Tetris 99

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Tetris 99
Logo of Tetris 99 on a blue background
Director(s)Ryuichi Nakada
Akito Kitamura
Producer(s)Ichirou Mihara
Hitoshi Yamagami
Akira Kinashi
Designer(s)Akito Kitamura
Makoto Hasebe
Programmer(s)Hitoshi Hirashima
Composer(s)Teruo Taniguchi
EngineNintendoWare Bezel Engine[citation needed]
Platform(s)Nintendo Switch
ReleaseNintendo eShop
  • WW: February 13, 2019
Physical release
  • JP: August 9, 2019
  • NA: September 6, 2019
  • EU: September 20, 2019
Genre(s)Puzzle, battle royale
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Tetris 99[a] is a 2019 battle royale puzzle video game developed by Arika and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is an online multiplayer adaptation of Tetris (1984): players move and drop puzzle pieces called tetrominoes onto a playing board, and must clear rows by filling them completely with pieces. Players lose if tetrominoes overflow off the top of the board. Matches contain 99 players, who send additional rows to other players' boards by clearing a row on their own board; whoever is the last man standing without an overflowed board wins the match.

Tetris 99 was released as a free digital download for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. Paid downloadable content and a retail edition have released subsequently. It received favorable reception from critics, has been nominated for several awards, and has been played by over 2 million players. Arika would later develop similar games to Tetris 99 for other popular video game series.


The main gameplay screen of Tetris 99, with the boards of 98 other players seen in the background.

Tetris 99 is a multiplayer puzzle game in which 99 players play against each other at the same time, with the aim to be the last player remaining. As with the traditional Tetris formula, players rotate and drop shaped bricks known as tetrominoes onto a board. Players can clear tetrominoes by completing rows across both sides, whereas players will lose if tetrominoes overflow off the top of the board. As with modern Tetris rules, players have the option to store a tetromino piece to swap out at any time. By clearing multiple lines or performing continuous line clears in a row, players can send "garbage" to other players, which will appear on their board unless they can quickly clear lines in response. More garbage can be sent by completing combination moves in succession of making a "tetris" (matching 4 lines at once) or performing a "T-spin" (squeezing the T-shaped tetromino into a position it would otherwise not fall into by rapidly rotating it).[1]

During gameplay, small grids representing the other 98 players are displayed at the sides of the main board. Players can either choose to target individual players, or have the computer automatically target other players based on one of four criteria: random players, those who are targeting the player, those who are close to being defeated, and those who possess badges. Badges are earned by knocking out a player with garbage (or gray lines), which earns them a piece of a badge, along with any other badges or pieces that player had. The more badges a player completes and possesses, the more lines they can send to other players at a time (up to a 100% boost). At the end of a game, players will earn experience that will increase their level. The game periodically features special "Maximus Cup" events;[2] one of the first Maximus Cups was held in March 2019 where players with the top number of wins over a weekend play period would win rewards within the My Nintendo loyalty program.[3] Many of these events offer players the opportunity to earn special in-game themes based on other Nintendo Switch games.[4][5]

In May 2019, Nintendo released paid downloadable content (DLC) for the game, named the Big Block DLC. The DLC adds 4 offline modes in total: Marathon, the traditional single-player Tetris mode where play continues until the stack reaches the top of the well; CPU Battle, where players battle 98 bot players; Local Arena, where up to eight Nintendo Switch players play in the same arena via local wireless; and Two Player Share Battle, where two players share Joy-Con and play the same game in local co-op.[6]


Tetris 99 was announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation on February 13, 2019, and made available later that day. It is available for free exclusively to players who have subscribed to the Nintendo Switch Online service.[7] Nintendo released a physical version of the game in Japan on August 9, 2019, in North America on September 6, 2019, and in Europe on September 20, 2019. The physical edition includes the Big Block DLC content and a 12-month Nintendo Switch Online voucher.[8][9][10]


Upon release, Tetris 99 received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregator Metacritic.[11] According to IGN Tetris 99 is a "wondrous pandemonium in a battle royale bottle" and that "the massive player count really ups the intensity."[14] The Telegraph said the game is "fiercer than Fortnite" and "as exciting and cutthroat as any video game deathmatch."[17]

During a financial results briefing, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa reported that Tetris 99 had been played by over 2.8 million accounts as of April 2019. Furukawa also noted that the game has boosted "user engagement" with the Nintendo Switch.[18]

Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of the original Tetris, stated that he, "love[s] the game" and called it, "one of the best games of Tetris of the last year. I really like what was done."[19]


Year Award Category Result Ref
2019 2019 Golden Joystick Awards Best Multiplayer Game Nominated [20]
Nintendo Game of the Year Nominated
Titanium Awards Best Family/Social Game Nominated [21]
The Game Awards 2019 Best Multiplayer Game Nominated [22]
2020 New York Game Awards Central Park Children's Zoo Award for Best Kids Game Nominated [23]
23rd Annual D.I.C.E. Awards Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay Nominated [24]
NAVGTR Awards Engineering Nominated [25]
Gameplay Design, Franchise Nominated
Game, Puzzle Nominated


  1. ^ Japanese: テトリス99, Hepburn: Tetorisu 99


  1. ^ Kim, Matt (February 20, 2019). "Insane Tetris 99 Highlights From Players Better Than You'll Ever Be". USGamer. Archived from the original on February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  2. ^ Gach, Ethan (February 14, 2019). "Tetris 99 Has No Tutorial, So Here's What You Need To Know". Kotaku. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Phillips, Tom (March 6, 2019). "Tetris 99's first tournament has an enticing Nintendo Point prize pool". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  4. ^ "Splatoon is coming to Tetris 99 in a special crossover Maximus Cup". 9 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Tetris 99's Ring Fit Crossover Event Now Live".
  6. ^ "A blockbuster battle royale!". Nintendo of Europe GmbH. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  7. ^ Alexander, Julia (February 13, 2019). "Tetris is now a battle royale game with Tetris 99". The Verge. Archived from the original on February 14, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Watts, Steve (July 9, 2019). "Tetris 99 Getting Nintendo Switch Physical Release This Fall". GameSpot. Archived from the original on July 9, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  9. ^ Jenni (July 9, 2019). "Tetris 99 Physical Copies Will Be Released In Europe And Japan". Siliconera. Archived from the original on July 9, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "Now you can own a physical version of #Tetris99 with all of the latest DLC AND a 1-year #NintendoSwitchOnline subscription for $29.99. Grab your copy in stores and start playing on 9/6". Nintendo of America's official Nintendo Vs. Twitter account. July 16, 2019. Archived from the original on July 16, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Tetris 99". Metacritic. Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  12. ^ Hilliard, Kyle (February 18, 2019). "Tetris 99 Review – Winner Winner, Tetris Dinner". Game Informer. Archived from the original on February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  13. ^ Brown, Peter (February 21, 2019). "Tetris 99 Review - Embrace The Chaos". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 24, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Petite, Steven (February 19, 2019). "Tetris 99 Review". IGN. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  15. ^ Anagund (February 19, 2019). "Test : Tetris 99 : Plus intense que le plus intense des Battle Royale !". Jeuxvideo (in French). Archived from the original on February 20, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  16. ^ Craddock, Ryan (February 15, 2019). "Tetris 99 Review (Switch eShop)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on February 15, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  17. ^ Hoggins, Tom (February 24, 2019). "Tetris 99 review: Classic puzzler battle royale is fiercer than Fortnite". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on March 4, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  18. ^ Doolan, Liam (April 25, 2019). "9.8 Million Switch Owners Have Signed Up To The Online Service And 2.8 Million Have Played Tetris 99". Nintendo Life. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  19. ^ Lopez, Alan (June 17, 2019). "Feature: Tetris Creator Alexey Pajitnov On Tetris 99, Tetris Comics And His Favourite Tetris Piece". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on June 16, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  20. ^ "Golden Joystick Awards 2019". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on September 28, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  21. ^ "Titanium Awards 2019". Fun & Serious Game Festival. 9 March 2017. Archived from the original on November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 26, 2019.
  22. ^ Weber, Rachel (November 19, 2019). "All The Game Awards nominations for 2019". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  23. ^ Sheehan, Gavin (January 2, 2020). "The New York Game Awards Announces 2020 Nominees". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on January 4, 2020. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  24. ^ Chalk, Andy (January 13, 2020). "Control and Death Stranding get 8 nominations each for the 2020 DICE Awards". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on January 27, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  25. ^ "2019 Nominees". National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers. January 13, 2020. Archived from the original on January 27, 2020. Retrieved January 20, 2020.

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