When Nintendo announced during their February 13 Direct presentation that they would be releasing not just ANOTHER Tetris game, it was going to be a battle royale game. I felt some strange combination of skepticism and curiosity. A Tetris battle royal game? This is one of the games they were excited to announce?( This was before we all saw the teaser for the Link’s Awakening remake also”. Nintendo released the game shortly after the presentation for free for Switch Online subscribers; they can certainly use more features to beef up their online service(which vastly needs it…). I thought “sure, sounds interesting….and free” and I do not regret it one bit, it’s already one of my favorite Switch titles. I’ve been having a blast playing this!
There probably aren’t too many out there who haven’t played a Tetris game in one way or another, as it is available in about every way there is to play. Tetris was first released in the Soviet Union in June 1984 but did not become a world-wide phenomenon until it was bundled with the original Nintendo Game Boy in 1989. It has since been inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame in 2015. https://www.museumofplay.org/press/releases/2015/06/2108-2015-world-video-game-hall-fame-inductees-announced
The basic gameplay of Tetris 99 is exactly the same as the multiplayer mode we know and love, but with a couple unique twists on it. First, it’s you versus 99 other online players trying to be the “last one standing”. Second, you can send your completed lines or “garbage” to another player to add to their screen. This is similar to standard multiplayer mode, except in typical battle royale fashion you can be playing with nothing happening and then all of a sudden, you’re being attacked from every angle. The game keeps track of your KO’s – opponents you have knocked from the match and you can also target other players by selecting one of the modes at the top of the screen. You can sort by KO – you attack another player who is closest to being knocked out, Attackers – you…um…attack the players who are currently targeting you, Badges – you attack players with the most in-match badges or essentially the Top Player(s) in the round, and then there’s Random – you send your garbage to completely random players.
Tetris 99 is equally tense and exhilarating, and just get to the final 25 or even 10, 5 players and it is just as, if not more stressful than the final couple squads in any other battle royale game. I have already spent over between 5-10 hours playing Tetris trying to outplay the other 98 online opponents and I still plan to put in plenty more. I cannot recommend this enough to anyone who is currently paying for the Switch Online service.
Keep rotating those blocks!
- Here is also a couple articles about the game I enjoyed https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-02-22-tetris-99-hides-the-way-it-works-and-thats-brilliant