that i can not play it or make any in app purchase because of the overheating bug issue! Very disappointed!Now that the good games are finaly coming to WP we cannot enjoy them!!

P.S Seeing Sims Free2Play and Tetris Blitz landing on WP this month i think Simpsons Tapped Out is coming more and more closer!!!! :) But as i said befor with the overheating bug we will not be able to enjoy it neither!

 

As it seems it's a bug(s) that many of us are suffering and many other not!This needs to be fix from MS ASAP!

Cant wait to download it! Btw bad news for WP7 users.. so many cool games and they cant play them :/ btw Gravity Guy has been updated to v1.2, even though this is offtopic, just saying

Related to that, there seem to be quite a few pretty cool WP7 games that aren't available on WP8. Microsoft really should've done a better job of making sure these games and apps were more easily portable. I realize they revamped their entire system from WP7 to WP8, and I'm not a developer so I am ignorant to how difficult it may be, but if my Windows 8 OS can, for the most part, run Windows 7 software, which could run Windows Vista software, which could run Windows XP software, I don't quite see why they weren't able to do this with WP7 and WP8.

There are actually significant technical differences between WP7 and WP8 programs. WP8 basically emulates WP7 when it runs WP7 games. But it handles memory differently and this sometimes results in compatibility issues. But the switch to the WP8 core (not the right word) was necessary. It's far superior to what they used for WP7.

It's the second free EA game this year. And people complain about EA...sure they're not as cool as Gameloft, but still.

Not a big fan of Tetris but I'm getting this so I can give a good review.

EA make terrible games. Gameloft makes mobile games and they don't copy, they make offical games like Spiderman, Assassins Creed, UNO etc as well as their own games. Gameloft games are much better quality on WP as well.

Gameloft definitely produces a lot of clone games in addition to their licensed titles. I don't see that as a bad thing, but some people do.

EA has made several great WP titles, so I'm not sure why you feel they're so far behind Gameloft. On the bugginess scale, gameloft's titles are far more buggy in general.

I dont recall seeing any Xbox 360 games made by Gameloft. I'll give them more credit though on their mobile games- they're top notch. Many of their titles are inspired by other companies ip although nothing is a direct lift. If anything they're filling a demand in the marketplace for larger console-like games on mobile. I don't think EA is a bad company. They get an enormous amount of hate for being a business trying to survive in a cutthroat video game market. Gamers can get way too emotional and angry about certain gaming companies. Not sure why in was hating on Gameloft earlier :-\

Well done, keep them coming at a faster rate. Although most of us dont want to believe it, lack of major apps/games is still the main reason why WP is not as successful as it could be

I miss when the EA games were exclusive of the Lumias. At least all these exclusive games have been released here in Brazil. Now even the Tetris or The Sims weren't released here! I'm sad. :(

In one country games don't get released and in the other we don't have credit card system for the students. Damn. So, where in Brazil do you live GuilheremeManso?

Can't quit the game without restarting my phone?! How do you exit it? Back button doesn't work, neither does the "main menu" button.

On my L820, the main menu button was greyed out and not clickable.
I also uninstalled. Even had to do a soft reset afterwards, phone wouldn't cool down...

I posted this above, but i'm pasting it here FYI:

"The main menu button doesn't work in pause menu. the fix - go to start screen, open 8 different apps one after the other, this way you will just close the game as WP keeps the last 8 apps open/suspended. but there should be a way to go back to main menu, that's a bug probably."

Sorry about those experiencing the issue, just wanted to point out I didn't have this problem on the 920.

Though, my 920 did get hot after awhile and at times the game would stutter and once or twice actually froze for a second.

The exiting bug should be fixed asap, as many mentioned right now you have to start a new game then pause to exit the game.

I just don't understand why it requires owner identity and phone identity, location, media playback, as well as video capture and still capture. I understand data, directional and movement etc. but some of these permissions I just don't get. It's not the only game or app that does this by any means. Just stating I think apps and games overreach with these permissions sometimes. And while I will probably download it at some point, it gives me enough pause that I have held off for now.

Didn't say that all. I simply questioned the need to use all these permissions unless the app or game does something directly related to those permissions. Sorry you can't grasp that. Of course it's people like you that allow app developers to do these things because you don't question the reasons behind them. As I stated, I will probably install this game, I usually don't let the permissions stop me from doing so unless they are really out of line.But, i think we have a right to question some permissions when they don't appear to have anything to do with the app's purpose or use.

Needs controller support. I tell ya for the nth time, I can't do touchscreen with Tetris. Pac-Man is a whole other ballgame...

Dang, that does stink. I'll have to tell me contact at EA about it, plus the issues people are having with closing the game.

It doesnt sound like you tried this version of Tetris though.  The controls are very different than what you're thinking.

