Tetris is a satsifying game when played well. There's nothing like the feeling of getting a clean stack of tetrominoes before clearing them away with a well placed I-piece. But while Tetris has always been a fun game to play, it's never been a particularly sexy game to stream. That is until Tetris 99 came along to bring the thrill of battle royale to Tetris. Now the best kill cam videos on social media are all about Tetris, and we've got some of the best right here.
While there have been competitive versions of Tetris in the past, none are as cutthroat as Tetris 99. In it, 99 players much play individual games of Tetris and try and outlast their opponents. The last player standing is the winner. Also, when a player clears two lines or more, it sends blockages to their opponents, increasing the chances of knocking them out. Players can target others using lock-on mechanics which is demonstrated in the video below.
There are actually a lot of rules and hidden mechanics in Tetris 99 which you can read about in our Tetris FAQ, but the general premise stands: Play Tetris better than your opponents and you'll be the Tetris 99 champion. Because of the added stakes and challenge modifiers, some players have faced and even overcome insane obstacles in order to get that Tetris first place finish.
1. A high wire act at the top of the screen
Unless you're some kind of Tetris monster who always clears blocks, end game in Tetris 99 tends to push players towards the upper parts of the screen. It's these moments that the player engages in the high-wire act of clearing lines without hitting the top of the screen.
2. Started from the bottom, now we're here.
Nothing feels worse than starting a new match of Tetris 99 with a target on your back. Getting locked in on by so many opponents before you even clear your first block can end your championship run fast. Luckily, that's not the case here.
3. An intense 1v1 battle to the finish
One of the best things to come out of Tetris 99 is the sense that you're actually fighting against someone for the win. Take this bout for example, you can definitely get a sense of the tête-à-tête happening between two Tetris warriors.
4. Some of this is luck too you know.
Sometimes the stars (and Tetris blocks) alight to give you the piece you need most at the right time. It doesn't diminish the fact that you need to know how to use the pieces you're given to get yourself out of a sticky situation.
5. Master the T-Spin.
One of the most important skills to learn is the "T-Spin" or getting the T-block into a position where it was once thought to be unfit for. Master the T-Spin and enter a new level of high-class Tetris.
Winning Tetris requires quick thinking, strategy, manual dexterity (look up: T-spin), and a little luck. The stakes only get higher when you're competing with 98 other players who will eventually try and destroy you. That's why we should study the work of our betters so that we too can one day get the elusive Tetris win.
Tetris 99 was released last week as a free Nintendo Switch Online exclusive, and it's thus far received quite a few accolades from the press and fans alike. Will it ultimately hold up? Maybe not. But it's been a fun week regardless.
If you enjoy reading about great video games, you'll find a neat collection of more in our ever-growing list of the best games of 2019. It's easy to lose track of new releases, so use this list to make sure you don't miss the games we think are essential.