A lot has changed since Tetris was initially released and made it possible for countless people to spend hours playing it on all kinds of devices. Ever since then, different developers have attempted to put a spin on this classic game and that is also the case with Nintendo Switch exclusive, Day and Night.
The main idea behind Day and Night is that, as the name implies, it makes use of the concept of a day cycle to offer a very distinct way to play it. During either day or night, players get to join together four or more blocks of the same type to make them disappear and continue to a fill a bar. Once the bar is filled, the stage will change to either day or night and new types of blocks to use start to appear. What makes this more unusual when compared to similar titles, is that any leftover blocks from the other half of a day cycle will stay behind. The only way to clear blocks from one half of a day cycle is to do it during the corresponding half of a day cycle.
This means that players can use it to their advantage to try to change to day or night when the opponent has plenty of blocks left. There is also the fact that both opponents are usually playing in a different half of a day cycle.
Just this main premise already makes for an entertaining title filled with many strategies that make it so every match feels different. However, the developers of this clever little puzzle game decided to add to this to make it truly memorable. There are also seasons to consider and each one comes with its own unique blocks with different abilities that players can use to make life harder for each other. Seasons are randomly assigned and a new one is usually activated when changing night and day.
Although it can be too difficult to focus on what to do with the latest blocks when throwing in the likes of bombs and other items that are different from season and day cycle features. Admittedly, it’s nice to see the developers put so much effort into it, but it can be a case of having to deal with too much at once and more so during frantic times when so much is going on the screen.
With such interesting features though, it’s no wonder how easy it is to get sucked in by the time that the tutorial has been completed. It certainly helps that the AI/CPU proves to be a worthy opponent. Each opponent will fight to the very last piece no matter how dire the situation. However, the complexity of the various features and how they affect the course of a round means that even the most dire situations can be reversed with skill… and occasionally some luck.
Just the possibility of each opponent having a different cycle of day (depends on rules of match) means that there is always a chance to comeback by being a nuisance and sending over blocks that the adversary can’t clear in current cycle. It’s truly satisfying to be on the brink of defeat and get back in the game with a few carefully planned moves.
A game such as this wouldn’t last long without modes that make use of such engaging features. The main attraction here, as expected, consists of a Story mode where children play make believe. There’s something charming about the various child like innocent tales that the kids weave as they find reasons for facing each other off in heated matches. Although it can get slightly repetitive to just watch these children play make believe followed by a match in each of the included chapters. It feels like there is room to add more to it such as including different ways to play or even some sort of mini-game to avoid any lingering monotony.
Then there’s Survival mode where it’s not always clear what the goal is beyond just playing for as long as possible. A better explanation of how to play this mode could have made it less confusing to play. At least there’s a crafty mode that forces players to make efficient use of one or more feature to complete dares. Doing so will result in unlocking new clothing items for the kids and the same also applies to completing certain other tasks. Getting new clothing items might not make for the best of incentives to keep coming back for more, but it does add a certain charm. They are more like achievements really, given the necessity to meet certain conditions to obtain each of them.
Although the game has the possibility to pit human players against each other, this is restricted to local play. It seems strange that a game like this doesn’t have the option to take on others online.
Overall, it’s clear that this is a well presented game that even makes great use of upbeat versions of popular classical music tracks that are reminiscent of what Peggle did. It does make one wonder if the young ones that play this will even recognise the music tracks. Despite the somewhat lacking depth of its modes, Day and Night still proves to be an entertaining title that manages to successfully add new ideas to the puzzle genre.