Tetrisphere is a Falling Blocks game for the Nintendo 64 developed by H2O Entertainment. It takes the classic Tetris and adds many new twists. Gameplay is from the top-down perspective of the falling block, the field is a sphere covered with blocks, and the player clears pieces by shifting them around so that pieces of the same kind are touching, then dropping a piece onto the result. The goal is usually to uncover a certain area or amount of area of the core.
The player can play as any of seven spherical transforming robot characters, each with a balance of speed (general speed) and power (speed when moving a block).
There are five single-player game modes:
- Rescue: Uncover enough core to free the trapped robot. 10 episodes of 10 levels each.
- Hide and Seek: Variations on uncovering the core. 5 episodes of 30 levels each.
- Puzzle: 100 arranged puzzles, in which a set of blocks must be cleared given a limited number of slides and drops.
- Time Trial: No real structure like the other modes, just score as many points as you can in the time limit.
- VS CPU: Split Screen mode. Like the original Tetris, landing greater combos storms "junk" pieces down on your opponent's field. Win by exposing enough core panels or out-surviving the opponent. 5 episodes with 7 levels each.
- Lines: An unlockable mode similar to Rescue where pieces need to be dragged around and lined up in sequence and are not dropped. 5 episodes with 10 levels each.
Tetrisphere contains examples of:
- Artifact Title: Well, there are some tetronomoes, and you control pieces as they fall down, but some of the pieces are tritonomoes, and it's a Match-Three Game instead of filling in rows.
- Difficulty by Acceleration: Similar to Tetris, later levels make the player-controlled pieces fall towards the sphere faster, but instead of fixing to a faster speed, there is instead a clock which turns to yellow when emptied, then red when emptied again. The color of the clock determines the drop speed, and drains faster on more difficult levels. It can be replenished by clearing blocks.
- Difficulty Spike: The last levels of Rescue mode have the sphere initially layered so high that drops are impossible.
- Easter Egg: Tetrisphere has one that may be unique to it on the N64. Entering "VORTEX" as your name and then holding down the reset button on the console makes an animation play of the robots getting sucked into a vortex.
- Hard Mode Filler: Each mode is split into as many as 10 repetitive Episodes, and usually increase in difficulty by giving less time on the drop speed clock, more kinds of shapes, more layers to break through, and\or a smarter AI opponent.
- Match-Three Game: A little different than usual, as each piece is a shape made of several blocks.
- Top-Down View
- Wrap Around: Makes sense, as the game is played on a sphere. note
- Video-Game Lives: In all modes besides Puzzle, you have three lives, which are replenished after every round.