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Log years: 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
51
games completed in 2018.
(multiple completions of the same game only count once.)

The classic arcade puzzle Tetris and cyberpunk techno rail shooter Rez are some of my favorite games of all time. Tetris Effect has been presented as a Tetris game by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, producer of Rez, making it a strange dream come true for me.

The notion that this is 'a Tetris game by Tetsuya Mizuguchi' requires a little more refinement. Tetris Effect was developed by Japanese developer Resonair and directed by Takashi Ishihara. Resonair also ported Rez to modern consoles and VR under the name 'Rez Infinite', and Ishihara designed the new 'Area X' for Rez Infinte. Similarly, Lumines, a game that Mizuguchi originally directed, and a game that is very similar to Tetris Effect in almost every way, was remastered for modern consoles by Resonair. Tetris Effect was co-produced by Mizuguchi and Mark MacDonald, and like the aforementioned remastered games, published by Enhance Inc., a company Mizuguchi founded after leaving Q Entertainment, developer of Lumines. Apart from production and publishing, Mizuguchi has 'Game Concept' credits together with Ishihara. This could be interpreted as Mizuguchi being the one with the game ideas, with Resonair implementing them. Until recently he was listed as the game director on the Tetris Effect Wikipedia page, but this has been fixed.

More than anything else, Tetris Effect is a Tetris game. It's not derived from or inspiried by Tetris like Lumines was, this is a modern Tetris game with the metagame structure of Lumines, the new agy visual and musical aesthetics of Child of Eden (a game directed by Mizuguchi), and a great implementation of the musical integration ideas of Rez, which was seminal for its musical integration, but not technically well implemented (possibly due to limitations of the hardware, I'm not sure).

The game has a campaign-like mode, called JOURNEY MODE, and a list of EFFECT MODES, with different rule variations.

In JOURNEY MODE, you are playing a Tetris game accompanied by beautiful visuals and uplifting music, and every move you make is accompanied by musical sounds that are quantized to fit the rest of the music. The progression and feeling is very reminiscent of Lumines. At times, I wished for this game to be more Rez and less Child of Eden. I don't mind the new age aesthetics of this game, but I can't help dreaming of a brutal techno cyberpunk version of Tetris Effect.

The visuals are mostly very well implemented, save for a few minor frame drops (on the regular old PS4), e.g. going above water in the dolphin level. The frame drops are rare, but are frustrating in a Tetris game, where you need all the frames you can get to make split second decisions.

The audio boldly blends musical elements and sound design, with unusually tight integration between your actions as a player and the sound. When you realize just how much of the music and sound is created by you moving and dropping tetrominos, you are filled with childish joy. Both music and visuals react to level progression, which is very satisfying. The only let-down in the musical integration is that almost every level ends with the same style of build-up and break, which comes of as a bit cheesy and unimaginative.

The way the Tetris gameplay is integrated with the emotional experience and progression of levels in JOURNEY MODE seems to be through one parameter alone, as musical and visual climaxes are accompanied by sudden changes in game speed. These changes seem to invite using the one addition to Tetris in this mode, the ZONE mechanic, which can act as a life saving mechanic during the game speed changes.

I completed JOURNEY MODE without ever using the ZONE mechanic, because I didn't know it was there. That's what you get for skipping the tutorial. So, when I played through JOURNEY MODE, the speed changes were extremely jarring, forcing me to snap out of the typical Tetris mental flow state and go into full on panic mode, dropping tetrominos all over the place, desperately trying to survive. I believe the changes in game speed are based on lines cleared in a level, but it is not visually indicated in any obvious way, and although it is connected to musical changes, it is not at all obvious which musical changes are accompanying changes in game speed, and which are not. So, the first time you play a level, the game speed changes can come as a total surprise, creating these jarring jumps in mental states. I tended to mess up badly when this happened.

