If you are going to make a game that all but copies Alexey Pajitnov's classic Tetris, you better be ready for rabid fans coming down on you! Well, Puzzled is a Tetris clone, and I am a rabid Tetris fan!
Before I begin the festivities, I must admit that I am a really good Tetris player. It's not because I am cocky, it's not because I like to brag, it's just years and years of playing the game. Am I the best, probably not, but among the people I play, I generally win. So I was prepared for Puzzled, figuring that it should be a cinch.
Puzzled isn't exactly Tetris, it does have you solving puzzles, that resemble the puzzle mode in the original Game Boy version of Tetris. Actually, to be more fair, the game resembles Tetris Plus (which was more of a Tetris Minus, if you ask me) on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. You are trying to save your character from the trap he/she keeps getting themselves into. You are there to break their way out by breaking lines, just like in Tetris. And you have to do this through six separate stages, and 60 levels ... all of which are basically the same.
So here's where I become picky. As a fan of Tetris, this is the part of the review where everything becomes more critical. What I like about Tetris is the great control, and no matter how high the blocks are, you still have a chance, because of the fair control. However, in Puzzled this theory is completely thrown out the window. Instead of easy to move blocks, the blocks don't respond well. And if you connect it to the ground, you still have to wait until moving the control in fear of moving the block out of place. This isn't at all noticeable on the slower sections, but since this game gets extremely fast over 75% of the blocks I thought I had connected I ended up moving, only to mess up what I was working on. You just don't know how irritating this is! There were so many times I felt cheated because block moved, even though there was another block currently headed down the pipe!
Something else kind of odd, this Neo Geo game doesn't give you the option of choosing between moving your blocks clock wise and counter clock wise. This may not seem so bad, but it really is. This is just something I could get used to (especially since there are two buttons unused). Actually, every part of the control fails on every level. This game would have rated at least four grades higher if it weren't for the sub par control.
But then there's the multi player mode. It's not a horrible mode, it's just that if you don't play it two players, you will be forced to play each and every level TWICE!! That's right, after you beat it with one person, you have to go back through the exact same game with the character you DIDN'T beat it with! I can't begin to tell you how disappointing that is. Personally, I would pick up ANY other version of Tetris.