Tetris Effect Review

Tetris Effect Review
Developed by Resonair
Published by Enhance, Inc.
Reviewed on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR


Tetris Effect

When you think puzzle game as either a gamer or non-gamer one of your first thoughts is probably Tetris. Back in the 80’s, Tetris was a phenomenon that shook the world and made people think about video games differently. Both young and old enjoyed the game and since its initial release, we have seen many variations of the series. To this day, no version has truly captured people’s hearts like that version. Tetris Effect may be the game that changes that and brings both classic fans and new ones together.

Tetris Effect

Tetris Effect is a new game from Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who has created beloved games such as Space Channel 5, Rez and Lumines. Although Lumines is a puzzle game, this is his first go at making a Tetris game, and he doesn’t disappoint. You are greeted with beautiful graphics and particle effects very reminiscent to Rez and Every Extend Extra, another game by Mizuguchi. This game is a wonder to see and hear. Tetris is a puzzle game where different shaped blocks made known as Tetrominos fall one at a time from the top of the screen and slowly fall to the bottom of the screen. Your goal is to make lines using said Tetrominos by rotating them. Once you make a line, it disappears and goes to your score. You can also hold one Tetromino to save for a later time to help plan out a combo as well as force Tetrominos down faster.

In Tetris Effect, there is one new major feature in the game, the ZONE mode. This is a meter that fills up while you play. When its full, you can tap R2 or L2 to activate ZONE mode which will freeze your Tetromino on the top allowing you to place it on the stage as you please. Lines made will move to the bottom and will all disappear once ZONE mode is depleted. This is a great way to get out of tough situations.

Tetris Effect

When starting up, you can choose from two main modes, Journey mode and Effects mode. Journey mode will lets you play Classic Tetris with a new coat of paint and some minor gameplay changes. You can play the game in Beginner, Normal and Expert difficulties. Once you choose your difficulty, you will start at stage 1 of 27. Each stage requires you to clear roughly 36 lines to progress to the next stage. Once a stage is complete you will start the next stage immediately. The major difference between stages other than the look, is that the speed changes. Speed, when it comes to Tetris is how fast the Tetrominos fall from the top of the screen. Some stages will start you off at specific speeds and fluctuates while you play, usually with the beat of the music. Sometimes it will speed up, sometimes it will slow down, it truly depends on the stage.

Effects Mode allows you to make a custom avatar and compete in high scores in very unique modes of Tetris. There are a total of fifteen game styles under four categories: Classic, Relax, Focus, and Adventurous. Here are some examples of styles available in Effects Mode: Ultra mode where you have 3 minutes to get the best score and Chill Marathon where you have to get the best score with 150 lines but with no game over. Then there’s Mystery mode where you just play Tetris as long as you can while random effects occur. Some of these effects will be giant Tetrominos, altered camera angles, and even flipped screen and controls. This style is a lot of fun if you’re looking for something very different. These are only some of many styles available in Effects Mode.

Graphically, Tetris Effect is beautiful. The simple yet stunning graphics and particle effects will mesmerize you. Each stage in the game has a different theme. Some are water themes with whales, dolphins or jellyfish. Others are more abstract with windmills moving at you or strange figures performing some type of ritual. The graphics will constantly evolve and change while you progress in the stage. The music and sound effects are top notch; if you are familiar with Lumines you will feel right at home. The music goes smoothly with the graphics and the way you move the Tetrominos. So every time you flip or move or drop your blocks, the more you add to the overall music.The tracks are fantastic, some intense while most relaxing and almost Zen like. I highly recommend playing on a nice surround sound system or headphones to truly appreciate the work that went into the soundtrack.

Tetris Effect

One major function this game supports is PlayStation VR. Though the VR mode for this game works great, there is not much to it. Being a 2D based puzzle game limits the experience. The particle effects look fantastic exploding around you and some goes with some of the environmental effects, but as a puzzle game don’t expect this to be the killer VR app you been waiting for. Still, f you have the option to try this out in VR, I definitely recommend checking it out because it is quite a trip. As a whole, I still prefer playing on a TV screen. The game supports 1080p on a base PS4 while the Pro supports 4K, and boy does this look good in 4K. The game also supports HDR adding immensely to the crazy lighting effects the game offers.

Tetris Effect is a masterpiece of a puzzle game. There is something here for both new and old fans as well as fans of Mizuguchi’s work. There is actually a lot of content for a puzzle game, which you don’t see very often. The only drawback here is the lack of any true multiplayer mode. Other then score rankings in Effect Mode, there is no VS multiplayer which was a highlight in the original Tetris. Otherwise this is a near perfect game in the genre and if you like puzzle games at all, you owe it to yourself to play this game.


20out of 5
20out of 5
18out of 5


Though lacking in multiplayer, it makes up with a robust amount of single player content. Top that with beautiful visuals and music to boot, Tetris Effect is the pinnacle of puzzle games and is a must play for any fan of the genre.


4.83 out of 5

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