Adding salt to the wound, the music seems to take on an almost mocking tone in these situations. The soundtrack accompanies the speed changes with crescendos and triumphant vocals, and at times, this almost felt like the game was celebrating its triumph over me! For the final level in JOURNEY MODE, you have to clear 90 lines. Without the ZONE mechanic, I failed many times when the speed changed along with the music swelling to epic levels, and I got so annoyed that I ended up turning the volume down on my TV. I'm sure my frustration to a large degree was due to me not knowing about the ZONE mechanic.

After finishing JOURNEY MODE, I started playing the EFFECT MODES, which are now my preferred way of playing the game. The CLASSIC mode has the same levels and music as JOURNEY MODE, but with a slower build, and none of the abrupt game speed changes. It feels much better, and because you play the same level for a longer time than in JOURNEY MODE, you may well end up completely entranced by the aesthetics.

As great as the EFFECT MODES are, I can't help but compare this game to Puyo Puyo Tetris, a superb Tetris / Puyo Puyo hybrid game that came out in 2014. Puyo Puyo Tetris has a wealth of innovative modes, many of them fusions of Tetris and Puyo Puyo, others cool new twists on each game separately. Tetris Effect lifts its ALL CLEAR mode directly from Puyo Puyo Tetris and both games borrow ideas from the awesome Super Famicom game Tetris Battle Gaiden, but I don't think Tetris Effect contributes with a new mode that is as interesting as these games.

All nitpicking aside, Tetris Effect is a wonderful experience for anyone who likes Tetris, and the musical integration should be experienced by anyone interested in audio technology and design. And be sure to check out the tutorial before starting JOURNEY MODE, or you'll be sorry!

screenshot
Image source: playstation.com

log entries

    2018-10-31
  • 9237
    This looks a game that is very much up my alley, a Tetris game directed by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, creator of Rez, Lumines, and Child of Eden.
  • 9239
    There should be a demo out on PS4 tomorrow. If I like it enough, it can be preordered at 10% off until November 9th.
  • 2018-11-01
  • 9241
    Downloading demo ...
  • 9243
    I played the demo for the first time, both the JOURNEY MODE and two rounds of ENDLESS MODE, which gets insanely difficult at SPEED LV 12. This game goes for a synaesthetic effect between the game and the visuals and sound, similar to Rez or Lumines. It actually feels a lot like playing Lumines, the way the levels are structured, with a musical progression tied to line clears, and musical sound effects for all interactions.
  • 9244
    Got the score 113884 in MARATHON. This is great.
  • 9245
    I just preordered this to get 10% off, so 'only' 287.10 DKK. Pretty steep, but I payed more for a Tetris game before.
  • 2018-11-05
  • 9257
    I'm wringing the last minutes out of the 'Weekend Demo', and then I'll have to wait until friday to play it again.
  • 9258
    I have now played almost 4.5 hours of this 4 stage demo. No more Tetris Effect until friday.
  • 2018-11-07
  • 9279
    The game is downloaded, will unlock in 1 day and 14 hours, so tomorrow at midnight.
  • 2018-11-09
  • 9288
    completed the game (JOURNEY MODE). The game came out at midnight exactly, and I went straight into completing JOURNEY MODE. That last level with 90 lines to clear was really difficult, and I had to retry it many times. JOURNEY MODE is cool, if a bit short.
  • 9289
    I played through most of the EFFECT MODES, some of which are super fun, and others are unreasonably stressful (like MASTER). MYSTERY is fun, with its random effects, including upside down, which had me standing with my head turned around in front of my TV.
  • 2018-11-14
  • 9297
    completed the game on NORMAL difficulty (JOURNEY MODE). Yup, it's way easier when using ZONE mode.
  • 9298
    Playing for an hour, I didn't manage to beat my MARATHON score.
  • 2018-11-26
  • 9319
    Martin visited and played a bunch of levels. For once, it's nice to actually spend some time looking at the graphics.
  • 2019-01-26
  • 9386
    Malu tried Tetris Effect and liked it, and played through JOURNEY MODE up until the horse level after the jazz level.
  • 2019-02-16
  • 9412
    Nabaz and Jonas visited, and we played through all of JOURNEY MODE except for the final set of levels.
  • 2020-03-27
  • 10540
    Me and Malu tried Tetris Effect in VR for the first time. I enjoyed looking around and seeing the dolphins and other water creatures in some of my favourite levels.



