Tetris Effect: Everything you need to know

Tetris takes the crown as being the best-selling game of all-time, so it's no surprise that developers continually build upon its iconic formula. The newest game in the classic franchise, Tetris Effect, is set to offer new ways to play and over 30 stages. Let's cross our fingers that this doesn't end up like Ubisoft's botched attempt at a Tetris game with Tetris Ultimate in 2014.

Who's developing it this time?

The Tetris brand has been tossed between countless developers over the years and this time it's fallen into the hands of Japanese development studio Resonair, with Enhance Inc. publishing. These companies have worked on games such as Rez Infinite and Lumines Remastered, so they have experience with puzzle games that have received positive reviews before.

Gameplay: Evolution or revolution?

The core gameplay of the series largely remains the same, with Tetris Effect focusing on placing Tetriminos (Tetris blocks) together correctly to form complete lines. Like usual, you'll have the ability to move or rotate the pieces whichever way you'd like, and you can view the next piece you'll be receiving beforehand.

Several modes like Marathon, Sprint, and Ultra are returning along with a new "Zone" mechanic that allows players to stop time, and therefor stop falling Tetriminos, so that they can work their way out of a tight spot before failing the level. Its Journey campaign mode is comprised of dozens of levels with their own unique themes in terms of visuals and music.


With the PS4 Pro players will be viewing Tetris Effect at a crisp 4K resolution. If you go the PlayStation VR route, you'll have the option to enable 3D graphics as well.

As for the visuals themselves, be prepared for a lot of vibrant neon colors and flashing lights around the screen. Background music will continually play as your Tetris blocks fall, with some of the visuals outside of the grid moving with the tempo and beat of the music.

Since the game takes its name from Tetris effect syndrome, where players will continue to see images of falling Tetris blocks or other shapes even after they stop playing, the blocks in-game will be almost translucent, giving them an aura of being intangible.

More specifically, this is how the developer describes it: "Named after a real-world phenomenon where players' brains are so engrossed that images of the iconic falling Tetrimino blocks (i.e. the Tetris playing pieces) linger in their vision, thoughts, and even dreams, Tetris Effect amplifies this magical feeling of total immersion by surrounding you with fantastic, fully three-dimensional worlds that react and evolve based on how you play. Music, backgrounds, sounds, special effects—everything, down to the Tetris pieces themselves, pulse, dance, shimmer, and explode in perfect sync with how you're playing."

When can you play it?

Tetris Effect will launch on November 9, 2018 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR. You can purchase Tetris Effect for $40 at either physical retail or as a digital download on the PlayStation Store. If you pre-order it in time, the PlayStation Store is also offering 10% off, bringing the price down to $36 before its launch.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.