Has there ever been a more perfect combination of hardware and software than Tetris and the Gameboy? While Tetris isn’t a genuine Nintendo IP, it felt like it was made for the monochrome wearable device, and it’s hard to imagine any one of them even remotely as successful without the other. Tetris is a thing of its own, however, and has used the staggering fame it gained from combining it with Nintendo’s console to become one of the most famous video game features of all time, with entries appearing on virtually any device with a screen.
One such “evolution” of the Tetris concept is the sublime Tetris effect, the brainchild of legendary game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Originally released on the PS4 in 2018 with impressive support for the PSVR headset, it has since been one of the main omissions from the original game across platforms with an updated version that includes online multiplayer. Tetris Effect: Connected is now available on the Nintendo Switch, which is kind of homecoming; while we’ve had many Tetris on Nintendo systems over the years (including the excellent Tetris 99 and the Just-OK Tetris DS), that feels somehow more meaningful; maybe because Tetris Effect: Connected is effortlessly one of the best renditions of Alexey Pajitnov’s game the world has ever seen.
But before we get into all of that, it’s worth talking about the Tetris Effect – and what the subtitle “Connected” means. Fountain, it’s tetris – a game that certainly needs no introduction – but with a ‘synesthesia’ hook, which means that the screen images and accompanying audio are synchronized in a strange and wonderful way, something former Sega employee Mizuguchi is using for the first time experimented in the groundbreaking on-rail shooter Rec.
During the game, every movement, every clear line or every hard drop is accompanied by an acoustic and visual effect, and every level is set against a wonderfully animated and developing background. Some would argue that Tetris is a game that doesn’t need any graphic gimmicks to get involved and addicting, but Tetris Effect still pulls out all the stops and delivers some really great visual effects that combine perfectly with the equally beautiful soundtrack.
Tetris Effect: Connected includes many of the most recent additions to the base game introduced over the decades, such as the ability to hold a figure in reserve and the ability to rotate a figure before it fully clicks into place. However, the ‘Zone’ function, which is completely new for this entry, has the greatest effect.
Erasing lines fills your zone display and this can be activated at any time by pressing the ZR trigger. When you do this, time will freeze; Blocks don’t fall as usual – but lines don’t disappear as they should either. Instead, deleted lines fall to the bottom of the borehole and, once the zone indicator is exhausted, are removed in a combination of points. Since these lines stay on the screen while you are in the zone, the space you have at the top of the well decreases, making it harder to erase lines in multiple – and that’s really the goal here; Not only can the Zone help you overcome a difficult situation, but it is also the key to getting the best results in Tetris Effect: Connected.
The game is divided into different modes, one of which, at least initially, you will spend most of your time. This is the game’s solo campaign mode where you move through a series of stages by deleting a certain number of lines. It’s a thrilling, and often emotional journey, largely thanks to the above-mentioned way in which the game blends light and sound, but you will end it within a day on the default difficulty setting. There is of course replayability here, but the other modes of the game help to massively extend the lifespan.
The ‘Effects’ modes may take up the majority of your single player time by the time you are through with the Travel mode. These are a number of game modes categorized according to your current setting. For example, if you just want to relax, you can select from the Relax section and choose a mode where it is impossible to lose. Blocks that reach the top will simply cause the fountain to clear and you will start over.
The ‘Focus’ modes are a bit more sophisticated and revolve around rigid goals, like clearing all blocks or getting as many combos as possible. “Adventure” modes mix things up a bit by including things like “infected” blocks that need to be removed from the game, or in the case of “Mystery” mode, throw in random effects like flipping the well horizontally or giving blocks that are missing sections.
You could literally spend weeks playing the modes in the “Effects” part of the game, and any progress in Tetris Effect will add to your level. Experience points increase your level status and you can unlock new avatars to use – something that is in Mizuguchis. well implemented to shine Series. Since there is that constant feeling of making something by playing, it’s easy to spend hours and hours in Tetris Effect: Connected, beating your high scores and increasing your level of experience.
However, it’s the game’s “Connected” mode – added when the game was released on Xbox Game Pass in 2020 – that really makes this title sing. It takes its name from just one of the online gameplay modes offered here, in which you and two other players team up to battle an AI-controlled “boss” player. The goal is to fill the enemy’s well with trash while dealing with the various unhelpful effects he is inflicting on you and your companions. If you clear three lines, refill the zone counter which, once fully filled, connects all three wells into a single super well, so the three of you work together in completing the lines and everyone in the boss character is good. The catch is that you have to take turns to drop your blocks.
Connected mode is responsible for some of the most breathtakingly fun multiplayer action we’ve had in a long time, but it’s not all Tetris Effect: Connected has to offer when it comes to online gaming. If the collaborative nature of Connected mode isn’t your thing, you’ll be delighted to learn that there is a separate ranking system that pitches you against equally skilled opponents. You can take part in “Leaderboards”, “Friends” and “Local” games, with game modes that cover a wide range of play styles, including the ability to deactivate the zone function and even compete against the “old” two-player mode, the additions like hard throwing, the ability to hold a piece in reserve, etc. There is even a ‘PAL Speed’ mode that the Nintendo version of. replicated Tetris ran on European PAL-NES consoles and features a lower 50Hz style frame rate, faster horizontal movements, and faster decay speed in the latter parts of a game.
Tetris Effect: Connected features cross-platform multiplayer with little icons that show what system each person is playing on, making it a lot easier to find a match – at least in theory. We still found we had to wait occasionally short in some of the less popular modes, but that could be because we signed up before Switch launched. most of the time it wasn’t a problem. It is important to remember that Tetris Effect: Connected was launched on other systems before Switch, so its arrival on the Nintendo system could trigger a surge in online usage.
While we’re on this topic, it’s worth pointing out how much better Tetris Effect: Connected feels on a wearable device. Don’t get us wrong – it’s a fantastic game no matter what system you’re playing it on – but much like the Game Boy version, Tetris Effect: Connected is a title that benefits massively from being able to play it anytime, anywhere always you want; It’s the perfect ‘impulse game’ because each session is subtly different and often only lasts a few minutes, which makes it ideal for filling in the short gaps in your daily routine.
Also, the switch port is fantastic; Sure, when playing on a television it is possible, very, very slight differences between the Switch version and the Xbox / PlayStation editions (the resolution seems to be a little lower on Switch) but none of the visual impact is lost. For example, when you play the Ritual Passion stage, the glowing animated characters look just as impressive on Switch as they do on other platforms. (Editor’s note: Tetris Effect: Connected seems to run at 60fps for the most part on Switch, but there are some moments when the frame rate drops; however, this isn’t as much of a dealer breaker as you might think.) Oh, and when you’re playing OLED on a shiny new Switch, the graphics look even more noticeable thanks to the improved contrast and brighter colors.
The switch port also has some new features of its own. The Joy-Con’s HD rumble function is exploited via the “Extra Rumble” option, which adds subtle vibrations when moving parts to the left or right – for example, the left Joy-Con rumbles when you move to the left. Rumble effects are also added to hard and soft drops. While it’s not a groundbreaking inclusion, it’s still nice to see – as is the ability to push up to four players for a single switch in Connected Vs mode – although this is only available on weekends during special “Full Moon” events. Speaking of “Weekend Ritual” modes are available every weekend during the 24-hour window, with players around the world earning points for a community goal that, if achieved, will reward participants with a special avatar – one Another possibility The online features of the game enrich the overall experience massively.