257 games in database, 71 completed (28%). Year range: 1971-2018, median: 1993.
box art - small boxes - screenshots - list

screenshot

Rez Infinite

Playstation 4 2016@1941

screenshot

Polybius

Playstation 4 2017@2085

screenshot

Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle:

The King of Dragons

Playstation 4 2018@2056

screenshot

Horizon Zero Dawn

Playstation 4 2017@1908

screenshot

Dr. Dude

Pinball 1990@1324

screenshot

River City Ransom

NES 1989@1962

screenshot

Below

Xbox One 2018@1549

screenshot

Dirt 4

Xbox One 2017@2048

screenshot

Elite: Dangerous

Playstation 4 2017@1948

screenshot

Street Fighter V

Playstation 4 2016@1817

screenshot

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Playstation 4 2015@1651

screenshot

Tekken 7

Playstation 4 2017@1814

screenshot

Qix

Amiga 1989@1191

screenshot

Marvel's Spider-Man

Playstation 4 2018@2058

screenshot

Galaxian

Arcade, October 1979@185

screenshot

Halo 5: Guardians

Xbox One 2015@1457

screenshot

Kirby's Dream Course

SNES 1994@1689

screenshot

Thunder Force III

SEGA Genesis 1990@1850

screenshot

Kung Fu

NES 1985@2073

screenshot

Jackal

NES 1988@1269

screenshot

Darkest Dungeon

Playstation 4 2016@1890

screenshot

Tekken 3

Arcade 1997@1546

screenshot

Titanfall 2

Playstation 4 2016@2016

screenshot

Robotron: 2084

Arcade 1982@471

screenshot

Forza Horizon 4

Xbox One 2018@2061

screenshot

Brogue

Windows 2010@2064

screenshot

Devil World

NES 1984@1921

screenshot

NieR: Automata

Playstation 4 2017@2050

screenshot

The King of Fighters XIV

Playstation 4 2016@1650

screenshot

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

Xbox One 2018@2083

screenshot

Ashen

Xbox One 2018@2084

screenshot

Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum Session!

