Winner Winner Tetris Dinner!
February 18, 2019 5:29 PM   Subscribe

Tetris 99 [YouTube][Game Trailer] “The goal is simple: 99 people are playing Tetris simultaneously, and the last surviving player wins. It’s ridiculous and hectic, and it’s also kind of amazing. At its core, the game is still Tetris as you know it. Tetrominoes of various shapes fall from the top, and it’s your job to line them up and clear away complete lines. The blocks are even the same color as usual, and the familiar Tetris theme hums along in the background. The difference, though, is that your ultimate goal isn’t a high score. It’s to be the last surviving player. As columns overflow and players get knocked out, the number of participants steadily dwindles.” [via: The Verge]

• Tetris 99 manages to make the classic game more intense [Polygon]
“On the left side of my screen is a growing queue of the garbage opponents can send my way. The blocks change appearance depending on their impending arrival. Grey blocks mean I have some time before they appear, yellow means they are getting close, and a wild red color means my next dropped block will usher in the arrival of unwanted blocks. As this meter fills up, I need to shift gears and try to clear as many lines as possible to counter the attack. This of course, is never easy — it is Tetris after all. If I’m unlucky and can’t fend off the flood of garbage blocks, my entire board can fill up in an instant with one attack. It’s a nightmarishly fast way to get knocked out. It also means that I can never slow my pace, as a momentary lapse could mean game over. I also have the ability to target opponents with my own junk blocks, although the system itself isn’t clearly explained. At any time during a match, I can select one of four types of targets: K.O.s, Badges, Attackers, and Randoms. The latter two allow me to send my garbage blocks to a player that is directly attacking me or I can send them to random players.”
• Tetris 9: a lot of fun and it can get surprisingly intense [Game Informer]
“As you defeat opponents, you get badges, which let you send exponentially more deleted lines to the competition. Getting to choose who gets your blocks expands Tetris’ baked-in thoughtful puzzle gameplay and it adds a fun layer of strategy to the endgame. Figuring out how those new mechanics work on the fly can be intimidating, though. A tutorial would have been helpful, since I spent my early rounds not really understanding what I was doing, even if I was playing Tetris well. Thankfully, if you’re a skilled Tetris player uninterested in those new mechanics, you can succeed without fully engaging with that element. The random nature of who you are competing against leads to frustrating rounds where you get unfairly decimated within the first few minutes. An overwhelming number of lines can get dropped on you at once, and even if you were playing well, it can knock you out. Thankfully, jumping into a new round is relatively quick, so you won’t feel the sting of defeat too long. You level up as you play, but outside of the number next to your name going higher, and the icon representing you changing at certain tiers, the progression isn’t particularly rewarding. The overall scope of the game is limited, but it’s engaging enough to keep you coming back for more.”
• Tetris 99: How to Attack Other Players [AOTF]
“Do you want to focus on getting KOs, or try to take out the players who are attacking you? Would you rather go for random opponents or those who have earned more badges (KO’d other players)? These are you four choices, assigned to up, down, left, and right respectively. So far, the best strategy in the early game seems to be to focus in on KOs, flicking the right analog stick up to tell the game to do this for you. This means you’ll be sending Tetris pieces to whomever is lagging behind and most easily defeated. After while you probably want to switch to Attackers, especially if you see that a lot of players are focusing in on you. Push the analog stick down to select this. The other two can be used, but so far aren’t offering much more than these three choices. And that’s how to attack other players in Tetris 99.”
posted by Fizz (47 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 


highest I've been so far is 9th, which felt simultaneously exhilarating and impossible especially since I was obliterated mere moments after the "top ten" warning came around.

