A Match Made In Heaven 

HIGH It’s an addicting puzzler that’s eating up my free time.

LOW How the hell am I this bad at Tetris? 

WTF I gotta stop playing at work! 

The old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and it applies to few games more than it does to Tetris — the famous puzzler created by Alexey Pajitnov hasn’t changed much since it launched in the ’80s. 

Sure, there have been countless iterations but the goal remains the same — drop blocks, create lines and keep the playing field clear. The same can be said of Sega’s puzzle series Puyo Puyo, but instead of creating lines, players must match four colored orbs and pop them. 

Like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, Sega has combined these two distinct puzzlers into one delicious package with Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. A sequel to 2014’s Puyo Puyo Tetris, players are tasked with tackling each style of puzzle with varying conditions. Both kinds of puzzles are equally represented and PPT2 does a great job easing the player into the mechanics of each. 

All of that puzzle gameplay is wrapped in an odd (but endearing) story involving aliens, robots, and anthropomorphic dog scientists. Taking notes from JRPGs, players navigate an overworld and take on battles in PPT2‘s Adventure Mode.

Every battle has a player either doing a round of Tetris or Puyo while their opponent does the same. As  they create a line in Tetris or successfully match four in Puyo, their opponents’ boards fill with garbage. Certain boss battles allow players to assemble a party of characters that add defensive or offensive buffs. The most useful one in my opinion is O, a little creature in a cloud who was able to give me 40 HP in battles. 

I loved what I played of the story mode, thanks to how charming it was. The tale is told via still images of the characters and is fully-voiced. It’s full of anime and JRPG cliches, of course, but that only added to how delightful everything was for me. 

Even without the surprisingly enjoyable story mode, I still sunk way more time into Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 than I thought I would. I’m not normally a puzzle guy but I was immediately hooked and dropped over a dozen hours into trying to beat my own Puyo Puyo scores. I still suck at Tetris, but PPT2 has slowly made me more comfortable with that style of play.

In a year full of massive, story-driven and crunch-produced experiences, it’s refreshing to spend time with something so straightforward. Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 does something simple but does it right, and when I’m dropping blocks or matching puyos, I just can’t seem to put my Switch down.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Sega It is currently available on XBO, XBX/S, PS4, PS5, Switch and PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the Switch. Approximately 20 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was not completed (still playing). There are multiplayer modes but none were played for this review.

Parents: According to the ESRB this game is rated E10+ and contains Mild Suggestive Themes. The official ESRB description reads as follows: This is a puzzle game in which players battle opponents by lining up blocks and matching small creatures called Puyos. Players earn points and progress through battles by clearing their areas of blocks/lines/Puyos. The game includes some suggestive material and innuendo in the dialogue (e.g., “I’ll be on top of this soon enough! I’ll even be on top of you, too”; “You and I are bound and gagged together!…Of course I meant, ‘You and I are bound by rivalry and gagged by strife’”; “Do you appear out of thin air when people say the word ‘creeper?’”).

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers:  All of the dialogue is in speech bubbles that cannot be resized. Everything is clearly labeled onscreen and no audio cues are needed to play the game, and everything is purely visual. The game is fully accessible. (See examples of text above.)

Remappable Controls: No, this game’s controls are not remappable.

Cj Salcedo
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