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Review: Tetris Ultimate

the Russian invasion never came with guns but with Tetris. Tetris is without a doubt the most globally spread Russian product. Short after its release, 30 years ago, people all over the world got addicted. It’s an easy to understand puzzle game but hard to resist. The game is still popular today and launches on as many consoles as possible. This time it’s up to Ubisoft to reinvent this classic with Tetris Ultimate.

The Basics:

Although it’s hard to imagine that somebody never played a Tetris game before, it might be good to explain the basics. Just like in the first Tetris game, different kind of Tetrominos will drop from the top of your screen. You play in a vertical playing field and it’s your job to line up the Tetrominos in order to score points. Tetrominos are four small blocks stacked together in different shapes. You can rotate those pieces while they’re falling down in order to create a line. Once a line is created, it will disappear and give you some points. The more lines you clear, the more points you gain. You can get defeated if your blocks reach the top of the screen, resulting in a Game Over.

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Explaining Tetris on paper isn’t that easy but I’m sure, if you ever gave the game a shot, you already know how it works and how addictive it is. The power of Tetris is the level of difficulty and the need to improve your high score. The longer you ‘survive’ the faster the blocks will fall down, leaving very little time for you to form perfect lines. The longer you succeed, the higher your level of difficulty will become. A higher level of difficulty also means you gain more points for your lines.

Tetris Ultimate:

As you can already conclude, Tetris was a solid game from the start, releasing a version on this generation takes some balls and innovation to succeed. Ubisoft stayed true to the formula but added some interesting tweaks. One of the more important changes is the possibility to set your own rules. You can disable the hold queue for example; so you’re forced to use the block that is falling down. Aside of this you can also change the way the block are chosen or select a maximum amount of rotations for your blocks. The customization never goes deep but it’s fun to have some of these options nevertheless.

 

Not ultimate, just fun!

 

Aside of this, Tetris Ultimate also includes some Tetris mode for your pleasure. Aside of the Standard and Endless mode, Ubisoft also included a Sprint mode. In this mode you need to clear 40 lines as fast as possible. They also included an Ultra mode where you need to score as high as possible in three minutes and some online and co-op modes. 

Heaving fun online and offline: 

The co-op and team modes are interesting to play and offer a lot of fun. While playing in co-op, your screen will widen so you need to cover far more ground to create a line. Every player will be given a certain space in the screen where they can drop their Tetrominos. Communication is key to become good at these team sessions and it really offers a lot of fun. Sitting on your couch together with your friends, playing Tetris really is a fun activity.

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Aside of the co-op mode, Tetris Ultimate also features an online mode. The online mode doesn’t really work that great to be honest. There isn’t really a ranking system so you can end up playing with a superior player all the time or won’t find a challenge in your opponent. The matchmaking is based on your score in the Endless and Marathon sessions but those don’t matter for your online sessions. Playing online often ended up with disconnecting players and a lot of lag.

You can challenge your friends online on the other hand, without them being active at all. The game also creates a virtual bot of the players so you can also challenge the bot of your friend for a quick online match. Playing against bots has some advantages like fluent gameplay and no disconnection. All in all the online mode could have worked a lot better than it does right now.

Conclusion:

Tetris Ultimate lacks the innovation that other Tetris games had in the past. Aside of that, it still remains a fun Tetris experience at a rather cheap price. Playing in co-op is fun while playing online can get frustrating. All in all Tetris Ultimate isn’t a bad game but it could have used some original content.

7/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.