Tetris 99 seems to be getting a retail release in Japan

Tetris $29.99

It appears that Tetris 99 is going to get a retail release in Japan. Retailers have put up listings for the game, and they say that it'll launch on Aug. 9th, 2019, and is priced at $30. The physical release includes the game, additional content, and a 12-month online subscription.

Thanks to JPSwitchMania for the heads up!

Will you be one of the top 999 players in the Tetris® 99 4th MAXIMUS CUP?

Good luck, Tetris fans

Stretch out those fingers and practice your Tetrimino-rotating techniques. The Tetris® 99 MAXIMUS CUP is back and ready to award each of the top 999 skilled players with the most event points with 999 My Nintendo Gold Points.

Do you have what it takes to emerge victorious?

On June 21, the Tetris 99 4th MAXIMUS CUP online event* arrives for players with a Nintendo Switch Online membership. Like the last MAXIMUS CUP, this free event awards various points for each match played during the event period, even if you don't come in first place.

The 4th MAXIMUS CUP runs from 12 a.m. PT on June 21 and ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on June 23. To participate, Nintendo Switch Online members just have to play the Tetris 99 online mode during the contest period. The top 999 players who earn the most event points in the allotted contest period will each earn 999 My Nintendo Gold Points, which can be redeemed for some cool games in Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo Switch system.

The Tetris 99 digital game includes an online mode that is a special offer for Nintendo Switch Online members**. In the game, 99 players compete together until only one is left standing. Recently, the paid Big Block DLC added two new modes to the game, both of which can be played offline. (The full version of the game is required to use the DLC; sold separately.)

Tetris Creator Alexey Pajitnov has played, and loves Tetris 99

Could there be any higher praise?

There have been so, so many Tetris spin-offs, remakes, and revamps over the years. It's certainly hard to keep track of them all. To be something new and interesting with Tetris, you really have to stand out. Tetris 99 is definitely one of those standout titles, as it takes the core of Tetris and gives us a new way to enjoy multiplayer.

Plenty of people are getting enjoyment out of Tetris 99, and that includes Tetris Creator Alexey Pajitnov. In an interview with Nintendo Life, Mr. Pajitnov talks about his time with the title.

I love the game. Unfortunately, my son stole the Switch from me [laughter], so I can’t really enjoy it. But as soon as he gives it back to me, I will play again and again. That’s one of the best games of Tetris of the last year. I really like what was done.

If you're wondering, no...Mr. Pajitnov has not managed to get a Tetris 99 Victory Royale just yet. He's placed third a couple times, so there's hope!

Nintendo details their World Hobby Fair Summer ’19 plans

Demos and tournaments galore

World Hobby Fair Summer ’19, which will be held in Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan on June 29th and 30th, 2019, will have some Nintendo titles for fans to check out. Nintendo has announced that they're bringing. Super Mario Maker 2, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and TETRIS 99 with them.

Nintendo will also hold a Super Mario Maker 2 competition for primary school students, with each winner receiving a sticker. There will be a course creating contest (for all ages) as well, which will air over the weekend on YouTube and niconico. Those who take on a TETRIS 99 tournament and win will also receive a sticker. Finally, all visitors will receive an ‘original note.’

Famitsu print ad - Switch Online

The latest print ad from Nintendo is all about the Switch Online service. The full-page ad gives a quick rundown of what features customers will have access too, as well as a snippet on Tetris 99. $20 bucks for a full year's worth of service and Tetris 99? Sounds like a deal to me!

Tetris 99 originally had 8 tactical options, more DLC focused on playing with family/friends offline is coming

Insight into Tetris 99 from the dev team

Tetris 99 lets you choose 4 different tactical options when you play. You have the ability to go with Random, KOs, Badges and Attackers, and switching up between the 4 as you play is certainly a good idea. A combination of all options will help you get further in the game, and certainly keeps the action frantic. Turns out the dev team actually had the idea to include another 4 tactical options as well!

In an interview with 4Gamer (translated by NintendoEverything), Director Ryuichi Nakada and producer Akira Kinashi talked about the other tactical options they cut from the game.

Nakada: No, originally there were eight, including things like ‘Defensive’ and ‘Slowdown’. From there we cut them down to the current four.

For example, in the case that someone with the ‘Slowdown’ option was put in a game, they would be paired with someone with the same tactics selected and battle each other one-on-one. There were a lot of people that thought this went against the basic ethic Battle Royale. With the ‘Shield’ mode, instead of attacking other players after clearing away your blocks, you instead create a barrier around yourself. The problem with this was that in playtesting there were those who only chose this tactic and instead of attacking simply defended themselves, leading to long stalemates.

Kinashi: What happened with the play testers was surprising. I knew there would be players who didn’t want to actively attack but instead avoid being attacked, but there were actually far more than I expected. The result was that the game dragged on so that one match could take more than twenty minutes.

A bit later in the interview, we learn that a second wave of DLC is on the way. Specifics aren't shared, but we do get a general idea of what will be released.

Kinashi: In terms of free content, the ability to change the appearance of your own Tetrominos and also choose your own emblem. Also from May 10 onwards, we’ll be adding new modes as paid DLC. The first stage of this is a mode to get those not yet used to the game ready for the online mode by competing against CPU players, ‘CPU Battle Mode’, as well as a standard mode for those wanting to play Tetris alone, ‘Marathon Mode’. I can’t talk about the second wave properly yet, but we also plan to add content that lets people enjoy playing with their family and friends offline.

Footage of Tetris 99's special Game Boy theme

Ah, nostalgia

To the celebrate the 35th anniversary of Tetris, anyone who takes part in weekend Grand Prix will play with the Game Boy theme by default, scoring over 100 points allows you to unlock it permanently! Check out the retro theme in action complete with original Tetris Theme A Music!

Tetris 99 devs discuss the idea's inception, development time, and why they didn't go with 100 players

Perfectly balanced...

4Gamer has published an interview with the team behind Tetris 99, and a number of interesting details have been shared. Check out a summary of the info below.

- development for Tetris 99 started in April 2018
- this was when developers figured out what kind of Tetris game they wanted to make
- after the concept was decided, development went into full swing, and a prototype came together by October 2018
- development took about 10 months
- the inspiration for Tetris 99 came from the Battle Royale genre
- the developers were really excited about the idea, with some stating they wanted to “make this” and “play this”
- Tetris 99 was originally going to have 100 players, but they changed it to 99 in order to have an even number of players on both sides of the screen

GameSpot Video - Tetris 99 Big Block DLC gameplay

Persia tries out the new Big Block DLC for Tetris 99 that has offline modes including CPU Battle and Marathon!