continuing my streak of only playing handheld games, i spent some time with the random copy of tetris party live for DSiware (released in november of 2010) that i had. the game is apparently a very pared-down version of the wiiware release (which came out two years earlier) and the retail releases for wii and DS. although the game is no longer available for download on the 3DS or DSi (apparently due to the publisher’s license expiring), the wiiware version is still available and used copies of the wii and DS versions seem readily available as well.
the main draw to all the games that preceded the DSiware version, aside from the core classic tetris gameplay, seems to have been the additional modes, which are described in the entry on wikipedia and include an intriguing version featuring the wii balance board. this version, however, feels extremely basic. there’s the typical # of lines to clear mode (in this case 150), a marathon mode, and vs. CPU modes (which feature a much more superhuman AI than is found in other games), and although the game controls perfectly well, the presentation lacks character and doesn’t leave much of an impression other than being serviceable, with the exception of a cameo appearance of milon from milon’s secret castle as a selectable icon (the games were developed by hudson).
the game also includes two wi-fi vs. modes with friends or strangers. these provide the package with the only variations to the standard gameplay. one of the vs. modes features items that hinder your opponents such as not letting them rotate their pieces, while the other is the “Duel Space challenge where you try to drop down blocks in an effort to take up the most area on the playing field”. i didn’t get to try out the latter b/c no one online seemed to want to play that mode, but i was able to get paired up with three other players for the regular 4-player vs. mode pretty quickly.
all in all a fairly disposable rendition of a classic game, and one that doesn’t offer as much variety as nintendo’s own release for DS or even its sibling games. i’m intrigued enough by the descriptions of the other modes to give them a try, especially considering that there were no other versions of the game released for wii, but if you were curious about what you missed out on with the DSiware release, the answer is pretty clearly: not a thing.