Hey Harvey!

Posted on Dec 21st 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Tetris 99

2019 has been an excellent year for great game releases.  Death Stranding, Control, A Plague Tale, Bloodstained, Super Mario Maker 2, Tetris Effect, The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors, Gears 5, River City Girls, and lots of other titles made their way into our collection this year and were greatly enjoyed.  But as the title gives away, the game I give highest kudos too this year is definitely Tetris 99.

Battle Royale Tetris was a joke punchline I  had used before 2019, so when it was surprise--announced around Valentine's day this year as a freebie on Nintendo's Online service, my eyebrows got as much a workout as anyone.  I have to admit to being suckered into actually subscribing to the service because of the title, even feeling a little sheepish at being so easily seduced by an obvious ploy.  Still, I was impressed by the simple, clean, and most important, great playing version of my favorite game.

I'm not really an expert, but I would consider myself a bit of a low-level Tetris connoisseur.  Between the lows (Tetris on CD-i) to the highs (Tetris DS) I try to pick up and put time into every version I can get my hands on.  While I have nostalgia for some older versions, for the longest time I considered the Game Boy Color's Tetris DX to be my favorite.  It plays exceptionally smooth and includes a number of great modes including one that develops a competitive AI that increases to match a player's skill, a feature I still find fascinating and perfectly challenging.

When it comes to the Battle Royale genre, I toyed with it on a few games and while I can see the appeal, it isn't really for me.  So imagine my surprise at how I got hooked with Tetris 99.  At first the only thing to the game was the titular multiplayer mode.  It was a fun distraction and definitely worth my occasional time.  Then came some free updates and also paid DLC, which I went ahead and picked up if for no other reason than to support the game.

Now ten months later, Tetris 99 is a full-blown complete version of Tetris with the standard compliment of single-player modes and multiplayer variations as well as the original 99 mode.  There are daily challenges to earn tickets, custom themes to buy with those tickets, avatars that are unlocked by in-game accomplishments, special competitive cups to earn prizes and special themes, and most recently, password-optional team games.  I'm continuously impressed with how much keeps getting added to what is already a feature-rich version of Tetris.  There is even a physical copy that comes with a 12 month Nintendo Online subscription (to assure the player can enjoy the main attraction, as well as soften the $30 MSRP.) 

If you have a Switch and are even a slight fan of Tetris, this game gets my highest recommendation.  Out of everything I've played this year I'm as impressed as anyone that this ended up at my top, and I imagine Tetris 99 staying in my play cycle long into the future.


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Not a bad pick at all. It came out of nowhere, spun the genres into something new and addictive and is still getting content.
I have over 150 hours into this one. :0
But... but how can a game from 20 years ago be your game-of-the-year for 2019? Am I missing something here?

So I'm slackur's son, and he's addicted.
I asked him about it, and he said, "Addicted in a good way, I like Tetris."
He has a Game Boy in his bathroom.

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