You may have played many versions of Tetris, but you’ve probably never played one like Tetris Effect. The latest iteration of the falling-block puzzler comes from Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Enhance Experience and combines music, sound, vibration, and visuals into something that becomes almost transcendent. It does have a late-game difficulty spike that’s worse for those that aren’t playing in VR, but this is still a masterfully presented new entry in a long-running series.
The main campaign of Tetris Effect is Journey, an engrossing series of connected boards each with their own diverse art style, music, and ruleset. Each board is unique and I was constantly surprised by what they offered. One might see you starting underwater as a beautiful particle-effect whale swims around you, while the next will be a desert landscape with a meandering caravan of camels that, halfway through, transitions to a realistic-looking version of the moon complete with an astronaut tooling around in a lunar vehicle. Some don’t have music at all, instead opting for a soundscape drawn from the sounds of wind. Another had me inadvertently creating a jazz jam with the sound effects created by rotating, moving, and dropping pieces.