Based on the classic Tetris game, Tetris Effect is a tile-matching puzzle game developed by the Japanese studio Monstars Inc. It was in development since 2012 and is inspired by the phenomenon of the same name. The Tetris Effect is when players start to see falling Tetris blocks for some time after playing the game for a long duration. It won the Best VR/AR Game Award at the 2018 Game Critics Awards, and rightfully so for its jaw-dropping effects when played on the PlayStation VR.
Story: Although the game does not have much of a story, the various modes that allow you to play in different settings and environments are enough to keep you engrossed in the game as if each of them was a different world on its own.
Play Style: The main campaign of the game is Journey where there is a series of boards, each unique and punishingly difficult. You are taken from an underwater world to a place where you create a jazz jam. Visuals that surround the board set the environment. Tetris Effect is very spontaneous in its gameplay but the time-suspending zone mechanic allows you to get out if you are in trouble or stuck on a level. The artwork is psychedically-inspired, with trippy visuals and particle effects. Particles and sound effects erupt around you in sync with the beat and actions. The particles can be distracting at times even though they are extremely pleasing to experience. The forgiving continue system would allow you to not restart if you make a blunder. Sometimes you wish you could turn off the effects to focus more, which is not the case in VR because it just absolutely captivating on the PS VR.
Audience: Even though there are many versions of the original Tetris in the market, this one is completely different. It combines music, sound, vibrations and visuals to give a truly sensational experience that comes close to being transcendent. It does justice to the name of the phenomenon and if you are particularly stimulated by the visuals and sounds of a game, then look no further and pick this game up.
Platforms: The game is available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR.
Verdict: Tetris Effect is an adventure that is thoroughly absorbing. It took a while for the developers to time-test the gameplay, but the result was as close they could come to perfection. The amalgamation of sound, video, and effects goes to show that a classic can still stay fresh. The diverse and beautiful artwork is truly a love letter to the original game.