When most people think of Tetris, they think of the single-player experience. However, the Tetris series has long had a really fun Vs. Mode (loved going against the CPU in Tetris DX!). Tetris 99 embraces this mode, and gives it a twist, becoming an amazing experience exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
What makes Tetris 99 so great is how it takes the well-founded gameplay of Tetris and turns it into a 99 player last-man-standing competition. On paper, it sounds like a complete mess, but it ends up working incredibly well and is a lot of fun. Battles get quite hectic as you try to survive the onslaught of lines others send you while sending lines to others. The music adds to the frenzy, becoming more intense the longer you survive.
There is a nice system implemented for choosing your target(s). First, you have the choice of selecting one manually with the control stick by moving your target over their playfield (you actually can see all 98 of your opponents’ playfields surrounding yours left and right on the screen; pretty cool!). If you don’t want to spend time doing that, I personally don’t, you can select from a choice of four different categories to target with the right stick, such as those targeting you. Overall, l like the target system, but I don’t like how it uses up the control sticks, which leaves you to use the directional buttons to move your piece. For me personally, using the directional buttons feels awkward, and I would like the option to reroute the ‘move block’ controls to other buttons.
All in all, you really should check out Tetris 99. It’s a great title that works extremely well as a freebie for Nintendo Switch Online users. There isn’t much content included, but there really doesn’t need to be. I’ve played my fair share of it, and I know I’ll be coming back for more, simply because it’s just plain fun. Now let’s hope we get a Puzzle League 99 to go with this!