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New 'ultimate incarnation' of Tetris Effect adds co-op and multiplayer, but only on the Microsoft Store

(Image credit: Enhance Games)

Tetris Effect is already the best version of Tetris, somehow making the experience of combining blocks powerfully emotional with its art and its music and thousands of dancing particles. Later this year, with the launch of Microsoft's new console, it's going to get even better with Tetris Effect: Connected, an updated version that adds online support for 1-3 players. The unfortunate catch here is that this version of Tetris Effect is exclusive to "Microsoft platforms," meaning the Xbox consoles and, in our case, the Microsoft Store.

It's an awkward deal considering Microsoft, itself, is now releasing many of its big games like Flight Simulator and Halo's Master Chief Collection on Steam. I want to play more Tetris Effect, but I don't particularly want to deal with the Microsoft Store to do it. This is actually the third "exclusive" version of Tetris Effect, after its release on the PS4 in 2018 and the Epic Store in 2019.

Those versions of the game will be getting the new multiplayer modes as a free update, but not until Summer 2021. Tetris Effect still isn't available on Steam, despite supporting Steam VR.

Here's the full breakdown of what Tetris Effect: Connected contains:

  • Online or Local co-op and competitive play for 1-3 players (1-2 competitive, 1-3 co-op, with CPU players available)
  • Ranked and unranked play, matchmaking, and player progression for unlockable avatars
  • Cross-play between all Xbox Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Windows 10 (PC)
  • The entire Tetris Effect single-player game also included
  • Smart Delivery means Xbox One owners can upgrade to Xbox Series X any time for free
  • Available for sale or via Xbox Game Pass at launch
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(Image credit: Enhance Games)
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(Image credit: Enhance Games)
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(Image credit: Enhance Games)

I confirmed with Enhance Games' PR that Tetris Effect: Connected will be available in the PC version of Game Pass, which at least offers a nicer interface (via the new Xbox beta app) than the Microsoft Store and currently costs a hard-to-beat $5 per month. No word on pricing yet to buy the game outright, but Tetris Effect currently costs $40 on the Epic Store and PSN.

When he's not 50 hours into a JRPG or an opaque ASCII roguelike, Wes is probably playing the hottest games of three years ago. He oversees features, seeking out personal stories from PC gaming's niche communities. 50% pizza by volume.