If you don’t know what Tetris is, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Ever since its inception in 1984, Tetris has seen a plethora of iterations, most famously the Game Boy version that helped rocket the handheld to widespread success. Whether you regularly play games or not, Tetris has become your Uncle Joe‘s and Grandma Hilda‘s addiction. Throughout the past 37 years, the classic gameplay has remained largely unchanged, maintaining the easy-to-learn yet difficult-to-master puzzle mechanics. With Tetris Effect: Connected on Nintendo Switch, developers Monstars, Resonair, and Stage Games have created the most visually satisfying version of Tetris ever produced. It features some beautiful level design complemented by immersive sound effects, resulting in a puzzle game like no other.
The gameplay in Tetris Effect: Connected is what you’d expect from this iconic franchise, with blocks of various shapes dropping from the top of the screen that must be assembled to create and clear lines. Tetris Effect mixes up the basic formula through the visuals and audio design. Most of your playtime will be spent in Tetris Effect‘s “The Journey” mode, which sends players across 30 different levels with their own visual themes and music. However, the gameplay will follow the beat of the music, ramping up the more you succeed with clearing lines. Although this sounds simple, it results in an exceptionally immersive experience. Tetris Effect also features a new Zone mechanic, presenting players with the opportunity to slow time, meaning you can clear more than four lines.
Other than the main single-player journey, there is the robust Effects Mode, including a variety of challenges for you to complete. For instance, Marathon is a mode where you must attempt to get the best score within a 150-line limit. There are a lot of these, as well as special Event activities that grant extra rewards. However, as the name of the game implies, there is the all-new Connected expansion, adding intense local and online multiplayer modes.
You have the classic Score Attack mode, where players compete against one another in a conventional game of Tetris, as well a Zone Battle, allowing you to use the new time-stopping mechanics. Connected Mode, meanwhile, is a cooperative experience where you work together in a team of three to defeat bosses. Being able to experience the addictive gameplay of Tetris with friends is an interesting concept and is executed flawlessly. It can actually be quite challenging, especially if you’re playing with a team that doesn’t understand the intricacies of the game’s mechanics. Eventually, the players “connect” with one another, as their play fields are joined together, resulting in some hectic moments. The variety of modes provides excellent replay value.
In my opinion, the main selling point for Tetris Effect: Connected is its distinct backgrounds and clever utilization of sound. For example, one level sees you in the depths of the ocean, starting off in the darkness, only to eventually be greeted by colorful fish. Unfortunately, playing the game docked doesn’t look as good as playing handheld, mainly because resolution seems a little reduced on Switch. However, if you decided to invest in a Nintendo Switch OLED, Tetris Effect: Connected is an excellent showcase of the new screen, taking advantage of the technology to make its colors pop.
Tetris Effect: Connected is probably my favorite iteration of the beloved puzzler, featuring unique levels with mind-boggling visuals. Playing docked doesn’t look as great as in handheld mode (particularly on Switch OLED) due to Switch resolution differences, but that doesn’t detract from the overall experience. If you’re after a fantastic puzzle game on Nintendo Switch, then Tetris Effect: Connected is an easy recommendation.
A Nintendo Switch review code for Tetris Effect: Connected was provided by the publisher.