5.0 out of 5


  • Gameplay options
  • Replay value
  • Multiplayer
  • VR Support
  • 1984/1989


  • PS4 upgrade cost

Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC
Monstars Inc., Resonair, Stage Games
1-4 (2-8 online)
Release Date (NA)
Nov 10, 2020

Tetris Effect Connected is the upgraded version of the 2018 Tetris Effect, and it’s better. If you’ve held off on picking up Tetris Effect, you’re missing out on a spectacular puzzle game that shows why Tetris is a household name.

More Ways to Play

Tetris Effect: Connected - Screenshot

Initially, in our last review of Tetris Effect, it was a bummer that there wasn’t any multiplayer. That’s been corrected in Connected as players can now play multiplayer with others offline or online. Additionally, cross-play is available, giving players the option to play others outside your console/PC version. If that turns you off, the game offers the option to turn-off cross-play.

There’s a couple multiplayer modes to play, and all are equally fun. Players can play 1 vs 1 for competitive Tetris battles. It’s straightforward. The more blocks you clear, the more your rival’s field begins to fill with blocks. As those who’ve played Tetris or similar puzzle games know, once you pass the top, it’s game over. Outside the competitive battles, players can join forces in a 3 vs 1 against the artificial intelligence (AI). Similar to 1 vs 1 battles, your coop team will clear lines to add blocks to the AI’s field. Win two matches and your team leaves with a victory.

If you’re looking to improve your Tetris skills outside multiplayer competition, Tetris Effect Connected offers modes in the Effects Mode that range from creating combos in a limited time to a relaxing marathon where game overs don’t exist. There’s also a “mystery” mode where rules change constantly and the puzzle view can flip in different directions and angles. There’s something for everyone.

Puzzle Exploration

Tetris Effect: Connected - Screenshot

Like Tetris Effect, Connected has a series of stages you can play in the Journey Mode. You can play in various modes such as Beginner, Normal and Expert. Players will need to clear a certain number of lines before going to the next stage. When transitioning, the game beautifully changes you to a new design, music and layout. The creative thing that makes Tetris Effect shine is that when turning the blocks, its sound effect matches with the stage’s music. It’s as if you’re creating your own score. This isn’t a surprise as the game was developed and designed by Tetsuya Mizuguchi and the same team who brought you Rez Infinite and Lumines.

However, some stages begin to get hard on the eyes. When this occurs, the game offers options to tone down the flashes and design modifications to be more simplified, giving players the power to play with their own design rules.

Even after exploring all worlds and uncovering a couple secrets, you’ll want to revisit and play Tetris Effect Connected over and over.

Tetris Secrets

Tetris Effect: Connected - Screenshot

Tetris Effect Connected has a couple secret levels players will want to strive for. One is called 1989, and it’s the Game Boy version of Tetris when it was originally released in 1989. Playing it can be done by two ways: playing in a Weekend Ritual where online players unlock it for a timed period or obtaining it permanently by reaching player level 50. It’ll take time for players to achieve that level, but considering how much fun this puzzle game is, it’s worth striving for.

The second secret is titled 1984. This is considered the original version of Tetris for the Electronika 60, the old Soviet PC on which Alexey Pajinov first created the game. This stage is easier to unlock and can be done by a simple key command at the title screen. The official Tetris website explains how to do it with each device.

What about the 1989 NES version? This version already exists when starting the game and is located under the Effects Mode in the Classic Score Attack mode. Originally this version was only a single-player game, but in Tetris Effect Connected, you can use this version in multiplayer which is used in the popular competition, Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC). The rules remain the same as the original NES version. There’s no hard drops, no ghost piece (a highlighted Tetris piece to help players where to place their piece) and no holding a Tetris piece. After playing Tetris Effect’s Journey Mode and switching to the NES version, players will forget how strict the original Tetris games were.

Connected gives a solid tip of the hat to its roots and gives players a chance to play the classics again in an updated view. 

Accessories Unite

Tetris Effect: Connected - Screenshot

Whether you own the PlayStation 4 or the PlayStation 5, the Tetris game offers VR support. While writing this review, we have not tested how the game plays with the new PlayStation VR2 headset. Like the previous game we reviewed, the visuals will surround your view, and you can tilt the puzzle by moving your head. However, with the various game options Tetris Effect Connected offers, you’ll be able to modify the game experience to your preference and an up-close experience to your liking.

With the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, the game offers haptic feedback which gives more sensory experience within the game. The game’s music sends beats as vibration to the controller, creating more suspense in playing. 

A quick note. Those who own the PlayStation 4 version and want to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version will have to fork over $9.99 (USD) to get the new experience. This is a bummer for those early adopters, but worth it if you plan on continuing your Tetris journey to go online. Don’t forget, you’ll need an online membership to play with others.

The Final Piece

Tetris Effect Connected is an improvement from the 2018 version. Puzzle players will have a difficult time putting it down. It’s well worth experiencing the game whether you are new or a veteran.

A PlayStation 5 review code provided for this review and gameplay footage.

Tetris Effect Connected - Gameplay Footage (PS5)

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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