Combining genres can lead to some unexpectedly pleasant results, and that's certainly the case with Pullfrog Playdate Deluxe. Based on the Pico-8 title Pullfrog, this Playdate-exclusive update is a mix of Tetris and your traditional 2D platformer, with the goal being to create lines out of falling blocks.

The catch is that, rather than having direct control over the blocks, you instead assume the role of a frog, which has to use its tongue to pull them into place. Your tongue can be deployed in eight different directions and often has to be combined with a leap; mastering this element of the game is integral to success.

Your tongue can also be used to break the blocks up, allowing you to reorganise and manipulate the playfield to your advantage. However, this process isn't without its risks; destroy the wrong part of a block, and you could find yourself squashed underneath the falling debris, Mr. Driller-style. It can be quite daunting trying to avoid falling blocks while trying to pull others into position, especially when the game's pace speeds up (if you're so inclined, you can use the Playdate's crank to speed up the rate at which the blocks fall).

Indeed, navigating around the shower of blocks is all part of the challenge; you often need to use them as floating platforms to reach the other side of the screen – a handy tactic when you consider that, initially, at least, your character is only capable of small jumps. Clear three lines, and you'll be granted access to a choice of three random power-ups – these include a more powerful tongue (so blocks take fewer hits to destroy), a longer tongue, a mightier leap, the ability to double-jump, and even an extra life. This 'shop' screen appears for every trio of line clears you make until no further power-ups are obtainable.

You'll also notice that some blocks contain eyeballs. These are added to your total when the blocks are successfully cleared in a line, and they unlock other playable characters. Each one has different attributes, giving the game an additional degree of challenge and longevity. Beyond that, local and global score leaderboards offer encouragement to hone your skills and keep playing, long after you've unlocked everything. If this all sounds a little too stressful, then the game's 'Zen' mode might be more appealing; this removes the threat of being crushed and instead allows you to focus solely on the line-clearing aspect.

While you could argue that Pullfrog Playdate Deluxe lacks the immediacy of Tetris due to its often complex and demanding mechanics, it is nonetheless a fantastic fusion of puzzles and platforming that every Playdate owner should check out.