Breaking the Old Standard

Whenever someone says “battle royale,” what do you think of? I would imagine most of you picture Fortnite, or the newly introduced Apex Legends come to mind. What about…Tetris. Yes, you heard me right. Tetris! It is the stacking puzzler in which you use variants of 4 blocks and stack them on each other until you get a complete row and that row vanishes. Sound familiar? No one would ever associate this legendary title with battle royale games like CS:GO and Black Ops 4. That is until Tetris 99 joined the fray.

This title is a brand new twist on a classic game. The Nintendo Switch exclusive was released last week after the airing of this quarter’s Nintendo Direct podcast. Created by Akira and published by Nintendo, Tetris 99 is Tetris just as we all remember it. This title includes every detail of the classic experience. However, instead of simply facing off against an endless wave of mindless levels, you now must face off with 98 other players who can make your round come to an end quite quickly.

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This game pits you against 98 other players that want to be the last to survive.

Here’s How it Works

When you start a game Tetris 99, you are placed in a queue that brings together all of the other players in the room. You are able to see your screen in the middle, while all of the players’ screens are huddled around the sides. Using the left-hand directional-pad, you can move your blocks and spin them with a press of the button. Simple Tetris, right. As everyone else does that, however, a chaotic experience starts to unfold.

Players can target each other for an attack using the left directional-stick, and they can focus on special attackers, like those who are close to getting KO’d, with the right directional stick. Every time your attacker breaks down one of their rows, that goes against you to add a row onto your stack. If you have five people attacking you at once, then you better hope that they get taken out soon, or else you will receive too many stacks to bounce back.

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The more blocks you remove at once, the more damage you inflict on your opponents. Save up those long ones!

A Legend Reborn

Many aspects of this game that are still being uncovered by the players. Some players have discovered that they receive certain bonuses when they perform difficult maneuvers to save themselves. What used to give points now grants more powerful attacks on opponents, so it pays to take a few risks from time to time.

Tetris itself is a hallmark of the gaming community. This newest title only helps to cement its place among the great franchises of video game history. Tetris 99 is a brand new take on a game mode that feels so “cookie cutter” that new games struggle to expand upon it. The battle royale has always started from the air but now it begins in a simple game screen filled with other game screens. Tetris 99 is creative, unique, and exactly what the battle royale game mode needs to continue being relevant to players.

Don’t take my word for it; you should check out the game yourself. Tetris 99 is now available for free on the Nintendo Switch. To play, however, you must have a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription. Do you think you can come out on top in Tetris 99? Just know that the odds are stacked against you.