Here’s All You Need to Know About Tetris 99

Tetris 99 is a new, multiplayer version of the original 1984 Soviet classic, Tetris. It’s a puzzle game that’s out for Nintendo Switch. It was developed by Arika and published by Nintendo. The game released on 13th February 2019. This large scale multi-player game requires the use of skill, speed, as well as strategy to get the upper hand over opponents. 

What does the game involve?

Tetris 99 is much like the earlier puzzle game that’s been around for years, but there’s a twist to it. You’re competing with 98 other players in the game. What you have to do is maneuver the blocks or tetrominoes that are falling into position in such a way that they interlock with pieces on landing to create complete lines of blocks that will get cleared from the board. Other players in the game are also working towards doing the same thing; you can keep track of their blocks in the small grids that surround your screen.

When you manage to clear lines on your screen, you can send “garbage” to your competition, which means sending them extra lines with gaps that occupy their screen. If you clear two lines, you can send one garbage line to your competition; clearing three lines will allow you to send two lines, while clearing four lines will, in turn, send your opponents four more lines to work through. 

Other players can also send you “garbage” by clearing the lines on their screen, in which case, the “garbage” lines will appear on your screen’s bottom to push the current lines higher up.         

You can choose the type of target you want to send “garbage” to. You can send garbage blocks to:

  • Random players in the game
  • Players targeting you
  • Players on the verge of losing
  • Players with many badges

If you take out a player with many badges, you get their share of badges. The game ends when the lines stack up to reach the upper part of your screen. Once the game ends, you’ll be able to see rankings based on player performance along with earned experience points that can help in leveling up from the current level.

UI and UX of the game

The game menu is much like the older version. This one has a menu with options, a button with the words, “Tetris 99,” and a stats screen. Clicking on the button will direct you to the game lobby, and you can quickly connect to matches taking place while the game fields of 98 other players fill up your screen. It’s easy to operate, and in no time, you’re ready to play. 

The strategy of the game

Tetris 99 requires you to keep an eye on your opponents as well while working on your screen so that you can take them out. If you manage to end the game for another player, you’ll receive a KO, which is considered as one bit of a badge. With two bits, you can get one full badge. The badges you acquire increase the quantity of garbage you’re allowed to send opponents:

  • 25% more garbage for the 1st badge
  • 50% more garbage for the 2nd badge
  • 75% more garbage for the 3rd badge
  • 100% more garbage for the 4th badge

The garbage generated by you can also be stacked up for use against any incoming garbage attacks by other players in the game, so you’ll want to strategize to be able to defend yourself if the situation calls for it.

Playing the game right

The first thing you need to focus on in Tetris 99 is playing to keep your field clear by clearing rows and making combos. Besides this, though, you’ll also need to watch out for any attacks that other players make and make decisions about where to dump garbage blocks so that you can take your competition out.

Keep an eye on the gutter space that’s to your playfield’s left because all garbage blocks that are going to attack you will stack up there. First, you’ll see them as solid yellow squares that will soon turn red, followed by flashing yellow, pink, and red, at which point they will be added to your playfield in the form of gray rows. If you want to get rid of incoming attacks, you’ll have to get your combos right. Clearing a row will protect you by eliminating one row in an incoming attack by garbage blocks.


Game graphics

Graphics of the game is simple, with clarity on both tablet as well as docked mode.

Controls for Tetris 99

Tetris 99 has simple-to-use controls despite its Battle Royale format and detail-rich screen. The D-pad will move the tetrominoes from one side to another. You have to press down on your D-pad for a soft drop (quick descent) or press up on your D-pad if you want a hard drop. The face buttons- A, B, X, and Y are used to rotate the tetrominoes. To rotate them to the right, use A or Y and to rotate them to the left, use B or X. The left shoulder button will help in placing tetrominoes in the hold area and deploying them. For a rematch, hold the A button.

The right analog stick must be used while strategizing on how to deal with garbage blocks targeted at other players. Four choices that are displayed in white faded font at the playfield’s top are:    

  • K.O.s – which allows you to send garbage blocks to players who are on the verge of getting knocked out from the round.
  • Randoms – which allows you to send garbage blocks to random opponents in the game.
  • Attackers – with this, you can target many people at a time as this allows you to send garbage blocks to players who are targeting you.
  • Badges – choosing this option allows you to send garbage blocks to the player that has the maximum number of badges.

The left analog stick will allow you to choose your targets.

Badges in Tetris 99

Every K.O. you make will contribute to badge acquisition in Tetris 99, and you can view this on your dashboard window with your rank appearing right at the top. The badges will appear below your K.O. count. You can get up to four badges by making 30 K.O.s. Knocking out a player with many badges will also fetch you their badges without you having to make 30 knockouts for it. With four badges, you get to double up on your strength and send your opponents eight garbage block lines instead of just four.     

Tetris 99 techniques and tips

Clearing lines and nailing combos can put you ahead of your opponents in the game. Following are some things you need to know to incorporate in your strategy:

  • Focus on K.O.s

Leveling up by focusing on K.O.s is what you need to draw your attention towards. This targets garbage blocks at people who are on the verge of losing and is an extremely important metric of the game. 

  • T-Spin

With a T-Spin, you need to rotate a T block such that it doesn’t fit with a drop. Dropping a T tetromino to the overhanging level and then rotating it in the last moment to place it correctly will help to double your combo and increase the power of your attacks. A single T-spin can send two lines to your opponent, a double T-Spin can send more than four lines, and triple T-Spin can send more than six lines to your opponent. 

  • Besieged

With three or more players attacking you at the same time, you have the opportunity to send out some extra garbage blocks by using the mode for targeting attackers. By using this, you get to maximize the damage done to other players in the game. 

  • Back-to-Backs

Game combos such as T-Spins and Tetrises that refer to the clearing of four rows at the same time will help you create more damage if done back to back. So, take advantage of that to deal a more devastating blow to your opponents. 

  • Full clears

Doing a full clear will help you get an edge over your opponents in the game by allowing you to send out ten lines to your opponents.

  • Attempt to change controllers

Making changes to your controller if there are any controller connection errors taking place can help you stay focused on the game. With the D-pad of the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, players may face some issues through activation of the button for quick drop up by mistake. The Joy-Con controller, on the other hand, doesn’t have D-pads but has distinct directional buttons to help in reducing errors. This, however, may take some time to get used to. Joy-Con controllers connected to the switch can help you to get rid of any errors with syncing, as well as game lag. The game can get fast, and with blocks dropping quickly, it’s easy to go into panic mode, but you still need to make sure you don’t lose your cool. Staying calm under stress and rotating your blocks to move them to the right positions will help you stay ahead of your opponents in the game.

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