|Engine||Unreal Engine 4|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Oculus Quest, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|
November 9, 2018
July 23, 2019
May 14, 2020
Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Tetris Effect is a tile-matching puzzle video game developed by Japanese studios Monstars and Resonair and published by Enhance Games. The game was released worldwide exclusively for the PlayStation 4 on November 9, 2018, and features support for the PlayStation VR. A Microsoft Windows version, with support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, released on July 23, 2019. The game garnered high praise from critics and was named Game of the Year by several publications. Xbox One and Xbox Series X versions, named Tetris Effect Connected, were announced during Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, 2020, a year after Windows release. The expansion will release as a free update for exisitng platforms in 2021.
As in the original Tetris game, the player must place tetrominos into a playfield to clear complete lines. Tetris Effect adds themes and music across thirty different stages with gameplay tied to the beat of the music. A "Zone" mechanic allows players to place several blocks at once, which allows them to potentially clear out more than sixteen lines simultaneously, performing a "decahexatris". Clearing 18 or 19 lines simultaneously will perform a Perfectris. It is possible for 20 lines to be cleared at once thus accomplishing an Ultimatris. Above that is the 21 line clear, called a Kirbtris, named after the player to pioneer the strategy, Kirby703,, followed by the 22 line Impossibilitris, with the highest possible number of lines to be cleared at once being 23. This has been proven possible, but not yet accomplished in game. The game also includes a meta-game leveling system that leads to new challenges for players as they progress.
Tetris Effect has been in development since 2012, and is inspired by the phenomenon of the same name, where after playing Tetris for a long period of time, players would continue to see falling Tetris blocks for some time after quitting the game. Co-producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi had wanted for many years to produce a music-based game around Tetris, but its licensing had been held by Electronic Arts, making it difficult to use. Around 2012, Mizuguchi began discussing with Henk Rogers, the founder of The Tetris Company which now owns the rights to Tetris about developing a version of Tetris set to music with a "zone" that players would achieve while playing, leading to the start of the game's development. The game is also compatible with the PlayStation VR headset. The game was released on November 9, 2018.
A Microsoft Windows version, with support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR systems, launched July 23, 2019, followed by Oculus Quest on May 14, 2020. An Xbox One and Xbox Series X port was announced on July 23, 2020. Known as Tetris Effect Connected, this version will include an all-new multiplayer mode. The multiplayer expansion will release as a free update for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR, Epic Game Store, and Oculus Quest versions in Summer 2021.
Upon launch day, Tetris Effect was met with highly positive reviews with many critics praising new game modes, the soundtrack, the visuals, and VR integration, with some critics calling it as a fitting love letter to Tetris. The game currently holds an 89 out of 100 on Metacritic, indicating favorable reviews from critics.
The game won the award for "Best VR/AR Game" at the 2018 Game Critics Awards. It was nominated for the same category at The Game Awards 2018, and won both the Coney Island Dreamland Award for Best Virtual Reality Game and the Tin Pan Alley Award for Best Music in a Game at the New York Game Awards; it was also nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition" at the D.I.C.E. Awards, and won the awards for "Game, Puzzle" and "Original Light Mix Score, Franchise" at the National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Graphics, Technical". It also won the award for "Excellence in Musical Score" at the SXSW Gaming Awards, whereas its other nomination was for "Excellence in SFX"; in addition, it was nominated for "Best Audio", the "Innovation Award", and "Best VR/AR Game" at the Game Developers Choice Awards, for "Best Interactive Score" at the 2019 G.A.N.G. Awards, and for "Audio Achievement" and "Music" at the 15th British Academy Games Awards, and won the award for "Best Audio" at the Develop:Star Awards. The game was also nominated for "Best Audio", "Best VR/AR Game", and "PlayStation Game of the Year" at the 2019 Golden Joystick Awards.
Eurogamer named Tetris Effect its game of the year for 2018, writing "It's a game of utter purity, a contemporary take on a timeless classic, and a genuinely inspiring and uplifting experience. It doesn't care about the zeitgeist, because it is, in itself, the history and the future of video games rolled into one. It's Tetris Effect." The game was also deemed the best game of 2018 by Giant Bomb.
Tetris Effect sold 4,372 units in Japan during its first week of release.
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