Over many years since I was a child with my NES and Gameboy, Tetris has always been a game that helped me focus and relax. As time went on these games became more advanced and we have begun to see Tetris evolve into many different things like Tetris Plus, Tetris Sphere, and Tetris Evolution. Many have thought what else can Tetris do to bring their audience of gamers back to the fun puzzle challenge that has won the hearts and minds of many young and old. Enter Tetris Effect.
The latest entry of the falling-block puzzler franchise comes from Tetsuya Mizuguchi (creator of games Rez and Lumines). This version brings the puzzle game we all learned to love over years and combines amazing music, crisp sound, rumbling vibrations, and spectacular visuals. Then combine them into a package that you have to see to believe. Along with this, there is an enhanced VR mode which takes you away from reality and brings you into a world of wonder as you play through the game.
There are a few modes in Tetris effect. The first is Journey mode.
Journey mode acts as the games main campaign. This mode gives you a majestic trip through the games many levels. Each one is unique in its own way and offers various colors, themes, elements, and sounds. One may see you starting in a desert and you will end up on the landscape of the moon, while another starts you in water and eventually takes you on a ride with dolphins. Some levels have a fantastic soundtrack behind it while others utilize the ambiance of the environment. There is even one that lets you jam out using jazz tones as you rotate the blocks and clear lines.
Though all of this seems very pleasant and can be very relaxing. It will make you tend to forget that Tetris is the Dark Souls of puzzle games. Each level gives you a certain amount of lines to clear, While clearing these lines, the speed of the level may start to pick up. Sometimes it goes easy and only goes from a speed of 3 to 6. Others tend to go from 5 to 13 at the drop of a single piece. However, the game does give you time to compose yourself by being able to rotate blocks multiple times before they lock, storing blocks to the side to use them later, or using the new Zone mechanic.
Zone allows you to suspend time for a short period. Players can gain Zone by clearing lines and utilizing T-spins properly. Once there is enough Zone gained the game will allow the player to clear as many lines as possible while also not adding to the line count. Along with this, you can gain bonus points per 4 lines to make a Tetris, but now there are higher lines like Decahexatris and Ultimatris which can only be done while in Zone. As awesome as this feature is it does not exist outside of Journey mode.
Effects Mode Is like a challenge mode. This is where you can find things to push you to your limits. Here you can do the original marathon mode, speed mode (IE clear 150 lines in X time), and more difficult puzzle challenges. There is also a Mystery Mode where you have no idea what is going to come at you.
Best platform to play on?
Playing on the PSVR is the best way to play Tetris Effect. This allows you to experience all the game has to offer with fewer distractions and lower latency. I noticed I was able to play more fluidly and better pacing myself when the game was at an insane speed. If you can a PSVR go for it! However, it is not needed to enjoy Tetris Effect.
Tetris Effect brings a strong entry to a franchise that many thought would have died out. However, this proved that though it’s been a long time running there are still things that can be done to make the game fresh and new. The merge of old-school Tetris gameplay blended with the visuals and sounds bring you a beautiful presentation that is not only unique but adventurous at the same time. This instantly makes it a game that you did not know you had to have.