From East to West: The Japanese “Puyo Puyo” Comes to the United States

Joshua Guilas | Staff Writer

“Puyo Puyo” is a Japanese puzzle game with the objective of lining up four “Puyos,” small graphics that look like beans, on a 3 by 12 grid, and making sure that the board doesn’t get filled up. However, your opponent is also trying to line up four “Puyos” and trying to make sure that their board doesn’t get filled up. If the third column on the left gets filled, it’s a game-over. Strangely enough, however, this game has not historically received much acknowledgement in the West.

The good news is, as of April 25, Puyo Puyo Tetris is available in the United States.

Puyo Puyo games have been dominate in Japan, but the West has not seen the game come under its original name until recently. Back in 1993, the West did see its first “Puyo Puyo” game, but not under the name Puyo Puyo and not with the original characters. Instead, the west received Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine for the Sega Mega Drive, a spin-off of the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon series, which itself was a show based on the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Eventually, a number of games that were under different titles, but were not the loved Puyo Puyo, came to the west. Examples include Kirby’s Avalanche, which came out in 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), and Qwirks, which also came out in 1995 for the PC and Mac.

While “Puyo Puyo” found life in the west, the game still did not get the acknowledgment it deserved. The western release of Puyo Pop Fever for the Nintendo Gamecube and the Nintendo DS planted the seeds to create a fanbase.

Likely due to said fanbase and a few legal loopholes, The U.S. can expect a western release for Puyo Puyo Tetris, a crossover between the Puyo Puyo and Tetris games for the Nintendo Switch and the Playstation 4. This is an important mark for the Puyo Puyo franchise as this is the first official time that the game will come out under the title Puyo Puyo in America.

Will the upcoming Puyo Puyo Tetris breathe new life into a mostly Japanese-only franchise? SEGA, the company that owns the Puyo Puyo name is doing their utmost to advertise the series on their YouTube channel and the demo for the game is out right now for the Nintendo Switch.

Look for the game for the Nintendo Switch, in both digital and physical form. The digital cost is $29.99 and the physical cost is $39.99, including a keychain. The game also comes for Playstation 4 in physical form for $29.99 at stores near you.

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