Codex Gamicus

Tetris: Axis, known simply as Tetris in some regions outside North America, is a 2011 Puzzle video game by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo in North America, Tetris Online, Inc. in Europe, and Namco Bandai Games in Japan, for the Nintendo 3DS.  It is the first and only Tetris game released for the 3DS currently.

Game Modes[]

More than 20 different game modes are available to play in Tetris: Axis.  The modes are divided into 3 sections: Feature, Party, and AR (which makes use of the 3DS's augmented reality feature).

Feature Modes[]

  • Fever: This mode involves a normal game of Tetris, except there is a time limit of only one minute.  If the player gains points quickly, color bonuses are received that can change the gameplay and get more extra points.
  • Computer Battle: In this mode, the player plays against a computer player.  If the player clears a line in their area, the computer player is given more tetriminoes which can only be removed by clearing them.  The same goes if the computer player clears a line in its area.
  • Marathon: The regular game mode of Tetris, with no extra features or content.
  • Survival: This mode is a reversal of the normal Marathon mode, where tetriminoes frequently appear at the bottom of the screen instead of the top.  However, just like Marathon, if the tetriminoes reach the top, the game ends.

Party Modes[]

  • Jigsaw: Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, all tetriminoes that appear are pieces of a picture.  The challenge is to face them the correct way before dropping them onto the puzzle area.
  • Shadow Wide: The player must drop the tetriminoes onto the area to uncover a picture hidden on the 3DS's touch screen.
  • Fit: Walls with tetrimino-shaped holes in them move closer and closer to the player.  The current tetrimino must be moved into the right position to fit through each incoming hole.
  • Tower Climber: Tetriminoes must be placed on a 3D cylindrical tower in order to move an on-screen character to an indicated area.  It is similar to a game mode in Tetris Party known as "Field Climber", but the character had to be moved to the top of the screen rather than around a tower.
  • Bombliss Plus: Much like Marathon mode, but every tetrimino contains a bomb in one of its four squares.  If a row contains a bomb and it is cleared, the bomb explodes, removing all surrounding tetriminoes.
  • Stage Racer: A single tetrimino must be moved throughout an always-moving obstacle course.  The game ends if the tetrimino reaches the top of the screen before being moved quickly enough.  This mode also exists in Tetris Party.
  • Capture: There are colored stars that are hidden inside the player's area, and only by touching them with tetriminoes of the same color can the player get rid of them.
  • Master Mode: Identical to Marathon mode, but instead pieces drop onto the game area instantly and as fast as possible.
  • Sprint: 40 lines must be cleared in the quickest time possible.

AR Modes[]

  • AR Marathon: A combination of sorts of the Sprint and Bombliss Plus modes using the AR feature of the 3DS.  50 lines must be cleared in the quickest time possible, but some of the tetriminoes in the game have bombs that shift the game area around if detonated.
  • AR Climber: A mode much like Tower Climber mode, but the tower must be manually rotated by moving the 3DS camera around the AR card the tower uses.

Design & Development[]


Reviews for Tetris: Axis were mostly mixed to positive.  IGN reviewer Audrey Drake gave the game a 7.5 out of 10 stating that it "has a lot going for it" due to having over 20 game modes, and although she thought it makes a great addition to a 3DS collection, it "just plain doesn't stack up to other versions on the market - most notable Tetris DS."

Review aggregator sites Metacritic and GameRankings had Tetris: Axis's score at 74 and 76.33% respectively.