Tetris Effect: Connected Xbox Series X impressions: All together now

The wonder of Tetris Effect has come to the Xbox Series X. We take a look at Tetris Effect: Connected to see how much it adds to the sublime original experience.


While the Xbox Series X may not have much in the way of first-party exclusives, it has a pretty strong launch lineup. One of the games leading the way is the revamped Tetris Effect: Connected, featuring all-new multpilayer modes to go along with the original package's single-player. There was so much to love about the original Tetris Effect and, as it turns out, it proves to be even better with other players.

The first thing to note is that Tetris Effect continues to look like one of the most beautiful games on the market. That not only hasn't changed with Connected, but the Xbox Series X's 4K UHD support makes the whole experience burst with a colorful, vibrant atmosphere. In the year since its release, I had forgotten how striking Journey Mode's visuals were and it's been a blast to relive them on the new Xbox hardware. It's a wonder to experience, just as long as you remember to adjust the zoom function. The game defaults to the original zoomed-out view, which is great for VR platforms, but not so much for standard console play, so hit that Options mode before jumping in.

The biggest difference Connected has with its predecessor is a greater emphasis on multiplayer play. This includes the titular Connected mode, which has players team up with two friends or strangers to take on AI bosses based on zodiac figures. Players will start by focusing on their own Tetris grids, striving to survive against the boss' various attacks. Upon getting to a certain point, the game will combine all three grids and this is where Connected becomes a Tetris experience unlike any other. All three players must focus on their new collective grid and complete as many lines as possible, each player taking turns dropping Tetriminos. It can sometimes be confusing to tell whose turn it is, but a trio working on all cylinders can put together some massive scores. It's a really cool idea that's really only dragged down by a lack of active players. Finding matches has taken me no less than 20 minutes every time out, as more players look to be gravitating towards Connected's competitive modes. Play this one with friends, unless you have some way to kill time while waiting in the lobby.

Connected's other big multiplayer mode of note is Classic Score Attack, which takes every modern Tetris idea and tosses it out the window in favor of pure competition. Every quality-of-life mechanic that has made Tetris a breeze has been disabled. This is Tetris as it was back in the old NES and Game Boy days and it makes head-to-head matchups feel fierce and frantic. It's an exciting addition that stands as a fun contrast to all of Connected's newer bells and whistles.

Everything we said about Tetris Effect in our 2018 review still holds true with Connected. But with the added multiplayer functions, it feels like a more well-rounded package. It's a game that should be at the top of every Xbox Series X owner's list. And if you don't have an Xbox Series X, it looks pretty decent on the Xbox One, too.

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?

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 13, 2020 7:00 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Tetris Effect: Connected Xbox Series X impressions: All together now

    • reply
      November 13, 2020 7:19 AM

      Loving classic multiplayer!

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      November 13, 2020 8:07 AM

      I'm pretty bummed that the multiplayer versus modes just have the single themes as far as I can tell. I was really hoping you'd be able to choose from a variety of audio visual styles like you can in the SP marathon modes and such. I don't see why both players couldn't even have their own desired theme and music on their end, either.

      The coop mode at least shuffles it up a bit with the music audio each stage, but the visual themes of the pieces and background don't seem to change aside from basic color? If there's any changes, it's minimal.

      So strange considering how varied the normal game is.

      Also strange is that you cannot tilt the wells around and zoom in/out at all with the right stick in the MP modes. They can bounce around Up/Down/L/R dynamically and there's some scripted stuff in the MP, but it's all very static compared to the SP game. You lose a lot of the depth and 3D-ness by forcing it to display flat like that. Not sure how well that's going to work in VR, either.

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      November 13, 2020 8:11 AM

      I saw this on PC GamePass last night - is this a separate "game" from the original Tetris Effect? I have no real interest in multiplayer but would definitely be down to play Tetris Effect on my PC.

      • reply
        November 13, 2020 8:42 AM

        Same exact game (minus VR support for now), with added optional multiplayer modes.

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