Tetris 99 is free-to-play for Nintendo Switch Online subs today

A new free-to-play version of Tetris is out for Nintendo Switch Online subs. And yes, it's Tetris Battle Royale.


Tetris has had a long storied history on Nintendo platforms and it's a history that looks to continue. The February 13, 2019 Nintendo Direct revealed an all-new iteration of the puzzle classic, one that's available right now exclusively for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

Tetris 99 will challenge 99 players to play through the classic game until only one player is left standing. Yes, it's essentially Tetris Battle Royale. The idea is that 99 players enter, but competitors are gradually eliminated as more and more garbage piles up on their screens, resulting from doubles, triples, and Tetrises racked up by various opponents.

It's been a while since a good version of Tetris has graced a Nintendo platform. The last noteworthy version to release on any kind of Nintendo platform was the Nintendo DS' Tetris DS, which reintroduced the puzzle classic along with a second screen that played classic scenes from Nintendo's vast library of first-party games. Tetris 99 comes with a slightly simpler presentation, but by utilizing battle royale principles, it freshens the game up in a way that nobody could have ever expected. Just 24 hours ago, somebody could have said "Tetris Battle Royale" and had a good laugh. But this game appears to be no joke and it appears to be excellent in its execution. It may not be Tetris Effect, but this is pretty amazing nonetheless.

Tetris 99 is available today for Nintendo Switch Online customers. It's free to download, but don't forget you'll need that Nintendo Switch Online membership in order to join in the fun, so expect that to set you back a few bucks. Also, don't expect the experience to be limited solely to the core game mode. Nintendo is promising special online events in the future, so look for details on those as they arrive.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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