The original Tetris for Windows Phone is a fair port of the classic puzzle game, albeit overpriced at $4.99. But the world has moved on, and vanilla Tetris doesn’t excite gamers any more. That’s why Electronic Arts jazzed the old game up with the Bejeweled Blitz treatment and turned it into Tetris Blitz earlier this year. A faster paced Tetris designed for mobile play – what’s not to love?
Windows Phone gamers certainly didn’t love the lack of Tetris Blitz on their platform of choice; that’s for sure. But Nokia has just announced that Tetris Blitz will finally be coming to Windows Phone next week. So soon!
A blitzkrieg of Tetrominos
Tetris Blitz games last for exactly two minutes. The goal is to score as much and earn as many coins as you can within those two minutes. Enter Frenzy mode and you’ll score double for each line cleared, which can really add up. New control option such as “One-Touch” and “Drag-and-place” facilitate the high-speed gameplay and make it easy for casual gamers to join in the fun.
The coins earned in-game can be spent on 15 different power-ups. These provide beneficial effects like an extra burst of time, removing random lines, lowering the stack of blocks, and more. As you might expect, power-ups are key to achieving really high scores on the global leaderboard.
Tetris Blitz is a free to play game. On iOS it’s supported by ads, which players can pay $4.99 to remove. We’re not sure whether the same payment model will apply to Windows Phone as well. Similarly, impatient gamers can buy coin packs via In-App Purchase rather than grinding for coins. Previous Nokia-published EA games have removed the IAP option, but since IAPs feature so heavily in Tetris Blitz, it would be strange to see them taken out.
Windows Phone questions
Besides the issue of IAPs, we still have a lot more questions about Tetris Blitz for Windows Phone. Will it be an Xbox Live game? EA has yet to publish a non-Xbox game on Windows Phone. And the release date announced by Nokia – Wednesday, August 28 is also the traditional day for Xbox Live releases. So the prognosis looks very good for Xbox Windows Phone support.
Now look at who made this announcement: Nokia. The Finnish phone maker and Electronic Arts have worked together in the past to release a number of games as timed exclusives for Lumia phones. As far as we know, that agreement is nearing its end with only two games left to go: Madden NFL Football and Dead Space. But Nokia and EA could always extend that agreement and make Tetris Blitz a Nokia exclusive as well. It would disappoint non-Nokia owners, but Nokia exclusives do eventually become available on other manufacturers’ devices.
Then again, Nokia has announced non-exclusives in the past. News of several big name titles like Angry Birds Rio came from Nokia’s website as opposed to the actual game developers. Maybe Tetris Blitz will be one of those non-exclusive games.
Finally, will Tetris Blitz require Windows Phone 7 or 8? Given its online features and probable IAP component, I’m guessing Windows Phone 8. But Nokia and EA could have retooled the game to work on Windows Phone 7… I just wouldn’t get your hopes up on that.
We’ve reached out to Electronic Arts with all these questions and will let you know if they respond. In any case, all should become clear on August 28.