An extract from the WiiWare World review of Tetris Party:
"According to Hudson, Tetris Party features 18 modes of play, which turns out to be more of a marketing gimmick. All in all, we were only able to count 10, with some being variations of each other in single, multi, or balance board play. To see whether quantity equals quality in this case it's worth taking a gander at the different modes.
Marathon is basically an attempt to see how many points you can rack up until you reach level 15, or go for the ultimate high score when playing endless.
Battle mode will have you facing one or more opponents (AI, human players, or a combination of both). In this mode, after a set amount of time all players will see their field being slowly filled by dead lines from the bottom, pushing up their stack towards the top. It certainly decreases the "dead" players wait time by a significant margin.
Field Climber mode has a little stickman running back on forth on your playing field. It's your job to help him reach the top by building tetriminio stairs without crushing him, while at the same time guiding him towards flags to collect before he can reach the finish line. There are ten levels to this mode and the high score is determined by how much time it took you to complete the set. This mode is also available in multiplayer for up to four players."