Tetris Effect was first released back in 2018 on Playstation 4, it was then ported to Windows and supported VR. Now it has been released on Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10 as Tetris Effect: Connected. The difference between this version and the original is the all new competitive modes where players can go up against other Tetris lovers from around the world to see who is best.
Tetris Effect: Connected it also on Xbox Game Pass, so a perfect opportunity to jump into if you just purchased an Xbox Series X like myself. Be sure to check out my initial thoughts on the console here.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play Tetris while on an acid trip? Me neither, but someone clearly tried it and ended up making it into a game because this is all kinds of weird.
Tetris Effect: Connected looks fantastic, well for a Tetris game. It is never going to break boundaries and push graphics to the limit. But the developers have perhaps made Tetris look the best it ever has done, its certainly a huge improvement over my first experience of Tetris on the Game Boy in the early 90s.
The playfield and blocks feature a variety of visual appearances depending on what background is being used. Most of them are fine to play with, ranging from cogs to toy blocks, but some do make it ever so slightly more difficult to play.
And then moving onto the backgrounds, these range from dolphins swimming in the ocean, which is quite tranquil, to full blown acid trips which really start to hurt your eyes after a while.
If you focus on the playfield then you can block the background out for the most part, but it can definitely detract from the experience as much as it enhances it.
Really fun concept, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
The game plays just like a regular Tetris game, blocks fall down the playfield and you have to make complete lines to make them disappear and try and reach a certain score, complete enough lines, or outlast your opponent.
If you’ve played Tetris before then you understand the concept of the game. If you haven’t, then you only really need a few minutes and you will figure it out.
Normally I like to flesh out each part of the review and really go in depth. But its Tetris, its the same game it has been since the 80s, there isn’t much else to say and that isn’t a bad thing. It works and it works well.
Tetris Effect: Connected features a variety of modes and things to do. The game has its “story” mode called Journey. This is essentially a variety of playfields with different backgrounds and effects. Its really there to show off all the different backgrounds in the game.
Effects mode allows you to choose from a huge variety of modes. Some of these modes range from clearing lines as fast as possible, sped up Tetris, as well as some other playlists. If you want to get more out of your afternoon session of Tetris then you will likely find yourself in this mode a lot.
Finally is multiplayer which allows you to play with or against players from around the world, as well as local multiplayer. Players can play with others against AI, or can play against each other competitively in ranked modes. If you want to prove you’re the best then check out the multiplayer mode and see if you’re as good as you think you are.
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Journey Mode is Tetris Effect’s version of a story mode. Being Tetris there isn’t much room for a story, so instead the mode just makes you play a variety of Tetris playfields, basically showcasing all of the different backgrounds and visual effects in the game.
The mode is split up into 7 sections, each with a few different levels in it. Once you complete a level it automatically takes you to the next, usually continuing the same speed you were on during the previous level. Unless you fail and then it starts you back at the default one for the level.
Some levels are really easy, some start off more difficult. But overall none should give you too much trouble and its just a matter of putting a couple of hours in to complete them.
Multiplayer is a great way to test your skill as a Tetris player, while also giving the game another big reason to keep going back to it.
Players can take part in a variety of modes from competitive 1v1 to co-op vs AI in a variety of modes and settings. It is a great addition to the game and something that will keep the game thriving, as long as the servers don’t end up empty.
I did experience some connection issues which was annoying. On one match I was so close to victory and then it just lost connection. Hopefully these sort of issues will be ironed out because it would be a shame for connection issues to continue as that could drastically hinder whether the game maintains an online community.
Overall Tetris Effect: Connected is a very fun game and a great upgrade from standard Tetris. Since it is Tetris, it kind of is what it is. The formula works and it hasn’t really strayed away from it in the last 35+ years because it doesn’t need to.
Visually it is probably the best it has ever been, but it would be nice to be able to tone down some of the backgrounds because after 30-60 minutes of watching an acid trip take place, I just want to turn it off.
I’d say this game is more ideal in quick bursts, if you’ve got 20 minutes free then jump on for a few matches. I don’t really see this as a game the average player would play for 8 hours straight, unless they’re really addicted to Tetris.