I have absolutely no comprehension of those who can execute any kind of coherent attacking/defense strategy beyond letting the right stick auto-pick for you. I go with Attackers now because it seems (weirdly) the most reliable defensive strategy to get you through the early game clean.
posted by Kybard at 5:52 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


oh also: this game is completely brilliant and one of those lovely, increasingly rare moments where "what if X, but also Y" actually made a good thing
posted by Kybard at 5:53 PM on February 18 [6 favorites]


I've been playing this, and it's a very fun variation on Tetris. I've managed to get to 5th, myself, and it gets frantic at the end. 0
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:54 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


There was a SNES game called Bombliss, or Tetris Blast in the US, that was a two-player, one-TV version of this. Your tetrominoes were made out of little squares, some of which were red; if you packed a bunch of the little red squares together, they would make a bomb that would clear a bunch of your screen and dump the blocks on your buddy's screen. If you could get past the friendship-destroying aspects of it, it was brilliant and absolutely hilarious to play. I have little doubt this is a similar kind of good time.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:56 PM on February 18


I've been playing this, and it's a very fun variation on Tetris. I've managed to get to 5th, myself,

I hit 44 in my first play and that felt extremely satisfying. This game mode feels like it shouldn't work but somehow it absolutely does. Still not sure if we've hit peak "battle royale", but I'm glad this game exists. It's fun and it's frantic.
posted by Fizz at 5:58 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Haven't played yet, but if I understand correctly, you can't target players individually, but you can target people who happen to be targeting you, people who would likely be KO'd, people who have earned "badges" by KO'ing people, or just random players? Interesting trying to work out the strategy, my instinct would be to target good players early on in the hopes of having an attack reinforced by randoms, so I guess go for badges at first, then switch to KO's in the mid game, and then to attackers when it gets down to the final few.

I'm curious to see if it has staying power, it seems like for most people it'd be either a frustrating exercise in randomly getting destroyed, or just a slog to get down to a standard multiplayer tetris game.
posted by lucidium at 5:58 PM on February 18


I'm sure it's great and all, but I'm not a social gamer so all I want is a great version of Tetris on the Switch and no PuyoTetris doesn't count.
posted by symbioid at 5:59 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


I got to 9th once. The game is so fun to play or even to watch others play.
posted by deezil at 5:59 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


This might push me over the edge on buying a Switch.
posted by kimberussell at 5:59 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


so all I want is a great version of Tetris on the Switch

Consider Lumines Remastered. It will satisfy a similar itch.
posted by Fizz at 6:02 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


It’s hella fun. Highest I ever got was 6 and yeah it gets...physical toward the end.
posted by Doleful Creature at 6:04 PM on February 18


I won a game and got 2nd last night! I possess few specific skills except for playing 1-2 moves ahead and always hard dropping pieces, but those are both pretty key.

The biggest advice I have is, it's probably more important to keep a clear board early on than it is to make Tetrises, so you don't get targeted by people with "KOs" selected
posted by LSK at 6:09 PM on February 18 [6 favorites]


Wow, I got to 24. That gets hard fast, I had zero time to think about targeting.
posted by lucidium at 6:11 PM on February 18


Oh man. I just happened to notice that this was freely available (given the Nintendo subscription of course) and thought “hey, I like Tetris - let’s check this out” and didn’t read the description. I guess I just assumed the 99 meant maybe 1999? Like maybe it was a rerelease of some tetris edition?

It took me a surprisingly long time to figure out what the hell was happening - “Why am I in danger? Where are all these trash rows coming from? What the hell just happened to make 8 rows of junk appear?” And then I saw the leaderboard, and that’s also when I realized the background margins were actually meaningful.

There were certainly a few clues I should have noticed - I tend to be rather, shall we say, “unaware” in general. But I missed all of them, and it was never very explicit... This is the first time I’ve ever played a competitive online game entirely by accident.
posted by MysticMCJ at 6:20 PM on February 18 [20 favorites]


Oh I'm going to spend too much time on this. I reached 9, but instant drop is beyond me. Shout out for the "hold a button until a meter fills" UI thing, I think it's really underused.
posted by lucidium at 6:26 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Haven't played yet, but if I understand correctly, you can't target players individually

You can, using the L stick.
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:31 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


I'm curious to see if it has staying power, it seems like for most people it'd be either a frustrating exercise in randomly getting destroyed, or just a slog to get down to a standard multiplayer tetris game.

