Tetris Effect is the latest game from Lumines and Rez creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. It was revealed at E3 over the summer, and I won’t lie, the trailer got me emotional for reasons I can’t really explain. It’s just a narrator describing the Tetris effect, a pattern of hallucinations or behaviors that occur after an extend amount of time engaging in a repetitive activity (you know, like playing Tetris), with music and trippy art in the background. But for some reason, it felt like something special.
I love Tetris, so naturally I’ve been really looking forward to this. Today, Sony released a limited-time demo for the game that will be available until November 5th. I’ve played it for probably 3 or 4 hours tonight, and I’m happy to say that it’s fantastic. I had trouble tearing myself away to write this. The actual feeling of controlling the blocks is very responsive, but it’s the presentation that really makes Tetris Effect special. The music is dynamic and builds as you play. Rotating, moving, and dropping the blocks makes sounds that build with the background music, and as you clear lines, more layers are added to the music.
This is in addition to the insane particle effects that Mizuguchi is known for. Even then, there are little touches like the controller vibrating and pulsing to the beat, and the subtle way the outline of the box moves when you drop a block. All of this adds up to a game that just feels good to play in a way that no version of Tetris has before. The combination of the way the gameplay feels, the visuals, and the music resulted in a hypnotic experience that made me forget to blink a lot of the time.
Tetris Effect lives up to its name; I’m seeing blocks when I close my eyes.