Tetris 99 (NSW)

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Tetris 99 (NSW)

Postby MaverickMoPete » April 23rd, 2024, 1:51 pm

Title: Tetris 99
System: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nintendo (2019)

How do you take what is already known as one of the most beloved puzzle games in history and make it even better? The solution is simple: Add 98 other players to the mix. That's the theory behind Tetris 99, a game that combines two game genres you'd never think would go together: Puzzle Games and Battle Royale Games. And the result is an absolute joy of a game that will push your block stacking prowess to the limit.

The goal of the game, as usual, is to stack blocks and clear lines to keep yours from stacking to the top. But when each game starts out with 99 players, clearing lines becomes a necessity, as the only way to win the game is to be the last player standing. Clearing multiple lines or making chains of clears sends garbage to your opponents, and clearing lines also reduces the amount of garbage you get in turn. T-Spins, a slight delay before locking, and the ever useful Hold option are tools you would do well to take advantage of.

At first, the Tetris 99 Battles are pretty chill, as the blocks drop slowly and garbage takes a while to pile up. But as the player count dwindles, the tension ratchets up in a hurry, as knocking out other players allows you to send more garbage at once, and the garbage stacks up faster. If you make it to the final ten, be ready for some serious twitch gaming, as the blocks will be dropping fast and garbage will be piling up rapidly!

The graphics are clean, but relatively sparse, but the wide variety of themes you can play with are a nice touch. The basic theme starts you off with a pretty cool dance remix of "Korobeiniki," but this transitions to an absolutely frantic rendition of "Flight of the Bumblebee" as you get to the final 10. Changing the graphic's theme also changes the music, so pick whatever you please!

Even four years after its release, it's still easy to find 98 opponents to play a match with, and CPU Players will fill in if need be. The base game with the Tetris 99 Mode is free, but there's also the Big Block DLC that adds more game modes, such as the Marathon Mode where you play to clear 150 or 999(!!!) lines, play a game with up to 7 friends in Local Multiplayer, or take on bot players in a Tetris 99 Battle Royale to get practice in before taking on other humans.

If you are a fan of Tetris, you should definitely give this a go, even if you aren't a fan of Battle Royal games. Some minor disappointments are the lack of a true "Endless" Mode, and the fact that if you miss one of the special events that unlocks a theme, it's not very likely you'll get another chance to get it. But those are just minor quibbles in what is otherwise probably one of the most fun ways to play Tetris ever.

My Grade: A

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Retro STrife
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Re: Tetris 99 (NSW)

Postby Retro STrife » April 28th, 2024, 4:58 am

Thanks for the write up! I have this on my Switch since it’s free, but I need the Online subscription before I can play it.

I’m interested to try it, but I figured it’d be hard to find 98 players these days. Glad to hear that’s not an issue.

My other concern was that I’d never have any shot at winning. How true is that? With most battle royale games, even if you suck, you can get lucky and make it very close to the end sometimes. But with Tetris, I can’t see myself “lucking” my way into the top 10. Does the game have any way that it adds luck or evens the playing field for average players?

Next up, you should try out F-Zero 99. Very curious about that one too.

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