This is what it’s like to play a battle royale shooter too, yet it is still fun.

There’s no equivalent to hiding and fleeing in Tetris, though. Wish there were some way to replicate that.
posted by vogon_poet at 6:44 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


Ah, wow. I salute anyone that can do that deliberately. I'm going to have to finally learn T-spinning first.
posted by lucidium at 6:45 PM on February 18 [2 favorites]


does anyone else remember tetrinet (wiki)?
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 6:55 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


I got top 3 after an hour of play, lots of fun although the incoming lasers are a huge distraction when you’re keeping things clean. I can consistently get top 15 but sometimes I barely crack 65, when people gang up on you early on there’s not much you can do. Wish it had a classic mode so my son could learn Tetris without the chaos and stess.
posted by furtive at 8:00 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


Consider Lumines Remastered. It will satisfy a similar itch.
Yeah but then you have to play Lumines, which is pretty but not a very good game under the surface

Also I hit 1st place on my second and third games, but only once since then as, I assume, the game has started to match me with good players.

Rumor has it that a dataminer has found mention of a 50 vs. 50 team mode and a single-player marathon mode in Tetris 99, so I am extremely all aboard this train now that I am fully Tetrissed up after buying Tetris Effect a couple weeks ago.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:07 PM on February 18


Has anyone who has played this found any verifiable evidence that they are playing against other humans? Has anyone ever definitely ended up in the same game as one of their friends?
posted by jordemort at 8:10 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


I can consistently get top 15 but sometimes I barely crack 65, when people gang up on you early on there’s not much you can do.

Well, if you select attackers, you get a small line bonus for every attacker directed at you. Sometimes after placing well in a previous round, I start the game with like 20 attackers aimed at me, and it's quite satisfying to see the yellow blast out.
posted by pwnguin at 8:20 PM on February 18


There was a SNES game called Bombliss, or Tetris Blast in the US, that was a two-player, one-TV version of this. Your tetrominoes were made out of little squares, some of which were red; if you packed a bunch of the little red squares together, they would make a bomb that would clear a bunch of your screen and dump the blocks on your buddy's screen.

Kirby's Avalanche had a similar premise, where the longer you made your blob-clearing cascades, the more crap got dumped on your opponent. It was explicitly a destroy-your-friends kind of game. I haven't thought about it in at least a decade, but it was great fun.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:52 PM on February 18


Imagine trying to explain this to someone in 1990. Not just the game, but the platform it runs on and how wildly successful it's going to be.
posted by odinsdream at 8:53 PM on February 18 [5 favorites]


Large full-color 3D Game Boy with SNES buttons?
posted by vogon_poet at 8:56 PM on February 18


Large full-color 3D Game Boy with SNES buttons?

...with detachable controllers that come off when you slot the device into it's dock which allows you to play it on the TV. oh and the controllers are wireless. yes you can play with one in each hand with your arms by your side.

the switch is truly crazy when you really think about it, i think something like this was basically unfathomable even six or seven years ago, let alone in the 90s.
posted by JimBennett at 9:01 PM on February 18 [7 favorites]


I've made it to #7 once, and haven't gotten back there again. It's incredibly addictive. The "stash a piece for when you need it" feature is a gamechanger, since you can always have a pocket I on hand waiting for the right moment.

