It’s safe to say that ever since Fortnite appeared, pretty much any game company is thinking of hopping on the battle royale bandwagon; And up next on the diving board is Nintendo. But instead of adding a 100-player mode to Splatoon 2, the Big N has chosen to launch a 99-player version of everyone’s favorite puzzle game. If stacking colored blocks and competing in battle royales are your jams, Tetris 99 delivers both in spades.
If you’re a newcomer, you’ll be pleased to hear that the mechanics are not only very easy, but very addictive; You move blocks to the bottom row of the grid, change how they are lined up before they hit the ground, fill an entire horizontal row, and try to last as long as possible before your grid overflows. In multiplayer matches, completing rows will send Garbage Blocks to your opponents; These blocks cannot be shifted around before they land in your rivals’ grids, which gives you a chance to pull ahead or catch up.
Being a battle royale game, the only mode available for play is the titular Tetris 99 mode; It’s up to you to place as high as possible, as there is an obligatory leveling-up system. They say you get what you pay for, and in this case, you’re getting this game for free if you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. And despite being a free download, there are no microtransactions to be found in here. Yes, the package may be thin, but a free 99-player puzzle game for online subscribers is a really nice treat on Nintendo’s part.
This review may have been short, but when you’re reviewing a puzzle game that only has one mode of play, a short-and-sweet review won’t really be a surprise. Tetris 99 is nowhere near a full-blown Tetris game with arcade and local-multiplayer modes, but it still holds its own as a battle-royale puzzle game, and that’s all it’s supposed to do. If you’ve paid for the Switch Online service and you have the memory to spare, go ahead and download this if you’re adept at puzzles.