When it comes to the classics in this medium of video gaming, the line-up of usual suspects almost always include the likes of Mario, The Legend of Zelda and others of that kind. Despite being a sales and critical juggernaut, one that hardly gets a mention in the conversation is Tetris, the tile-matching phenomenon that is as addictive as it is basic in concept. Who knew that marrying the simple premise of Tetris with the genius of Tetsuya Mizuguchi would result in one of the year’s surprise packets?
Tetris Effect, named after the real-world syndrome that causes people to form patterns in their minds and even dreams after exposure to prolonged sessions of Tetris, exists as a cathartic blend of both traditional puzzle-solving, as seen in Tetris and its many iterations for over thirty years, and the unique rhythmic persona shared by titles like Lumines and Rez Infinite. Despite its modernised lick of paint, it’s still odd to revert back to such a primitive age, especially when you consider the year we’ve been lucky enough to have in this medium. And yet, there’s something akin to relief that washes over as you enter this uncomplicated and unappreciated realm of gaming. Tetris Effect is prepared to be whatever you need it to be, catering to both those prepared to be crushed under a seemingly insurmountable challenge and to those who long to unwind after the day’s labours.