Digital artwork, featuring the game's logo
|Release||February 13, 2019|
|Genre(s)||Puzzle, battle royale|
Tetris 99[a] is a free online multiplayer version of the tile-laying puzzle game Tetris, developed by Arika and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch in February 2019. Incorporating elements of the battle royale genre, Tetris 99 has up to 99 players competing simultaneously to complete rows with falling tetrominoes, which in turn send attacks in the form of "garbage rows" to other players with the goal of knocking them out of the game.
Tetris 99 is a battle royale-style 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 normal 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).
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 will periodically feature special events; one of its first such events 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.
In May 2019, Nintendo released paid downloadable content (DLC) for the game, named the Big Block DLC. The DLC adds 2 offline modes: CPU Battle, where players battle 98 bot players; and Marathon, where players play an endless game of Tetris, and challenged to achieve the highest score. Nintendo plans to release more modes in the future.
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.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (February 2019)
Upon release, Tetris 99 received "generally favourable reviews" according to the review aggregator Metacritic. According to IGN Tetris 99 is a "wondrous pandemonium in a battle royale bottle" and that "the massive player count really ups the intensity." The Telegraph said the game is "fiercer than Fortnite" and "as exciting and cutthroat as any video game deathmatch."
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.
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- Romano, Sal (May 9, 2019). "Tetris 99 DLC 'Big Block' now available, '3rd Maximus Cup' online event begins May 17". Gematsu. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
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- 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.
- 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.