Tetris Attack

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Tetris Attack
Panel de Pon
North American SNES cover art
Developer(s)Intelligent Systems
Director(s)Masao Yamamoto
Hitoshi Yamagami
Toshitaka Muramatsu
Producer(s)Gunpei Yokoi
Composer(s)Masaya Kuzume
Game Boy
Masaru Tajima
Yuka Tsujiyoko
SeriesPuzzle League
Platform(s)Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Game Boy
  • JP: October 27, 1995
  • NA: August 11, 1996
  • EU: November 28, 1996
  • NA: August 11, 1996
  • JP: October 26, 1996
  • EU: November 28, 1996
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Tetris Attack, also known as Panel de Pon[a] in Japan, is a puzzle video game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. A Game Boy version was released a year later. In the game, the player must arrange matching colored blocks in vertical or horizontal rows to clear them. The blocks steadily rise towards the top of the playfield, with new blocks being added at the bottom. Several gameplay modes are present, including a time attack and multiplayer mode.

Tetris Attack was first released as Panel de Pon in Japan in October 1995, featuring fairies as the main characters with a mythical, fantasy setting. The game was released outside Japan in 1996, with the original characters and settings replaced by those from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Though international releases have the name Tetris Attack, the game bears no relation to the Tetris video game series, leading Tetris Company co-founder Henk Rogers to regret giving Nintendo the license to use the name. Both Panel de Pon and Tetris Attack were later broadcast through the Japan-only Satellaview peripheral, the latter renamed to BS Yoshi's Panepon.[b]

Tetris Attack was well received by critics for its graphical style, addictive gameplay and multiplayer modes, with some noting the North American version was superior to the original Japanese release. It was followed by a series of sequels and remakes for multiple platforms, most of which instead use the name Puzzle League. The game is referenced in other Nintendo games, such as the Super Smash Bros. series, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Captain Rainbow.


Lakitu's background in Endless mode. The backgrounds change as the player progresses in Puzzle or Stage Clear mode.

Tetris Attack is a puzzle video game. The player must use an on-screen cursor to arrange colored blocks into horizontal or vertical rows – matching together three or more blocks of the same color will destroy them. Any blocks above cleared lines will fall, which can be used to cause chain reactions if they touch other matching blocks. The player can also earn combos, clearing more than three blocks in a single move. As the stage progresses, the blocks will begin to rise steadily towards the top of the screen, with new blocks generating from the bottom. Should the blocks touch the top of the playfield, the game will be over.

Several different gameplay modes are included. Story Mode pits the player against a series of computer-controlled opponents. In Endless Mode, the player is challenged to play as long as possible with a continuously rising stack of blocks, which increases in speed over time. Timed Mode challenges the player to score as many points as possible within a two-minute time limit. Stage Clear mode takes the player through a series of stages, in which the objective is to clear all blocks underneath a "boundary" line. In Puzzle Mode, the player must clear all the blocks in a preset block arrangement in a set number of moves – the blocks here do not rise towards the top. Several multiplayer modes are also present with adjustable difficulty levels.

Development and release[edit]

Windy's background in Endless Mode; in Tetris Attack, this is changed to Lakitu's background, pictured above.

Tetris Attack was released in Japan on October 27, 1995, August 1996 in North America, and November 28, 1996, in Europe. Development was headed by Intelligent Systems and produced by Gunpei Yokoi, known as the creator of the Game Boy. The Japanese version of the game is titled Panel de Pon, featuring fairies as the main characters with a fantasy setting. International versions instead replace these with characters and settings from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, a game released earlier in 1995. Though international releases have the name Tetris Attack, the game has no relation to the Tetris video game franchise, leading to Tetris Company co-founder Henk Rogers saying in a 2009 interview he regrets giving Nintendo permission to using the name. Although Rogers liked the game, he believed it "got lost in history" due to it using the Tetris branding.[1]

A Game Boy version of Tetris Attack was released in 1996. Two years later, in 1998, a special version of Panel de Pon was broadcast through the Satellaview peripheral for the Super Famicom in Japan, renamed BS Panel de Pon – Event '98 as part of a contest by St. GIGA. Tetris Attack was later released for the Satellaview the same year, renamed BS Yoshi no Panepon. The original Panel de Pon was digitally re-released for the Japanese Wii Virtual Console on November 27, 2007. The original version of Tetris Attack was added to the Nintendo Switch Online service on May 20, 2020, under its Japanese title Panel de Pon.[2]


Tetris Attack was met with very positive reviews, earning a 90% average rating on GameRankings.[6] The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it an 8.25 out of 10, lauding the addictive gameplay, colorful and cartoony graphics, use of Mario characters in the North American localization, and two-player mode.[3] GamePro gave it a perfect 5 out of 5 in graphics, control and FunFactor, and a 4.5 out of 5 in sound. The reviewer commented that it has "a gentler, slower style of gameplay that requires learning some easy new controls, but this game's no less addicting than the original Tetris."[7] GameSpot called it "absolutely brilliant".[8]

GamePro gave the Game Boy version a brief positive review, saying it "updates the age-old Tetris concept by inverting the basic action".[9]


