Released in August of 1997, Tetrisphere has the distinction of being the first puzzle game released for the N64. As the name suggests, is all about a spherical object and the tetrominoes that are joined to its core. The basic idea of the game is to remove pieces by dropping more pieces of the same shape and color onto those pieces in order to dive deeper into the core of the sphere and complete the goal. Through skillful play the player can receive power-ups that remove more pieces and will increase is power if not used. The player is usually fighting against the clock which is usually represented by the titular sphere slowly inching towards the screen. If the sphere hits the screen the player is penalized with a skull. In most modes three skulls will result in failure. In order to prevent the sphere from hitting the screen the player needs to remove pieces from the sphere which will cause it to "bounce back" combos give the players more time as it causes the sphere to bounce back further. The game actually started life as an unreleased Jaguar title called Phear, Nintendo however picked up the game and added the Tetris license.
Rescue: Rescue is all about the basic principles of Tetrisphere; remove pieces from the core by dropping more pieces onto the sphere. In this mode, the player is fighting against the clock and will receive power-ups if the combo multiplier is high enough. In order to complete a level, the player must remove enough pieces from the sphere so that the creature trapped inside can escape. The player will fail the level if the player accumulates 3 skulls.
Hide Seek: Essentially Rescue but with certain conditions that must either be met.
Puzzle: Puzzle has no time limit and is significantly different to the other modes in that the objective is to clear the core entirely but with limited moves/slides or drops. The levels in Puzzle get progressively harder.
Time Trial: Time Trial is a race against time to get the highest score possible within the given time.
Vs Cpu: In Vs Cpu the player faces off against the CPU's robots in a race to release the trapped creature first. The game plays in split screen while in this mode and by making combos black debris tetrominoes will be deposited onto the opposing player's sphere.
The game does support multi-player in the form of Vs mode. Vs mode has the player competing against a computer or friend.
In order to earn magic, the player must create combos by using power pieces (Tetrominoes). Getting a combo of eliminating 20 pieces or more should do the trick. Magic can be used to remove a large amount of pieces from the sphere all at once. Once enough magic has been collected, items will appear near the timer. Here are the items that be earned with enough magic:
- Firecracker: Eliminates a small section of pieces on the sphere.
- Bundle O' Dynamite: Gets rid of pieces that are in a spread.
- Electro Magnet: Pulls pieces away from the sphere like a magnet.
- Atom: Literally peels the top layer of the sphere like an orange.
- Bomb: Eliminates a great amount of pieces.
- Ray Gun: Cuts though and removes pieces though the core.