Tetris Effect first attracted me because it was a stunning VR experience, but after I got going, I had a blast attempting to complete the campaign on my own. Connected, the new multiplayer addition (free if you already buy the basic game), surprised me since it’s so much fun to play, even if you’re not very good at it.
The update introduces four new game types for players to try out. The Score Attack modes, of which there are two, are the most basic. When you play head-to-head in plain ‘of Score Attack, no Line Attacks are exchanged, but the normal Tetris Effect rules apply. After two rounds, the winner is the one with the highest cumulative score.
On the other hand, Classic Score Attack uses the identical layout but applies old-school Tetris restrictions, such as no hard dropping or holding, and only one piece is shown in the queue at a time. For “single-player competitive Tetris,” the standard Score Attack is a decent choice, while Classic is harsh and is the ruleset used by professional competitors.
Zone Battle adds a new dimension of excitement to the classic Tetris game. It’s a one-on-one format, but the time-stopping Zone concept from the single-player mode is included. I highly recommend this model if you liked that portion of the original game.
Despite this, Connected Mode was the standout feature for me. When you and two other players face off against AI bosses, your boards may sometimes merge into one large one, and you will take turns dropping blocks to attempt to clear as many lines as you can. The boss is then dealt damage as a result of this.
If you “die” in this mode, your teammates may be able to resurrect you if they play well enough (the official name is “Tap Out,” as I just discovered). My friends don’t have Tetris Effect (at least not yet), so I had to play it alone. However, I’m sure some of them would like to play it in Connected Mode with me.
Playing with friends may be done locally or online, as well as with strangers. Tetris Effect: Connected is likewise cross-platform and utilizes a room code to connect everyone, so if your team enjoys playing Tetris together, you have many choices to choose from.
There’s more, just when you thought you’d seen it all. Bonus features, you say? You got it right. There’s also the much-anticipated Spectator Mode, which lets up to six more players sit on the sidelines and observe. You may also play in “PAL Mode,” which has a lower framerate, quicker horizontal movement, and faster-falling speed than the original NES Tetris game had in European PAL format. On the other hand, there’s a Slow Speed Mode, which does exactly what it says. There are also settings for performance vs. fidelity, so you may tailor your gaming experience to your preferences.
Tiers and Skill Ratings are present in Connected, just as they are in other online multiplayer games. There is an SR for each mode, and your Tier is decided by the sum of all of those SRs. If you win, you get SR points. The duration of a match is determined by the mode you’re playing in and your skill level. Zone Battle and Score Attack modes may go for as long as you and your opponent can avoid “Tapping Out.”
But I found the Connected way to be a little more time-consuming than that. The games, on the other hand, were all over in about twenty minutes. Another plus: the wait periods to enter contests were not too long.
Now that the practicalities are all taken care of, we can focus on the game’s overall aesthetic. What exactly were you expecting? From the beginning, Tetris Effect was a joy to play, and that provided the foundation for several fantastic multiplayer adaptations.
Tetris is what everything comes down to in the end. Even if we aren’t creating anything new, that’s really a good thing. This multiplayer will be a blast if you’re a fan of Tetris. These new game modes provide a fresh twist on a classic and are well worth checking out for their own sake.
Competitors are sure to like this game, particularly with all of the many ways to play classic Tetris. However, if you’re anything like me and a little more laid back, you’ll still have a blast with this title. If you’re more of a laid-back gamer, the Connected Mode is particularly recommended since there’s more flexibility there.
After playing Tetris 99, I thought I’d seen it all. I’m blown away by how the company continues innovating and introducing us to new experiences. Tetris purists may scoff, but for a casual fan like me, this is about as excellent as it gets in this genre.