This is a follow up post. If you want to know my detailed thoughts on Tetris 99, check out the following link.
After putting a few more hours, as well as dozens of defeats, (more than likely more than that) I’ve come to a few conclusions. One, this game is going to give me a heart attack. Two: there are a few things I’d like to see in this game.
At the moment, Tetris 99 has the one mode, where you play competitive Tetris with 98 other players. It’s simple, addictive and fun, yes, and that’s plenty for a completely free-to-play game. But there are a few additions that would make this game a lot stronger and more varied, at least for me.
Starting with my first and most desired pick:
98 Player Mode: Shared Screen Co-Op
98 doesn’t roll of the tongue like 99 does, huh?
If you ask me, co-op makes any game better. Classic Mode in Smash Bros is great with a friend, playing Shovel Knight together is hilarious (and agonizing), and Cuphead is significantly less frustrating with a bro at your side. The list of games I enjoy playing like this is incredibly extensive. So what better way to make this game more fun than to let a friend stress out with you?
In this co-op mode, you and a friend would share the same TV and play two separate games of Tetris, all while the other players paired into teams do the same (if you aren’t playing with a friend, you can pair up with a random player online). For the most part, this would play the same as the solo mode. With one exception: if you want, you can select to stop attacking and use your combos to help clear garbage from your partner’s board.
Now, you are not disqualified if your friend goes down. Should one player in a team push forward to victory, than the other would as well, whether they lost already or not. Should both partners be eliminated, it’s game over. While you are judged on your own, so you still are ranked out of 98 based on when you were defeated, you are still put down for a victory should your team prevail.
If you ask me, any game is better if I can drag a friend through the stress and suffering with me. Especially so when I can drag them down with me. I need a couch co-op experience like this, and only Tetris 99 would be able to give it to me!
Next is something a little more simple.
This would basically just be Tetris, I know. But there is one thing you can alter to make it stand out: training parameters.
In this mode, you could practice the game at any speed or difficulty of your choice. Can’t handle the speed in the top twenty five? Set the pace there and practice. Need to get prepared for when thirty or more people are all targeting you? Play as long as you’d like while being beaten by thirty or so sticks, all without the down time of a loading screen!
Training Mode could also be a decent way for people to experience the game if they don’t have access to the Nintendo Online, or internet in general. It could be a good sort of teaser mode. “Hey, did you like what you saw?” the game asks. “How about you give it a shot with actual people?”
It’s simple, yes, but it could be a nice little touch that could give the game more to offer. Much like the final pick on the list:
Alternate Block Skins
One thing I really loved about one of the last Tetris games, Puyo-Puyo Tetris, was the customization options. Over the course of play, you could unlock different skins for the Puyos and the Tetris blocks (or Tetriminos, because they need to be called that I guess) ranging from nice to stupid. It was charming, and it made the game more rewarding to play as you unlocked them.
This needs to come back!
Want to make all the Tetris blocks look like they did in the NES or Gameboy games? How about you change them to look like jello blocks? Perhaps you could alter them to match the blocks in Tetris Effect? Hell, do you want them to look like Mario and his friends?! The sky is the limit!
Don’t get me wrong, the game is pretty enough as it is. But you know what would make it prettier? The ability to make it look like how I want it to look!
I’ll be honest. If you told me that these were going to be added to the game, but it would no longer be free-to-play, I’d be willing to pay for it. I already love this game, so I’d accept anything that would make it better.
Still, whether me wishes or met or not, I’m more than satisfied with what we’ve got. It’s stressful, addictive and fun. If you have a Switch and Nintendo Online and you’re not playing Tetris 99, you’re missing out. It’s an absolute blast, even if you’re being murdered by eighty nine people at once.
Or, if you’re as unlucky as I am, all the other players at once.