Game Trader: Tetris Like Never Before?

Trenton Vanalstyne

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     When people think of the classics in gaming, many will probably find themselves drawn towards games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend Of Zelda, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Street Fighter. All of these franchises are still having life in today’s world, but surprisingly, so is another hit from the past. The classic puzzle game of Tetris has never quite gone away, trying to reinvent itself with each new entry. From the visually stunning effects in the recent Tetris Effect for the PlayStation 4 to the surprisingly fun gameplay of the crossover with the popular Japanese Puyo Puyo series, Tetris has never stopped trying to be more than just the simple falling blocks game its well known for. However, perhaps the most inventive addition to the franchise yet might just be the strangely addicting Tetris 99.

     Capitalizing on the recently popular battle royale genre, Tetris 99 focuses more on a competition aspect than ever before. Previous entries have allowed two, or even up to four, players to compete against one another to see who gets the higher score, or who is simply knocked out first. This game takes the latter and runs with it, instead having online matches with ninety-nine simultaneous players. Sound hectic? It is.
The core of Tetris 99’s gameplay remains the same as always. Different combinations of blocks begin to fall from the top of the screen, and the player must continue to piece these together before your stack reaches the top of the screen. Getting a row of blocks will make that row disappear, giving you more room to continue working with. All well and good, but in Tetris 99, those rows do not simply go into thin air. Instead, Tetris 99 takes completed rows and sends them toward other players to try and knock them out of the game faster by giving them more to deal with than they can handle. These “garbage rows” as they’re called can either be sent out randomly or targeted towards a specific player. The more rows you complete, the more your opponents will need to deal with. In other words, the better you play, the harder you make it for others. In that sense, Tetris 99 is an adapt or die type of game.

     Players are knocked out one by one until only the final player remains, crowned the winner of the match. Out of ninety-nine players, your chances of winning may seem low, but as you play more, the better you get. Once you finally get that first place, you get a rush, and you want to play just another round to see if you can make it. Tetris 99 proves that a game does not need a good story to be fun, and that new life can enter an old game no matter how old it may be. I give Tetris 99 a ninety-nine out of one-hundred, as while it may not be the perfect puzzle game, it’s pretty close to it. Now, let’s see if I can get in another win…

     Tetris 99 is published by Nintendo exclusively for the Nintendo Switch console. The game is free to play and download on the Nintendo eShop, but requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play.


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