Tetris 99 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Neil Flynn 22.05.2019 2

Review for Tetris 99 on Nintendo Switch

It has been said a thousand times already, but Tetris was the absolute must have title for the Game Boy back in the '90s, as every man, woman and child found themselves addicted to sorting Tetriminos into tidy piles - a phenomenon that widened the gaming spectrum long before Brain Training and Nintendogs allegedly diversified the market. Skip forward to 2019 and Tetris, as simple as it is, is still as addictive as it has ever been.

Tetris 99 hard dropped during the February 2019 Nintendo Direct, and from out of nowhere was included exclusively as part of Nintendo Switch Online. The concept is much more straightforward than more recent Tetris titles. Gone are the gimmicks of Tetris Effect, or the Puyos from PuyoPuyoTetris. Instead this version of Tetris is plain in comparison only retaining the hold and T-spin features from modern iterations. Instead of facing an endless run or CPU opponents, Tetris99 pits 99 players worldwide against each other in a frantic and stressful online experience to finish at the top of the pile.

With the rise of Battle Royale games, it is no surprise that developers are jumping on the bandwagon, but nobody saw Tetris adopting the idea. There is only one mode available in here, and it requires a constant Internet connection. For those unacquainted with Tetris the concept is simple: blocked shapes known as Tetrminos fall down from the top of the screen, and the player must tidily piece them into place. Pieces can be moved, rotated and held to help formulate the perfect combination. Each time a horizontal line is complete it will disappear from action, but failing to do so will result in game over.

Screenshot for Tetris 99 on Nintendo Switch

Initially Tetrminos fall slowly, but as time goes on they will begin to do so rapidly, which in turn increases the difficulty. Unlike past entries, this doesn't focus on a score of successive cleared lines, but rather the concept of staying alive for as long as possible. Whenever a line is cleared it sends this cleared line, otherwise known as 'junk' to an opposing player. Sending junk can be done at random or it can be targeted at; specific players, high level players, players who are struggling or a retaliatory tactic of attacking the other attacking players. These options can be changed at will during battle by using the right analogue stick which can ultimately change how each round of Tetris is played.

Visually Tetris99 is very basic, but there are some great animations, such as sending other players multiple lines of junk displays a golden wavy splosh effect. The soundtrack is basic only featuring a handful of iconic themes, but get into the last 50 players and the music changes to a much more upbeat tune, get into the Top 10 and the music goes into a frantic fast paced theme that would send any professional into a cold sweat. This level of musical tension and fast upbeat gameplay is somewhat reminiscent of how Thumper feels when it ramps up the ante.

Screenshot for Tetris 99 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

This is what Nintendo need to keep on doing to ensure subscription to Nintendo Switch Online stays worthwhile, however, this is just Tetris with a very addictive online element, and can quickly wane once the initial honeymoon period is over. Those who really enjoy basic Tetris will be right at home with this iteration. It is fast, frantic and somewhat unpredictable gameplay is what makes it so addictive in the first place - for others, the repetition might kick in after some time.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Our member of the week

Got my free Game Boy Tetris theme!

( Edited 23.05.2019 12:54 by RudyC3 )

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

Me too! This is a title that keeps on giving!

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