My problem is placing pieces in the correct spots. Even with ghost on, one simple mis-swipe can do more harm than good. Like I said, controller. 200 lines with the Wiimote. Try to manage it with a touchscreen. I just can't, lol. Unless this was released for Win8 and utilized the 360 controller: I can do keyboard, but I can get rotate (or drop) and speed-up fall a tad confused (up vs down, pressing wrong key by accident).
I love Tetris, but I think it's better with arrow keys and two buttons. Why do you think the original was made for the Game Boy? lol

i think it's cheap and lame, how they show you where
the piece will go ahead of it dropping.
not very tetris-y.
 
and yeah, i have a keyboard on my phone,
but games won't use them. would be a lot easier
if there were options.

It's different for sure, but choosing where the piece will land really doesn't take away the challenge at all. You'll still have to worry about putting pieces in the right place, etc. on top of the time pressure.

I would agree if this was traditional Tetris... but its not.

The Blitz game are 2 minute speed-rounds that starts with a playing field already filled with blocks. In order to score high, you have to move fast. Simplifying the controls to 'touch it where you want to go' compliments the gameplay here.

And I'm sorry Langly, but it really does not sound like you tried this game at all. Or if you did, go back and don't do the swipe controls.

Blitz is not hampered or 'bad' because of its touch control scheme. If you don't like the way it controls, then you probably don't like the Blitz style game.

What K Lando said. You still sound like you haven't tried Blitz and do not understand its controls. There is no swiping and accuracy is not an issue.

But I've did. I understand you can just place blocks via touch, but sometimes you need to rotate. The game lags a bit... let alone whenever timer milestones reach. L822. Also, since I have a crappy connection, I had like 20 free spins whenever I had just one. Seems bugged out. Lemme go back to Pac-Man CE DX+, RCT3, and BulletAsylum.

Awesome, I love Tetris.  This new control scheme sounds interesting, sounds like it could potentially work much better than the older WP Tetris game I have.  Definitely looking forward to checking this game out.  Free is great, I have no problem with IAPs.

Colour me addicted. Between this and gtaV, it hopeless for me now. Btw, if there is a Nokia rep here, if you can score us Fifa14 as well. ;-)

Add me to the list of people that like the game but find it annoying that there is no way to quit the game.

from my previous comment above:
"go to start screen, open 8 different apps one after the other, this way you will just close the game as WP keeps the last 8 apps open/suspended."

Buggy games on a buggy OS can only crash or cause issues!
Microsoft needs to fix and optimize very much this sh***y buggy OS that can't even work/handle a dual-core CPU
And devs have to optimize the games as much as possible to run perfect on WP platform and not just port them!
On iOS every game receives many updates that simply optimize and bugfix the game!

That's weird. The buggy OS you speak of works fine and smoothly on my L720, which last I checked had a 1GHZ dual core CPU. You must be talking about android, that's the only way your comment makes sense.

Maybe you are one of the few lucky people with no issues. But many of us (Lumia920 &HTC 8x) Are experiencing many bugs issues with our devices,caused mainly from OS/Firmware bugs and bad coding. If do a little search on Google you will find a huge variety of issues on WP8. But the most important of all is that MS isn't doing or providing any update fixes and is forcing Wp8 users that are suffering from issues to switch back to iOS/Android.(Totally unprofessional behavior from Microsoft)
I have changed 2 HTC 8x and 1 Lumia 920 and every device is suffering from an overheating/massive battery consumption bug that triggers everytime I begin to play a game or run an app.

You're false statement that the game is unplayable is as wrong as it can get, so you are kind of weird. If you don't like the game, that's OK, but as long as it works it's not unplayable. 

Weirdo. 

On my phone L620.. The game is unplayable. My phone over heats, It freezes, crashes, and is laggy. I love Tetris, im not making this stuff up for the fun of it.
Regards, Weirdo!

Also Paul, very unprofessional! I just noticed you post a lot of articles for WPCentral... So expect a complaint going in...

That's fine. Paul perhaps should have called you a weirdo but your comment was pretty stupid, so...I'll say this is a wash. Night.

Right.. Sorry the game is great, runs like a dream, no over heating, i am able to quit the game without turning my phone off. id give it 6 stars if i could.. Pathetic and unprofessional both of you!

Maybe retro's comment was a strong opinion, but it was his opinion. That doesn't make him weird or stupid. you can see he has issues with the game, so would it not have been more mature to have helped instead of insulting?

The way we're looking at playable is this: can the game be played? Does it work?

If the answer is yes, then the game is not unplayable. There's no opinion involved; it's just a factual status.

I honestly found the comment weird because obviously I played the game successfully in order to write the article, as did a great many commenters. So, it's not unplayable.

