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GAME REVIEW: Tetris Effect

GAME REVIEW: Tetris Effect
Posted at 10:00 AM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 15:48:13-05

Tetris Effect is an emotional, immersive take on the classic stack em’ and clear em’ puzzle game. With the combination of a brilliant soundtrack in which the beat progresses with each placement of a block and astonishing visuals that compliment it with the perfect amount of pizazz, you won’t only experience one of the best versions of Tetris ever made: you’ll feel it.

First and foremost, this game is as true to classic Tetris as can be on from a mechanics standpoint. The style it oozes and its attention to detail sets it apart from other Tetris games. While completing a puzzle, beautifully vibrant images evolve in the background depicting real-life locations and trippy patterns. Along with the imagery is a killer soundtrack is made up of catchy electronic beats that create constant positivity that I’m certain catapulted me to play more confidently. Putting on a nice pair of headphones and turning the lights off will only further enhance the experience.

Whether you’re a professional player, completely new, or somewhere in the middle, Tetris Effect has plenty of options to suit your mood. Looking to zone out and not think about the outside world? Check out “Chill Marathon”, a relaxed version of Tetris without the fear of a “game over” looming. Trying to show off to compete with your friends by achieving the ultimate high score? Throw down the gauntlet in “Marathon Mode”. Looking for an added dose of nostalgia? A replica of the 1989 Gameboy version of Tetris is at your disposal.

After sinking in dozens of hours, I’m convinced this game helped to improve my skills on the Tetris battlefield. If you’re willing to put in the work, the game’s various modes end up sharpening your skills. Puzzles with elevated speeds no longer feel as overbearing and my scores continue to increase with each play session. Even after my time with the game, there are still many more themes, songs, and unlockables to obtain, giving Tetris Effect tremendous replay value, making it worth the high price point of $40.

The game’s biggest downfall is the lack of online head-to-head modes. While online elements do exist, they don't expand much past comparing high scores and checking out region population. Perhaps the developers assumed players talking over the game’s music would defeat the purpose of the game’s immersive tendencies, but even stripping out the ability voice chat would have been a fair compromise.

There are very few things “blocking” me from calling this the perfect puzzle game. Tetris Effect’s ability to make me internally say “just one more” over and over and over again is a testament to its creativity and addictiveness. Tetris Effect is a hypnotic, puzzling achievement across the board.

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Review code provided by publisher