I'm waiting for someone to write a detailed "time for some game theory" on this. The strategy is fascinating when you think about it, since some of your choices will make you get insta-targeted by lots of people, others help you accumulate badges quicker, there's tradeoffs of who to target, etc...
posted by zachlipton at 9:02 PM on February 18


It's so weird to hear so many people raving about the "hold piece" function, given that it was first added to Tetris literally twenty years ago in The New Tetris for N64. I guess a lot of people just haven't played Tetris since the Game Boy and NES!
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:23 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]


Me in 1990 would be "oh man I'm going to play so many submarine simulators on this thing"
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:24 PM on February 18 [7 favorites]


my favorite observation from twitter:

“Tetris 99 has taught me there is an entire roiling underbelly of god-tier Tetris degenerates out there that have been unknowingly training for this week their entire lives.

Having a good time watching Twitch streamers get destroyed by accounts named "Eileen" and "LuvMyKids72.”

posted by bruceo at 10:16 PM on February 18 [45 favorites]


This game made me realize that I'm pretty good at Tetris. I'm #1 about 25% of the times that I play. I guess all those years of playing Gameboy Tetris as a bedtime ritual have finally paid off.
posted by zixyer at 10:34 PM on February 18 [5 favorites]


I feel like there was some Disney Tetris game that involved this particular mechanic, only vs. the computer rather than multiplayer? I saw it on a Let's Play...somewhere. Pretty sure I didn't dream it.

Sounds like fun, regardless.
posted by praemunire at 10:53 PM on February 18


If I’m unlucky and can’t fend off the flood of garbage blocks, my entire board can fill up in an instant with one attack.

So, it’s about managing one’s emotional resources in 2019?
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:23 AM on February 19 [6 favorites]


and they trembled before her fury: Tetrinet FTW!

My highest placing has been 4th. I was a bit worried my skill level would never be enough to get to first place, but I think with a bit of luck I could manage it, mainly because the pieces fall so quickly when you get to the top 10 that it's pretty difficult for most people to properly attack.

PSA: Do not use the Pro Controller! Its D-Pad is prone to accidentally hard-dropping pieces at the worst time.
posted by adrianhon at 2:15 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Oh no, now I'm reading about things like the Albatross Special, the Imperial Cross, and Back-to-Back Forecasting.
posted by lucidium at 3:42 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


If you're having block problems, I feel bad for you son, but my 99 Tetris on the Switch ain't one.
posted by glonous keming at 4:10 AM on February 19 [8 favorites]


Oh no, now I'm reading about things like the Albatross Special, the Imperial Cross, and Back-to-Back Forecasting.

What I've learned from this is that expert-level Tetris is, on a frame-by-frame level, indistinguishable from incredibly inept Tetris. Every single one of those block arrangements look like a horrible game-ending mistake to me, but what do I know?
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:33 AM on February 19


Praemunire, are you thinking of Meteos, and the Disney branded version, Meteos: Disney Magic?
posted by jrishel at 7:22 AM on February 19


I have not yet started seeing blocks fall when I close my eyes, but I know it's coming.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:20 AM on February 19 [1 favorite]


Praemunire is thinking of Magical Tetris Challenge
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:20 PM on February 19


Wumbotize is a twitch streamer and absolutely slaying it right now, check it out.
posted by Fizz at 6:07 PM on February 20 [1 favorite]


Switch gamers! If you're keen to swap friend codes, feel free to pop over to MetaTalk and share.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:31 AM on February 21


I played it a bit today. I was 93rd on my first try and then in the 20s after that. I always seem to make a stupid mistake quickly followed by getting blasted with a whole bunch of lines. I'd like to think that if I can cut out the mistake I might have a shot at getting top 10 in a round but anything past that is beyond even my imaginary self.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:40 PM on February 21


Oh no. The Tetris dreams have started.
posted by schmod at 7:02 AM on February 22 [5 favorites]


I won my latest game, and now I feel basically invulnerable and like god Herself is a mere dust mote I long ago scraped from my eye

T-spins are still arcane impossible wizardry though
posted by Kybard at 1:21 PM on February 22 [2 favorites]


« Older Dance Your PhD   |   Preferential Treatment Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments