A blockbuster battle royale!
99 players but only one will remain! Tetris 99 is the iconic puzzle game as you've never seen it before. Can you pick the right strategy to best 98 other players online - all at the same time?!
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GOTY 2019 - NUMBER SEVEN
Something I want to tell you about Tetris 99 is how difficult it’s made compiling this list.
First day it was out, I was bowled over by how well the format worked. How it took this young upstart of a battle royale genre and showed it how much it needed focused, foundational video game structure. How it needed to force conflict. Tetris is the game we’ve all been playing, secretly, on the sidelines for decades. It’s not talked about. It’s taken for granted. It’s like talking about putting on your trousers. And now we’ve all been squashed in a wee room to show who’s the best at putting on trousers. Stepping on everyone else’s feet and grabbing their arses so they fuck up.
First time I won a game, the illusion had shattered. It hadn’t felt earned. It wasn’t about being the best at Tetris. It was about luck. Often, strategically targeting opponents, lining up combos and playing blisteringly fast games wouldn’t help you. You had better chances if you played conservatively, but that wasn’t a reliable strategy either. My heart sank. There was surely no greater crime than to take Tetris – the most solid, logical, universally understandable game in history – and lay on a bunch of trendy shit that ruined the dynamics.
It was still free Tetris on the Switch though. I kept playing.
Months later, and after hours and hours of play, I finally started to believe I understood Tetris 99. Victory isn’t what it’s about. It’s the wee, blessed moments of pure Tetris elation. Those moments where you’re totally up against it, with a shite, messy board, half a dozen guys all chucking blocks at you, and a massive tower of dummy blocks waiting to push the screen up— and you turn it around. Those wee moments that seem to justify the hundreds, or thousands of hours you’ve spent in your life, putting these blocks in the right spots. Coming in number 1 at the end of the game is nice, but those moments are where the game is. Tetris 99 is a chance for all my efforts to mean something to a big group, if only for a moment. But those moments are fucking beautiful.