Tetris Effect: Connected
Developer: Monstars, Resonair and Stage Games
Genre(s): Indie, Puzzle, Multiplayer, Music, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 08/10/21
A code was provided for review purposes
Newest Kid on the Block
I shouldn’t have to say too much about Tetris’s gameplay. Tetris has been a staple of video gaming since 1984 and has appeared on various consoles and handhelds over the last thirty-seven years. My first introduction to the game was on my original Game Boy, which my mom still has and plays on to this day. For many of us, Tetris was that go-to game we enjoyed and put tons of hours in throughout our gaming journey.
Blocks, Beats, Battlestar Galactica
Tetris Effect: Connected, a continuation of the Tetris Effect style of game which came out on consoles and VR headsets (read my Oculus Quest review here), expands on the series in more than just gameplay but also in audio and visuals as well. If you have seen the screenshots for Tetris Effect: Connected it’s easy to see the varied design aesthetics in the latest iteration of the series. The neon glows of the games Tetris pieces and visual light show glowing behind and beside you as you play looks close to a laser show.
Stylistic Light Show
Each level of Tetris Effect: Connected has a theme shown through varied puzzle piece types. Maps with sandy blocks, gel-like squishy blocks, metallic cogwheels, embers of flames, forest leaves, and more are just a few of the varied art styles you will encounter. Along with varied block styles, the world around you changes with each level. Sometimes the landscape is that of a desert, a cityscape, nightlife, ocean with dolphins or jellyfish all immerse you in the stunning visuals. If there is one thing Tetris Effect: Connected has in spades, is style and flare.
Another unique piece of Tetris Effect: Connected is its use of binaural beats and hypnotic tunes. Tetris has been synonymous with catchy music since its inception. The aura created by the beats within Tetris Effect: Connected fills your earholes that transcend every game I have played in recent years. The rhythmic music helps aid you in getting in the Tetris zone. If there is one recommendation I have it’s that you need to play Tetris Effect: Connected with headphones in, and possibly even in a low lit space to enjoy all of your senses being affected to the maximum effect.
If It Ain’t Broke
Tetris Effect: Connect doesn’t skew too far from typical Tetris gameplay. There’s a journey mode which is the core campaign in the game. This mode takes you through ever-progressing difficulties in form of speed changes in gameplay as well as starting with more blocks already in your level that you need to clear. Each of the journey campaigns increases as well in how many levels are within each.
Better Together, Better Connected
Along with the standard mode, Tetris Effect: Connected has more than 10 other modes of single and multiplayer games. You are bound to find something of interest within the amount of gameplay variety. In connected mode, you and up to two other human players are against the CPU. Within the Connected game, you work to complete your own Tetris level while also being bombarded with blocks and attacks. Once you and your teammates fill up the special meter, your three maps fuse together and you play for a short time “Connected” to one another trying to clear the most amount of lines sending your CPU opponent over the edge and beating them. What this mode does well with is connecting Tetris players together in a 3 v 1 matchup working together to offload the most amount of Tetris’ attacking your opponent with the most amount of lines possible.
Attacks from your opponents come in typical and atypical Tetris fashion. There are standard block attacks that may add lines to your board when your opponent gets a combo or launches 2-4 lines at you. Along with that attacks can come in the form of your play space shifting vertical lines left or right, the inability to hold a Tetris piece for later, or not being able to quickly set a piece in place. I found that certain power moves like the larger Tetris pieces or the mirrored blocks that were sent my way to be the most obtrusive and hardest to deal with.
Line ’em Up!
Tetris Effect: Connected has standard Tetris controls like moving your piece left and right, as well as rotating them. You can also send pieces straight to the bottom with the hard drop ability. Holding pieces is still available, though this is one Tetris mechanic I often forget about, even though it’s been around for several years.
In Tetris Effect: Connected there is support for Cross-Platform Multiplayer, making it easy to find a game. I know in my review process I was playing with folks on Xbox, displayed by their controller icon by their name. There’s also spectator mode which allows friends to observe a game using a Room ID feature.
Stay in the Zone
A new mechanic within Tetris Effect and Tetris Effect: Connected is the Zone ability. When you fill up your special meter you can slow down time which allows you to clean up the playing field and send a wall of blocks over to your opponent with each successful Tetris.
Tetris Effect: Connected is a great Tetris game and plays well on the Nintendo Switch. The game runs at a consistent 60fps. I never experienced any slow-down or lag within my review time either online or in single-player modes.
Never Gets Old
Tetris Effect: Connected captures the nostalgia of Tetris in a package of lights and sounds. Tetris has the ability to be a ‘just one more level’ style game. Anyone can play Tetris though mastering it can be difficult.
Rapid Reviews Rating
5 out of 5
You can purchase Tetris Effect: Connected from the Nintendo eShop here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.