How 'Tetris Effect: Connected' Upped the Game

Visually stunning and still challenging

Key Takeaways

  • Tetris Effect: Connected is just as colorful and wonderful as the 2018 release.
  • Multiplayer brings an entirely new way to enjoy Tetris Effect’s different modes.
  • Tetris Effect: Connected brings the game to Xbox for the first time, and is available on Game Pass.
A screenshot of Tetris Effect: Connected.

Tetris Effect: Connected brings the colorful action of Tetris Effect to the Xbox for the first time with new multiplayer features in a simple, explosively fun package.

When the original Tetris Effect hit PCs and PS4 in 2018, it brought a unique spin to the Tetris formula. Beautiful and colorful backgrounds helped bring the base Tetris formula to an entirely new level.

The addition of the line attack, which allowed you to attack your opponent by clearing out lines was also a unique way to approach the system. Now, Tetris Effect: Connected brings all those unique mechanics and aesthetics to the Xbox, alongside some wonderful new multiplayer modes like Connected, Zone Battle, and Score Attack.

Diving into Tetris Effect: Connected on the Xbox Series S, I was already well aware of what the game had to offer. The vibrant colors and levels, as well as the music itself make for some of the most surreal moments a Tetris game has ever offered. Toss in the added multiplayer features—there are four new modes—and you’ve got a recipe for greatness. A greatness that it absolutely delivers on.

Connecting With Others

While Zone Battle and the other modes are fun, Connected is what makes Tetris Effect: Connected shine like a full moon on a dark night. Unlike the other multiplayer modes—which are basically versus modes—Connected pits three players against A.I. controlled bosses as they work to take them down.

It’s a unique way to approach the Tetris formula and one that really helps show that pizazz that Tetris Effect has always had.

In Connected, all three players work to match up their pieces in their own separate blocks. As the score grows, the Matrices (the boxes that the pieces fall down through, sometimes called the Tetris Matrix, too) connect and players enter a special section where they can deal massive amounts of damage to the A.I. boss as they connect and clear lines.

It’s a really cool way for things to play out and it felt really good to pull off big combos with the other two people I was playing with during my tests.

Tetris Effect: Connected gives players a few different ways to enjoy multiplayer, including some two-player modes like Zone Battle, Score Attack, and Classic Score Attack. Zone Battle is similar in ways to Tetris 99, the Tetris battle royale game on the Nintendo Switch. It’s only one versus one, though, so players can really focus on each other instead of a large group.

A multiplayer screenshot from Tetrix Effect: Connected.

I had a lot of fun trying to take down other players, but more often than not I found my opponents clearing their lines quicker than I could. Since everything moves so quickly, the addition of the Zone mechani, which slows down time and focuses on certain parts of the Tetris Matrix, was very handy for racking up a higher score. Sadly, it couldn’t save me the embarrassment of losing time after time.

Zone Battle was fun, but I found more of my enjoyment for versus modes in Score Attack and Classic Score Attack. These one versus one modes are basically the same, though Classic follows the original Tetris rules, which means you can’t hold onto blocks, and you can’t use the Hard Drop mechanic that so many other Tetris titles have included.

Despite being a versus mode, I found it easy to load up Score Attack and start working on lining up my blocks. The lack of features like line attack made it much easier for me to just focus on what I had in front of me without having to worry about the things my opponent could throw at me.

Galactic Improvements

Tetris Effect: Connected takes everything about the original Tetris Effect and makes it even better. The new multiplayer modes are an absolute joy to play through and Connected showcases just how far the developers have gone to try to make it feel unique.

Considering the fact that the Guiness Book of World Records recorded Tetris as the most ported game of all time with over 65 ports in 2010, it’s impressive that Tetris Effect: Connected can feel so unique compared to the other experiences out there.

Tetris Effect: Connected brings all of the beauty and joy of the original to the Xbox for the first time and even adds a lot of flare to it in the process. The new multiplayer modes only uplift the game even more, giving fans plenty of new ways to dive in and get lost in the vibrant and colorful world that awaits them.

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