That said, I used the word weirdo lightheartedly. It was meant as good natured ribbing, not an insult. Retro expanded on his concerns via email, and I tried to explain the lighthartedness to him. Weirdo is such a NOT strong term, I don't think anyone should get bent out of shape about being called that. Especially if the person using it wasn't trying to be mean.

The overheating is a general WP8 issue and not the fault of the game. Practically every 3D game or internet-intensive game causes WP8 phones to overheat, sadly. Hopefully the new chip in the Lumia 1520 won't suffer from the same issues as its predecessor.

Nobody's saying the game isn't buggy though.

When you exit the app make sure you hit EXIT and not let it run in the background. It has killed my battery pretty damn quick.

Played all kinds of Tetris versions in my life but this one is simply too boring. I realize that moving and turning pieces is virtually impossible to do on a touch display but it's better not to play Tetris on your phone then than to do it this way. Great to get free games but this one isn't for me.
Also the bug that highjacks your phone is not very nice.

Hi, try airplane mode [on] when playing. If you got achievement, you will got it on restarting the game on airplane mode [off]. No freeze, no slow, civilized quit button works, and even though it overheating is not as bad as temple run that will crash. You can rotate/cycle the block by tapping the background instead tapping the cycle button, that if you not already know. Good one hand portrait game, good for commute. Love the music, addictiffffs.

Why anyone would want this game is beyond me. I guess if you aren't a Tetris player with the original games you won't know any difference. Just pushing a spot on the screen to drop the tiles is not Tetris to me. The other big problem is you can't exit the app at all. The only way is to restart your phone or uninstall it. Needless to say it's no longer on my phone.

Really!!! I don't care. My opinion and that's the purpose of these discussions. And if I'm branded then I'm proud of it. LOL....

The puzzle solving is the same whether you drop the pieces instantly or have to navigate them - the core challenge has always been preventing gaps and making matches with the largest possible number of lines.

That exiting problem many of you are describing is weird - it doesn't affect me and some other users at all. Wish I could see it for myself. It does seem like the game is pretty buggy.

Yeah I see your point on the play of the game but it does nothing for me since part of the challenge was turning the tiles. I guess the biggest thing is exiting the app.

The game is a little buggy: occasionally the game freezes and you can't exit out of it using the back button, so you have to restart your phone to relaunch it.

For users looking for a more traditional Tetris experience inside of Blitz, they can go into Options and select "Enable Swipe Controls" and it'll be just like regular Tetris, but with the 2 minute Blitz format. If you do this, though, be prepared to have amazingly low scores.

Facebook Intergration = Eff it like this!
In game ads  = Eff it like that!
IAP = Eff if with a wiffleball bat!
Game itself = Pretty good! I'd pay 4.99 for the game outright, without the above social/advertising garbage.

You can always create a Facebook profile just for games, etc. and not actually use it. It doesn't hurt anything.

You can pay give bucks to remove the ads from Tetris Blitz. Or you could get the original WP Tetris for $5 as well.

this game should be pulled from the marketplace for the HTC 8x, my battery drops like 30-40% after 15 minutes of playing this game, plus its so hot it feels like it wants to catch on fire.
 
 

same here on 920. I can't believe so few people brought that up. they must have never touchedd the upper right edge of their phones.

All graphically intensive games or games that make constant use of internet connections cause WP8 phones to overheat. It's an issue with the Qualcomm chip that powers them. You won't always see it brought up because it applies to so many games and nobody wants to say or read the same thing over and over.

you sure this isn't just bad programming with the software? I play hot pursuit and mirrors edge on my 920 which i think is graphically intensive, the phone gets warm after a while for sure. but no-where as much as tetris blitz. and like rocking23nf said, the battery just gets sucked away.

I don't even get the heating issue on my 720. You really sure is there nothing wrong with the phone or do you play games when your phone is in the case?
 
Hell, I felt the only problem was that I couldn't find how to exit. They need to make the exit/pause option more clearer, or where it can be easily found.

WP7 games (which those are) don't seem to cause the heating issue. Virtually every 3D or online-heavy WP8 game does though - you'll have the same overheating with Order & Chaos, Spider-Man, Six-Guns, UNO & Friends, and several others.

How do the IAP work? If I spend $4.99 on a powerup, does that mean I can forever use that powerup an unlimited number of times? Or does it expire like it does in Halo: Spartan Assault?

 

Same thing as Temple Run...... closes everytime with no reason at all....
Don't know why still it remains on the Marketplace... just to say that WP have a lot of games too?
Love WP... but that problems with games kills me...

Can't start it anymore. Started with Facebook issues this morning, and now it crashes on startup...

It's a nice game but I can't connect to FB anymore. I can if I play it on my iPhone so the problem seems specific to the WP version. The Facebook page of this game is full of reports about this but unfortunately EA did not comment so far.
 
Does anybody around here have more info? Do we need to wait for a game update or can it be fixed some other way?