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Rated KA for Kids to Adults


Nintendo 64 (N64)




H2O Entertainment


August 1997

ROM Size:

64 megabits


One to Two Simultaneous


3D Puzzle


Cartridge (8 slots)





> Final Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0


I've been intrigued with Tetrisphere and its concept for two years now. During this time, the game has been delayed several times and has been renamed twice (Phear to TetrisPhear to Tetrisphere). But like all other N64 games that have been delayed, Tetrisphere exemplifies Nintendo's commitment to quality and proves to be well worth the wait.

Gameplay & Control

Tetrisphere is an extremely unique puzzle game, which makes it very tricky to describe properly. Despite the "Tetris" in its name, it really has nothing to do with it other than the Tetris-shaped pieces. Basically, the object of the game is to remove Tetris-shaped pieces from a sphere with like-shaped pieces. The sphere, by the way, can be rotated 360 degrees. In order for you to remove a piece from the sphere, there must be at least two pieces touching each other. Fortunately, the cursor turns white when it's OK to drop. But when it's black, the piece cannot be dropped, otherwise you will lose one of your three "lives." There are many, many other strategies and intricacies in the game, but I'll let you find out more on your own about those advanced tactics.


There are seven different modes of gameplay in Tetrisphere: Rescue, Hide & Seek, Puzzle, Time Trial, Vs CPU, VS (human), and Practice. The main mode in the game is Rescue. The object of this mode is to remove enough pieces from the sphere to let your robot friends escape from the core. However, most seasoned Tetrisphere players end up liking the Hide & Seek mode the best. In this one, there are a variety of goals that must be met. Other favorites will include the two versus modes. Vs CPU is self-explanatory—it's a one-on-one battle against a computer player. And, surprisingly, the opponents are pretty good. There is also the two-player VS mode. If you can actually find someone else who is as good at Tetrisphere as you, this mode starts to approach the intensity of a good Tetris Attack (SNES) game.

Graphics & Sound

Graphically, Tetrisphere is quite amazing for a puzzle game. The game's graphics are incredibly colorful and clear, the 3D sphere animates with amazing fluidity, and the psychedelic backgrounds are interesting. Aurally, Tetrisphere is even more impressive. Tetrisphere's much-ballyhooed sound is easily the best on the Nintendo 64 from a quality standpoint. Taste-wise, however, it won't be appealing to a lot of people. Nevertheless, one can't deny how well the music is composed and how good it sounds, even if they are not a fan of techno-type tunes.


In the end, Tetrisphere will go down in history as one of the most original puzzle games of all-time. Unfortunately, there is a huge learning curve for the game, and this is why it won't be ranked amongst the likes of Tetris and Tetris Attack. However, the player that takes the time to learn and understand the gameplay will be greatly rewarded. Tetrisphere is just an extremely slick presentation that ranks in the upper echelon of N64 games. Don't let this one pass you by.
















When it's all said and done, there are two things that stop Tetrisphere from reaching greatness: 1) The game has a huge learning curve and too much complexity, and more importantly, 2) The game can be beaten. Nevertheless, Tetrisphere is one of the better puzzle games eve developed. Just don't expect it to match the intensity and addictive qualities of Tetris or Tetris Attack.


Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: September 1, 1997

Appendix Added: December 8, 1997




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