Review: Tetris Effect

Tetris is a puzzle video game that was first created by Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984 while studying artificial intelligence in Moscow. It continues to be the best-selling video game to date having sold over one hundred and seventy million copies to date. Tetris Effect is the creation of a reimagined Tetris for modern times with the rhythmic soundtrack and a peaceful atmospheric presentation that completely immerses the player into a magical world that has been created by the same team that brought us Rez Infinite and Lumines.

Tetris Effect is split into two modes: Journey and Effect. Journey Mode is the main campaign that features twenty seven stages across six areas, concluding in a final stage showdown. This mode is an adventure of emotion and discovery as players will quickly uncover this truth as they begin the first stage titled The Deep. This aquatic themed journey showcases the many wonders of the ocean as fish, sting rays, and whales travel across the screen as you guide each Tetrimino to its final destination. Each stage evolves and reacts to every rotation, block placement, and line completion, creating a wondrous spectacle whose creation is credited to the player. The sounds and special effects perfectly compliment the overall tone that each stage sets out to create.

Players will travel across deserts, fly over bodies of water alongside dolphins, explore the tranquility of a forest, climb to the peak of a mountain, and explore the depths of the oceans. Each stage’s environment will emit different emotions and remind players of a certain moment, or experience, in their lives. Engaging in Tetris Effect is simply a relaxing experience worth visiting, especially when coming home from a stressful day at school, or work. The transition from one stage to another without any loading screens makes the journey even more memorable. Your actions are graded and experience is gained from clearing each stage. Replayability is also endless as you will always want to beat a prior high score, or step up the difficulty to see if you can compete on an entirely other level.

The addition of a zone mechanic also allows players to stop time and continue clearing lines without the constant struggle of blocks reaching the bottom before you can strategize its placement. Clearing several lines while in the zone mode will also grant the player additional bonus points. I constantly relied on the zone mechanic to aid me through the more intense parts of each stage as the speed would intensify resulting in very little time to concentrate on positioning blocks. These speed hikes occur throughout each stage and increase in difficulty as you progress through the Journey Mode.

The Effects Mode is where players can find additional modes that have various objectives. Marathon will have you searching to attain your best score within a one hundred and fifty line limit, Ultra will give you three minutes to compete, Sprint will make you clear forty lines as fast as possible, and Master is the fastest speed level that is for the more advanced Tetris players. There are also additional modes that do not feature a game over option, so players of all skill level can enjoy Tetris Effect.

The imagery and colours are utilized to create spectacular visuals that can be distracting at times as you work diligently to complete each stage while watching an ever evolving scenic representation of themes across various landscapes. Completing the Journey Mode will unlock Theatre Mode which is where players can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the stages without the concern of gameplay. This mode can be used to offer a sense of relaxation.

Tetris Effect can be enjoyed in either 2D, or 3D with a PS VR. It truly offers an unforgettable experience with PS VR and anyone who has one should not hesitate in picking up Tetris Effect. It will transform your reality as you enter into a dream state where you experience the magical world firsthand.

The forefront of Tetris Effect is the classic Tetris experience, but the overall package is enhanced by the aesthetic presentation and a soothing soundtrack to create an over encompassing immersive experience that will continue the success of Tetris to the veterans and let the new generation experience a cult-classic title like we have never before witnessed. Tetris Effect comes highly recommended and needs to be experienced on PS VR to fully appreciate the visual presentation and emotional tone that is behind this work of art.

[A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]