Originally published on DualShockers on November 20, 2018. I have republished the introduction of the review here for myself. If you would like to see the original post, check it out here.
My grandmother introduced me to Tetris. She had an OG GameBoy with not only one, but two of the 35 million copies of Tetris sold for the portable powerhouse. She also had Tetris Plus for the PlayStation 1. She loved Tetris, as many people do.
Tetris’s pure gameplay is arguably perfect. The seven tetrominoes fall in a random order, you stack and rotate the pieces to create lines that disappear once complete. This pure puzzle gameplay is the digital manifestation of simple to learn, but difficult to master. Yet in spite of this achievement, Tetris and its formula have been altered countless times.
The many and unique editions of Tetris are the other defining trait of this cultural icon. The gameplay of Tetris may be universal, but the spin-offs, different editions, and varied platforms are diverse like the people that consume them. You’ve got games like Tetris Plus, Tetris DS, Tetris: The Grand Master 3 – Terror Instinct, Tetris with Cardcaptor Sakura Eternal Heart. The list seems as endless as marathon mode when you scroll through the Wikipedia page.
Throughout the franchise’s 35 years, these two identifying characteristics of the series haven’t gone hand-in-hand, but more so gone together in tandem. Separate elements, but equally essential to the series’ everlasting success.
Enter Tetris Effect–Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s latest fusion of puzzle gameplay with music and visual stimulation has intertwined the gameplay with unique attributes in this new edition of the iconic series. This merging of gameplay and aesthetic has happened to create something universal, yet unique to the series. Out of a game that no one asked for, something has been made that everyone can understand. Spawning from a dot matrix on a Russian computer to three-dimensional blocks in a virtual space, Tetris has evolved into a language everyone can understand.
Side note: Now that there is multiplayer in Tetris Effect: Connected (and if I still believed in scoring reviews), I’d give this an easy 10/10.