Playstation 4 2017@2076

screenshot

Slope

Windows 2014@2088

screenshot

Tunnel Rush

Windows 2018@2087

screenshot

Sonic Mania

Playstation 4 2017@2086

screenshot

GRIP: Combat Racing

Xbox One 2018@2082

screenshot

Super Mutant Alien Assault

Playstation 4 2016@2075

screenshot

Sniper Elite 4

Playstation 4 2017@2079

screenshot

Hellfire

Arcade 1989@2081

screenshot

SHENZHEN I/O

Windows 2016@1720

screenshot

Gun-Nac

NES 1990@1922

screenshot

Darksiders III

Playstation 4 2018@2080

screenshot

Sniper Elite 4

Xbox One 2017@2078

screenshot

Artifact

Windows 2018@2077

screenshot

Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption

Xbox One 2018@2090

screenshot

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Playstation 4 2018@2074

screenshot

Raiden II

Arcade 1993@1559

screenshot

Mindshadow

Amiga 1985@1440

screenshot

Parasite Eve

Playstation 1998@2072

screenshot

Super Hydorah

Playstation 4 2017@2038

screenshot

Armed Police Batrider

Arcade 1998@1127

screenshot

Barbarian

Amiga 1987@1105

screenshot

Turrican II: The Final Fight

Amiga 1991@72

screenshot

Soulcalibur VI

Playstation 4 2018@2067

screenshot

Resident Evil

Playstation 4 2014@1735

screenshot

Zanac X Zanac

Playstation 2001@1641

screenshot

Resident Evil Zero

Playstation 4 2016@2068

screenshot

Resident Evil Survivor

Playstation 2000@2071

screenshot

Tetris the Absolute: The Grand Master 2 Plus

Arcade 2000@2070

screenshot

Tetris

NES 1988@265

screenshot

Mahou Daisakusen

Arcade 1993@1447

screenshot

Resident Evil Revelations 2

Playstation 4 2015@1368

screenshot

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Playstation 4 2017@1624

screenshot

Cogmind

Windows 2018@2066

screenshot

The Lurking Horror

DOS 1987@1068

screenshot

Super Hexagon

Windows 2012@2065

screenshot

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition

Playstation 4 2018@2052

screenshot

Limbo

Xbox 360 2010@191

screenshot

Sky Force Reloaded

Xbox One 2017@2063

screenshot

Sky Force Anniversary

Xbox One 2016@2062

screenshot

Dirt Rally

Playstation 4 2015@1893

screenshot

Eburnean

Macromedia Flash 2018@2060

screenshot

There is no Game

Macromedia Flash 2016@2059

screenshot

Shovel Knight

WiiU 2014@1289

screenshot

Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle:

Final Fight

Playstation 4 2018@2057

screenshot

Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle:

Knights of the Round

Playstation 4 2018@2055

screenshot

Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle:

Captain Commando

Playstation 4 2018@2054

screenshot

Dying Light

Playstation 4 2015@2034

screenshot

Samurai Shodown II

Xbox 360 2008@2051

screenshot

Garou: Mark of the Wolves

Xbox 360 2009@145

screenshot

SteamWorld Dig 2

Playstation 4 2017@2049

screenshot

Spelunky

Playstation 4 2014@1215

screenshot

Yoku's Island Express

Playstation 4 2018@2039

screenshot

The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match

Xbox 360 2009@2046

screenshot

Double Dragon Neon

Xbox 360 2012@2047

screenshot

Graveyard Keeper

Xbox One 2018@2045

screenshot

Ruiner

Xbox One 2017@2044

screenshot

Laser League

Xbox One 2018@2043

screenshot

Halo: Spartan Assault

Xbox One 2013@2042

screenshot

theHunter: Call of the Wild

Xbox One 2017@2041

screenshot

Super Lucky's Tale

Xbox One 2017@2040

screenshot

Dead Cells

Playstation 4 2018@2032

screenshot

Pocket City

Android 2018@2035

screenshot

Castle of Heart

Nintendo Switch 2018@2037

screenshot

Door Kickers: Action Squad

Windows 2017@2036

screenshot

Blockout

Amiga 1989@793

screenshot

Klax

Amiga 1990@790

screenshot

Klax

Arcade 1989@1573

screenshot

Space Gun

Amiga 1992@1195

screenshot

Forza Horizon 2

Xbox One 2014@2033

screenshot

Everspace

Playstation 4 2017@2026

screenshot

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Playstation 4 2017@1875

screenshot

Rain World

Playstation 4 2017@2031

screenshot

Hyper Sentinel

Playstation 4 2018@2029

screenshot

Dark Souls III

Playstation 4 2016@1571

screenshot

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Playstation 4 2017@2027

screenshot

Batman: Arkham Knight

Playstation 4 2015@1393

screenshot

Absolver

Playstation 4 2018@2028

screenshot

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Playstation 4 2013@769

screenshot

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend

Playstation 4 2015@1952

screenshot

Volgarr the Viking

Playstation 4 2016@2025

screenshot

Cryptark

Playstation 4 2017@2022

screenshot

Schmetris

Windows 2014@1052

screenshot

Contra III: The Alien Wars

SNES 1992@273

screenshot

Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting

SNES 1992@416

screenshot

Super Metroid

SNES 1994@115

screenshot

Chess Free

Android 2014@1558

screenshot

Quake Champions

Windows 2018@2024

screenshot

Time Crisis II

Arcade 1998@451

screenshot

Rhythm Tengoku

Game Boy Advance 2006@2021

screenshot

XCOM 2

Playstation 4 2016@1861

screenshot

Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition

Windows 2012@1489

screenshot

Salt and Sanctuary

Playstation 4 2016@1776

screenshot

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

Playstation 4 2018@2017

screenshot

Battlefield 1

Playstation 4 2016@1751

screenshot

Hudson's Adventure Island

NES 1988@2020

screenshot

Adventure Island II

NES 1991@2019

screenshot

Gimmick!

