If you've been keeping your Tetris 99 skills sharp, earning a new theme in the puzzle battle royale's upcoming event should be a cakewalk—and this time you'll get another bonus, too. The next Maximus Cup, lasting September 20 through 23, will try to nudge players toward another free-to-play Nintendo title: in a crossover with Super Kirby Clash, you can earn a special Tetris 99 theme as well as 99 Gem Apples, Super Kirby Clash's purchasable in-game currency.
Tetris 99 has had more time to amass regular players than Super Kirby Clash, which was announced and released on the day of the most recent Nintendo Direct presentation. Super Kirby Clash, a co-op boss battler, is about as different a multiplayer game from Tetris 99's main battle royale format as you can get. By giving away some of Kirby's premium currency at the same time as players get the new Tetris theme, it seems that Nintendo is hoping to feed some of the Tetris audience into Kirby's maw.
Tetris 99 and Super Kirby Clash have very different monetization strategies, making this a particularly intriguing crossover. Tetris 99, like the service's NES and SNES game libraries, is an included perk of Nintendo Switch Online. Nintendo has released additional paid DLC for Tetris 99 in the form of new offline modes, but there are no microtransactions in the game. Super Kirby Clash, on the other hand, follows a more traditional free-to-play strategy: new quests and equipment in the game are unlocked with Gem Apples, which can be collected in small, regenerating amounts for free or purchased in bundles, starting at 50 Gem Apples for $0.69 USD.
To unlock the Kirby theme and the 99 Gem Apples, Maximus Cup players need to reach 100 points during the event. Here's the scoring break down:
- 1st Place: 100 points
- 2nd Place: 50 points
- 3rd Place: 30 points
- 4th - 10th Place: 20 points
- 11th - 30th Place: 15 points
- 31st - 50th Place: 10 points
- 51st - 80th Place: 5 points
- 81st - 99th Place: 1 point
In the first few Tetris 99 Maximus Cup events, the 999 top players were rewarded with 999 My Nintendo Gold Points, which amounted to $9.99 USD in Nintendo eShop credit. Subsequent crossover events with Splatoon 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses have only rewarded special Tetris 99 themes to players who hit 100 points. Nintendo's general approach to microtransactions in its mobile games has been raised as a point of concern for investors. Now seeing the company openly experiment with two of its free-to-play games on the Switch suggests that Nintendo wants to see how different free-to-play strategies can overlap.