Most Americans got their first taste of Tetris back in 1989 on the original Nintendo Game Boy. Now, the iconic title is making the jump to virtual reality thanks to game developer Enhance Games' new title the Tetris Effect. The game is set to launch sometime in fall 2018 for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR.
The game's name refers to Tetris Syndrome, which is used to describe what happens you play Tetris or any other game so much that you start to see it in your dreams. Tetris Effect takes the classic game and adds dazzling 4K graphics and a lively soundtrack for the over 30-plus levels. And if you're thinking of making a Rez comparison, you'd be right, since game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi is behind this 3D extravaganza.
Playing Tetris in VR is simultaneously relaxing and intense. The 3D graphics helped visualize my next move and gave me a bit of breathing room before the next piece fell. As I got closer to clearing the allotted number of rows, i noticed that music would swell in the background.
Depending on the level, you'll also get a matching animation. For example, on a level with Indian music, I saw the shape of five people seemingly chanting to the beat. At a quick glance, the people seemed to shift into the leaves of a lotus blossom.
To spice up the original puzzle title, Enhance Games added a few surprises. Instead of worrying about where to place that long piece or the S-shaped bricks, I had the ability to squirrel it away until I needed by tapping the trigger buttons. Another cool trick was Zone, which I could activate as soon as maxed out my Zone meter. Once I pressed R1 and L1, time stopped and I could place blocks at my own pace. Clearing multiple rows of blocks with Zone enabled can net big points toward your score. Depending on your skill level, Zone can be used to rack up big points or give yourself some room to breathe if you're feeling overwhelmed.
Tetris Effect confirms the original game's continued relevance to modern-era gamers. The 3D effects, pulsating music makes for some fun times in virtual reality. If you don't have a PlayStation VR, you can still enjoy the lovely animations that accompany the pulsating bassline. Overall, it's a great homage to the original 1984 title.