NES 1992@1910

screenshot

WWF: King of the Ring

NES 1993@2018

screenshot

Guerrilla War

NES 1988@1916

screenshot

Iron Crypticle

Playstation 4 2017@1931

screenshot

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Wii 2009@255

screenshot

Rock Boshers DX: Director's Cut

Playstation 4 2015@1932

screenshot

God of War

Playstation 4 2018@1953

screenshot

Paragon

Pinball 1979@1987

screenshot

Red & Ted's Road Show

Pinball 1994@1986

screenshot

Sorcerer

Pinball 1985@1985

screenshot

Spanish Eyes

Pinball 1972@1984

screenshot

Wild Card

Pinball 1977@1983

screenshot

Wipe Out

Pinball 1993@1982

screenshot

World Cup Soccer

Pinball 1994@1981

screenshot

Banzai Run

Pinball 1988@1980

screenshot

Fathom

Pinball 1980@1979

screenshot

Firepower II

Pinball 1983@1978

screenshot

Ghostbusters

Pinball 2016@1977

screenshot

Pinball Arcade

Playstation 4 2013@760

screenshot

TrackMania Turbo

Playstation 4 2016@1946

screenshot

Jack-Bot

Pinball 1995@1970

screenshot

Cyclone

Pinball 1988@1975

screenshot

Elvira and the Party Monsters

Pinball 1989@1974

screenshot

Xenon

Pinball 1980@1972

screenshot

The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot

Pinball 1991@1973

screenshot

The Addams Family

Pinball 1992@1565

screenshot

Earthshaker

Pinball 1989@1971

screenshot

The Party Zone

Pinball 1991@1969

screenshot

The Phantom of the Opera

Pinball 1990@1968

screenshot

Safe Cracker

Pinball 1996@1967

screenshot

Starship Troopers

Pinball 1997@1966

screenshot

Terra Cresta

NES 1985@1965

screenshot

Pooyan

NES 1985@1964

screenshot

Pipe Dream

NES 1990@1963

screenshot

Section Z

NES 1987@1956

screenshot

Shatterhand

NES 1991@546

screenshot

Mad Max

NES 1990@1957

screenshot

Friday the 13th

NES 1989@1955

screenshot

Zoids: Mokushiroku

NES 1990@1960

screenshot

Star Force

NES 1985@1961

screenshot

SonSon

NES 1985@1958

screenshot

Stinger

NES 1986@1959

screenshot

Dragon Ball Xenoverse

Playstation 4 2015@1954

screenshot

Dragon Ball: Daimaō Fukkatsu

NES 1988@1951

screenshot

Mighty No. 9

Playstation 4 2016@1950

screenshot

Mad Max

Playstation 4 2015@1947

screenshot

Renegade Ops

Windows 2011@816

screenshot

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection:

