Tetris is the final boss of a lot of video game consoles. For years I kept my NES around, partly, sure, because I think it is uncommonly nice to look at, but mostly because it meant Tetris on the TV. Equally, I reckon there are a lot of Game Boys out there that only play Tetris these days; I have at least two in my house somewhere. After that it starts to get slightly creepy: as the years have passed, my DS is largely still active because of Tetris DS, a Nintendo-themed blow-out marked by scrappy imagination. And if we allow Lumines into the fold, then jeepers: the PSP is never without the Lumines UMD, and my Vita is basically a beautiful machine for playing Electronic Symphony, a game that had the audacity to change the way the fuse block worked – and I loved it for that.
One day I reckon the Switch will be a machine for Puyo Puyo Tetris, Tetris 99 and Lumines Remastered. It is all slightly uncanny really, like the part in a thriller where the idiot who’s about to be killed realises just how far the conspiracy has already spread. And now here’s Tetris Effect: Connected. Not content with being the final boss of the last generation of consoles with Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s luminous spin on the most elemental video game ever, now Tetris Effect is arriving in rejigged form at the start of a console cycle. And it’s on Game Pass. What hope is there for any of us?
It’s harmonious, I reckon, that the final boss of a lot of video game consoles now has a mode with a final boss in it. Tetris Effect: Connected is basically Tetris Effect, that cosmic delight, with a multiplayer suite added. (You could argue the leaderboards in Tetris Effect were already a pretty appealing multiplayer suite, but trust me, this is even better.) And the brightest star in the new multiplayer constellation – unwise to go with an analogy there, but Miz does things to me – is Connected itself. Three against one, or more commonly three against an AI. Monster Hunter Tetris. WOW Raid Boss Tetris. Abel Gance’s Napoleon with the three-part-projection Tetris. Jeepers!