Tetris 99 - Switch

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Tetris 99 (Switch)
Viewed: 2D Static screen Genre:
Puzzle: Falling Blocks
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Developer: Arika Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 20 Sept 2019 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Features: Handheld Mode, TV Mode, Tabletop Mode, Match Play
Subscriptions: Paid online membership service
Accessories: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Connectivity: Downloadable content


Tetris 99 is one of the most unexpected spins of the battle royale formula going. It might not have seemed all that obvious to the gaming public how one of the oldest puzzle videogames might give the likes of Fortnite a run for its money, but fortunately Nintendo and developer Arika have more imagination than the rest of us.

Arika, for its part, knows its Tetris. It developed The Grand Master series for the arcades, considered by many scholars of the falling block to be some of the best Tetris games in the world. In other words: you're in good hands.

It works like this: as you clear lines, you can deal damage to other players. Clearing one won't make much difference, but clearing multiple lines at once will send trouble in the direction of your opponents. Meanwhile, incoming attacks appear on a timer before they land, so you have a little time to minimise their impact. All this will sound somewhat familiar if you've played a versus mode in Tetris before. The twist, of course, is that there are up to 99 players in any one game.

You have to decide who it is you want to attack. The default is for the attacks to be randomised, but you could also target those who are already close to being knocked out, those attacking you or those who have earned the most badges (which you get when you're doing well). This opens up whole new levels of strategy and adds the addictive nature of battle royale games to the already massively sticky appeal of Tetris.

Throw in regular online events and Tetris 99 is a beguilingly fun twist on a classic formula.