Borderlands 2

Playstation 4 2015@1945

screenshot

Superhot

Xbox One 2016@1942

screenshot

Halo 4

Xbox 360 2012@476

screenshot

Trials of the Blood Dragon

Xbox One 2016@1943

screenshot

Until Dawn

Playstation 4 2015@1856

screenshot

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Soulstorm

Windows 2008@136

screenshot

Halo: Reach

Xbox 360 2010@206

screenshot

Gears of War 3

Xbox 360 2011@320

screenshot

Ratchet & Clank

Playstation 4 2016@1938

screenshot

Gears of War 2

Xbox 360 2008@26

screenshot

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Xbox 360 2013@574

screenshot

Observer

Playstation 4 2017@1909

screenshot

Super Stardust Ultra

Playstation 4 2015@1936

screenshot

ProgressQuest

Windows 2002@1622

screenshot

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Playstation 4 2015@1431

screenshot

War of the Monsters

Playstation 4 2015@1935

screenshot

Flower

Playstation 4 2013@1934

screenshot

flOw

Playstation 4 2013@1933

screenshot

Aporia: Beyond the Valley

Windows 2017@1989

screenshot

A Hat in Time

Windows 2017@1988

screenshot

Echo

Windows 2017@1808

screenshot

Advance Wars: Dual Strike

Nintendo DS 2005@1930

screenshot

Metal Gear

MSX 1987@1150

screenshot

Returner 77

iOS 2017@2014

screenshot

Contra: Hard Corps

SEGA Genesis 1994@1476

screenshot

IK+

Amiga 1988@512

screenshot

Invert

Android 2017@2009

screenshot

Runtales - The Locket

iOS 2017@2013

screenshot

Ordheltene

Android 2017@2012

screenshot

Still Here

Android 2017@2011

screenshot

Snowblind

Android 2017@2010

screenshot

Star Fleet I: The War Begins!

Amiga 1987@830

screenshot

International Karate

Commodore 64 1986@1929

screenshot

Invert

iOS 2017@2008

screenshot

FIMBUL ´91

Android 2017@2007

screenshot

Line Level

iOS 2017@2006

screenshot

Flying TinBoy

iOS 2017@2005

screenshot

MYR

Android 2017@2004

screenshot

Star Trek

SDS SIgma 1971@827

screenshot

The Surge

Playstation 4 2017@1906

screenshot

Undersea

Android 2017@2003

screenshot

Jazz Smash

Android 2017@2002

screenshot

Fish and Spell

Android 2017@2001

screenshot

Guru Gloo: Adventure Climb

Android 2017@2000

screenshot

Zero-G

Windows 2017@1999

screenshot

Maldita Castilla EX

Playstation 4 2017@1928

screenshot

Disco Flip

Android 2017@1998

screenshot

Digit Dare

Android 2017@1997

screenshot

Figment

Windows 2017@1996

screenshot

Top Gun

NES 1987@1713

screenshot

The Ground Gives Way

Windows 2014@1927

screenshot

Snake Towers

Android 2017@1992

screenshot

Expeditions: Viking

Windows 2017@1995

screenshot

Conduct DELUXE!

Windows 2017@1994

screenshot

Cookie Cats Pop

Android 2017@1993

screenshot

Bee Brilliant Blast

Android 2017@1991

screenshot

Castle Explorer

Windows 2017@1990

screenshot

A Boy Enters A House

Unknown 2017@1949

screenshot

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

Playstation 4 2014@1306

screenshot

Rogue

Unix 1980@593

screenshot

Overcooked

Playstation 4 2016@1905

screenshot

XCOM: Enemy Within

Windows 2013@1219

screenshot

1-Bit Rogue

Android 2016@1924

screenshot

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Windows 2010@193

screenshot

Adventures of Lolo

NES 1989@1918

screenshot

Gun.Smoke

NES 1988@1923

screenshot

Dragon Spirit: The New Legend

NES 1990@1920

screenshot

Commando

NES 1986@1919

screenshot

Metal Gear Survive

Playstation 4 2018@1917

screenshot

Alien Syndrome

NES 1988@1915

screenshot

Crisis Force

NES 1991@1363

screenshot

Xevious

NES 1984@1914

screenshot

Boulder Dash

NES 1990@1913

screenshot

Gradius II

NES 1988@1912

screenshot

Dig Dug

NES 1985@1911

screenshot

Abadox: The Deadly Inner War

NES 1989@1708

screenshot

Gaplus

Arcade 1984@1527

screenshot

Galaga

Playstation 4 2016@1634

screenshot

Slain: Back from Hell

Playstation 4 2016@1904

screenshot

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Playstation 4 2016@1907

screenshot

Downwell

Playstation 4 2016@1786

screenshot

Downwell

Windows 2015@1790

screenshot

Gang Beasts

Windows 2014@1253



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