My favorite things of 2018 - Day #18

The year is 2018 and a Tetris game makes the list of my favorite things of the year.

Coming from the same folk behind the seminal interactive musical experiences Rez and Lumines, Tetris Effect is a perfect evolution of their fusion of music and puzzle.

It's still Tetris, the addition of a time slowing bonus mechanic doesn't really change the core loop of the classic gameplay. However, as with Lumines, the beat of the music absolutely does. The pace of a song dictates the pace of the game in a brilliant way. The experience ebbs and flows in time to the music in a wonderfully intuitive way.

Then there are the visuals, and the VR mode. The visuals are simply stunning throughout, superbly animated, and never steal away your attention too much, which is masterful given all that is happening on screen in some of the levels.

I would not have instinctively thought that a Tetris game would be a great match for a VR mode, but it absolutely is. If anything, it is the games best mode, allowing the visuals to truly consume you. It's a meditative experience at times, even when the game is at its' most stressful.

This is a great lesson for all designers in both how to adapt an existing game in a new way, and how to craft a wonderfully immersive experience.