Tetris is going to be the next franchise to join in on the battle royale craze in a brand-new game called Tetris 99. It's hardly a surprise to see new approaches to the genre after the immense success of Fortnite, with the latest shooter to attempt this, Apex Legends, reaching 25 million players within its first week of availability. It's a genre that seems here to stay, and that's exactly why developers are so eager to try their hand at it.
Despite this, it always appeared as if battle royale games would stick to the shoot and loot formula of previous iterations. Evidently, devs have their own genre-mashups in mind for the premise of battle royale, and Tetris 99 is evidence enough of that. That's right, a puzzle game is getting the battle royale treatment on Nintendo Switch.
Revealed at February 13's Nintendo Direct presentation, Tetris 99 was actually released during the showcase – which means that it's available right now. Design-wise the title features a total of 99 simultaneous players duking it out to be the last puzzle pro left standing. If a player manages to make it until the end, then they win. It's simple in premise, but the reveal trailer for Tetris 99 shows how intense it really is.
Since this is an online-only game, Switch owners will need to have an active subscription to Nintendo Switch Online. Provided gamers have that and an internet connection, they'll be able to download this Tetris battle royale game without any issues. From there on it's as simple as outlasting 98 other players, which will no doubt prove difficult. It's funny that in a presentation where Nintendo revealed a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and Super Mario Maker 2 for Nintendo Switch, a number of players are excited by the prospect of the free-to-play Tetris 99. Despite being a highlight, the game itself has a lot to live up to the fantastic Tetris Effect, which added a psychedelic twist on the beloved puzzle series.
This free game arrives ahead of news that Nintendo is implementing better incentives for gamers to want to subscribe to its online services on the Switch. If that's the goal, Tetris 99 is a great first step in giving gamers a reason to sign up for online play on Nintendo's console. One wonders what the next big online Switch title will end up being, and if Nintendo will be able to keep up Tetris 99's momentum.
Tetris 99 is available to download from the eShop now for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers on Nintendo Switch.