Electronic Gaming Monthly editors named Tetris Attack Super NES Game of the Year, Hand-Held Game of the Year, and Puzzle Game of the Year, commenting that "[T]he simple premise makes it a game of mass appeal; its depth makes it a hardcore gamer's delight."[10] In 1997 Electronic Gaming Monthly editors ranked the Super NES version the 16th best console video game of all time. They cited its accessibility and addictive quality, confessing that their boss had confiscated the office copy of the game because of how much time they spent playing it.[11] GamesRadar+ listed it 87th on their list of "The 100 best games of all time", stating "you haven't lived until you've played Tetris Attack two-player and dropped an immensely satisfying five-line garbage block on your opponent."[12] Game Informer featured it on its own best games of all-time list at 96 and called it one of the most addictive puzzle games made.[13] In 2018, Complex listed the game #64 on its "The Best Super Nintendo Games of All Time".[14]


Tetris Attack was followed by several sequel games, most using the name Puzzle League in western territories. The first of these were Pokémon Puzzle Challenge for the Game Boy Color and Pokémon Puzzle League for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, featuring characters from the Pokémon anime series. A previously unreleased sequel,[15] Panel de Pon 64, was later released as part of Nintendo Puzzle Collection for the GameCube in 2003,[16] followed by Dr. Mario & Puzzle League for the Game Boy Advance in 2005. Planet Puzzle League was released for the Nintendo DS in 2007 (renamed to Panel de Pon DS in Japan and Puzzle League DS in Europe), featuring online multiplayer support via the now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service and touch-screen controls. A similar game for DSiWare, Puzzle League Express, was released in 2010 for the Nintendo DSi with many of the same features as Planet.

Several Nintendo games reference Tetris Attack and Panel de Pon. The "Lip's Stick", the primary weapon of the main character of Panel de Pon, appears throughout the Super Smash Bros. series since Super Smash Bros. Melee, poisoning the opponent. Super Smash Bros. Brawl features multiple Panel de Pon 64 characters and a red-colored block as collectible stickers. A remix of Lip's theme song appears in multiple series entries, beginning with Brawl, where it can be played on the stage PictoChat in Brawl, Wrecking Crew in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and on any miscellaneous Nintendo series stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Lip appears in the Japan-only Wii game Captain Rainbow and as a Spirit and Mii Fighter costume in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.[17][citation needed][citation needed] A 2016 update to Animal Crossing: New Leaf adds a minigame based on the Puzzle League series, titled Animal Crossing Puzzle League.[18]

Panel de Pon was released on the Nintendo Switch Online service on May 20, 2020, including in international regions for the first time.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Japanese: パネルでポン, Hepburn: Paneru de Pon
  2. ^ Japanese: BSヨッシーのパネポン, Hepburn: Bī Esu Yosshī no Panepon


  1. ^ Perlee, Ben (8 June 2009). "Interview with Alexey Pajitnov and Henk Rogers on Tetris". Destructoid. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  2. ^ a b Plunkett, Luke (May 14, 2020). "Four More Games Added To Nintendo's Switch Online Library". Kotaku. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Review Crew: Tetris Attack". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 86. Ziff Davis. September 1996. p. 28.
  4. ^ "Tetris Attack (SNES) review". Honest Gamers. 2004-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  5. ^ "Tetris Attack Allgame SNES Review". Archived from the original on 2014-11-14.
  6. ^ "Tetris Attack for Super Nintendo". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  7. ^ Doctor Devon (November 1996). "ProReview: Tetris Attack". GamePro. No. 98. IDG. p. 130.
  8. ^ Cameron Davis (2012-02-02). "Tetris Attack Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  9. ^ "Tetris Attack". GamePro. No. 100. IDG. January 1997. p. 44.
  10. ^ "The Best of '96". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. p. 86.
  11. ^ "100 Best Games of All Time". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 100. Ziff Davis. November 1997. p. 148. Note: Contrary to the title, the intro to the article (on page 100) explicitly states that the list covers console video games only, meaning PC games and arcade games were not eligible.
  12. ^ "The 100 best games of all time". GamesRadar+. 2011-03-31. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  13. ^ Jeff Cork (2009-11-16). "Game Informer's Top 100 Games Of All Time (Circa Issue 100)". Game Informer. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  14. ^ Knight, Rich (April 30, 2018). "The Best Super Nintendo Games of All Time". Complex. Retrieved 2022-01-31.
  15. ^ Caballero, David (July 21, 2020). "A playable, never-released Panel de Pon 64 has been unearthed". Gamereactor. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  16. ^ Wong, Alistair (July 20, 2020). "Panel de Pon 64 Prototype Found and Shared on YouTube". Siliconera. Enthusiast Gaming. Archived from the original on 2020-07-23. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  17. ^ Hernández, David (December 21, 2018). "Todos los espíritus en Super Smash Bros Ultimate". Hobby Consolas. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  18. ^ Frank, Allegra (2016-11-02). "Animal Crossing: New Leaf's new minigames harken back to the series' past". Polygon. Retrieved 2024-02-29.

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