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Friday, February 15, 2019

9th Place on Tetris 99; and Other Tetris Things

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I don't like Tetris.

Once upon a time, a year ago, I was asked in a request to write about Tetris. I never did, since I dislike Tetris, and I was planning on interviewing someone associated Tetris to fulfill that request. She agreed, and then bailed on me. After repeated requests. So I never planned to write about Tetris ever again.

Suddenly, the Nintendo Direct from two days ago introduced this releasing-after-the-Direct game, Tetris 99, or as we called it first (before anyone else), “Tetris Battle Royale.” Free for anyone with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which is everyone on the KoopaTV staff thanks to our family group.

It's a VS. Tetris game (the kind where if you get combos you get to dump trash on other people's boards), but there are 99 players. Not 100. But 99. You probably don't have to worry about 98 other people ganging up on you, though. Like other battle royales, there's a large enough space of possibility that people are concerned with one another but probably not you. Just know you'll get some trash blocks and more trash blocks the more you play.

I wouldn't say there's that much direct interaction between players, then. Or maybe there is and I just don't know what I'm doing.

Tetris 99 stats screen Nintendo Switch
I've played Tetris 99 for over 15 minutes, so I'm obviously quite qualified to write a whole article about it.

There's nothing all that exciting to write about Tetris gameplay itself, since everyone knows how it works. This is just seeing if you can outlast the other 98 people. Here's me outlasting 90 people, at least, and watching the final 2 go at it:

You can see there what other-player interaction looks like. Tiny thumbnails of their gameplay. I think you can pick which one to send trash to with your control stick. Not sure why you'd bother. As a result, moving the Tetriminos is via your directional pad with the face buttons rotating them, so using the Pro Controller is a bad idea due to its poor directional pad quality.. I used my GameCube controller; supposedly the best way to play the game is actually with the Joy-Cons.

I support the number 9, so I like that the game has 99 players instead of 100 like the other Battle Royale games. There's 49 players (7x7) on each side of your play area, making that 99 total. (49+1+49.)

Tetris 99 may be the game Nintendo was referencing days before its release when they were telling investors, “In addition to the titles we have already announced for scheduled release in 2019, we're also preparing for releasing software titles which would delight consumers including one that is good fit for Nintendo Switch Online.” As well as one way for “[ma]king long-term services like Nintendo Switch Online more appealing can also contribute to maintaining the utilization of the hardware.”

And it's pretty likely that Tetris 99 will get more added to it as time goes on.

Still, not the kind of game I like. The best application of Tetris mechanics, ever, was the final boss fight of Soviet Missile Run. And that's a game that you can play for free on KoopaTV, making KoopaTV more appealing so you'll maintain utilisation of this website. Yup. 

By the way, did you know that (ran by The Tetris Company) has a writing staff? Not that you should go and actually look. You won't get truth and levity like you find on KoopaTV. Must be really dull to do nothing but talk about Tetris.

KoopaTV talks about many, many other games and topics, but hardly ever Tetris. There are some big reasons for that. If you have a problem with that, then maybe you should go to and see what that looks like. Don't tell The Tetris Company that Soviet Missile Run exists, or they'll sue KoopaTV. That'd be bad. If you find yourself enjoying Tetris 99, go ahead and state that. Other KoopaTV staffers like it more than Ludwig does, anyway.

Ludwig really dislikes battle royale games like Fortnite.


  1. We had many situations in our family where Tetris battles were fierce and pecking order was decided by who came out on top. Tetris can be serious business.

  2. I agree with your dislike of Tetris, but have to concede there's something mesmerizing about watching someone ELSE play it.

    1. I don't concede that.

      I recently watched a video of Super Smash Bros. Melee professionals Armada and Leffen saying the Tetris watching fanbase is one of the most toxic, because they're very critical on a play-by-play basis if you don't optimally position a piece. And they'll say you're terrible/trash for any mistake.

    2. I didn't say a darn thing about reading the comments on Tetris videos, lol. I'm not a part of the "Tetris watching fanbase" but a lot of people I follow on Twitch have been playing it. I didn't like it at first but after a while, like I said...mesmerizing.

    3. I guess if you toggle the chat off the Twitch videos it's better.

      I haven't watched a Tetris player on Twitch so I guess I'll take your word for it. For now.

  3. 9th place on 99 Tetris? Should have had a 999 reference, I'm trying to get to the true ending and man did the bad ending take me by complete surprise! Also, the game is a lot sadder than i thought it'd be.

    I myself am not very good at Tetris, so I don't play it often. Bit of circular reasoning there as I'll never get better at Tetris without playing it and I'll never play it if I don't want to because I'm not good at it. It's amazing how the game has stood the test of time and people still love and play it today. Could be it's simplicity, could be that it's been ported to nearly everything in existence. Reminds me a bit of Doom in that regard. Somewhat equally beloved in the gaming world, even by those who have no desire to play it.

    1. L-Block from Tetris is a widely beloved character:


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