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Switch’s Puyo Puyo Tetris hurts my brain so good

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Nintendo has sketched out an impressive lineup for the first couple months of the Switch console, and it’s games like Puyo Puyo Tetris that should get a lot of the credit for that.

Puyo Puyo Tetris is a four-player puzzler mashup that launches April 25 for $30. It combines the classic falling-block action of Tetris with the bean-matching gameplay of Puyo Puyo, which you might’ve played as Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine or Kirby’s Avalanche. How the game mixes together these disparate parts depends on the mode you’re playing, but publisher Sega has found a way to do just about every possible combination.

You can play Puyo Puyo or Tetris on their own. You can play them at the same time on the same playfield. You can play both on their own playfield as the game switches randomly between the two. You can even play Tetris against someone playing Puyo Puyo.

If that all sounds like it’s too much to handle, it absolutely is. My favorite mode is the swap, and I enjoy it so much because it is mentally exhausting. It’s a real exercise to go from thinking about Tetris pieces to thinking about cascading Puyos.

But best of all is that this is a game that fits ideally into the library of the Switch that is also excellent for on-the-go paly. It is launching well after Zelda and before Arms debuts June 16 and Splatoon 2 releases July 21. And while it is hitting alongside Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it is different enough and priced competitively enough that it’s worth considering as something that you can play when you have a couple of minutes for a match. Sure, you have plenty of puzzler options on your smartphone, but Puyo Puyo Tetris stands apart from those with gorgeous visuals, tons of content, and tight and precise controls.

But consider yourself warned: only play this game if you don’t mind having your brain scrambled.

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