PlayStation has kicked off its week of pre-E3 2018 reveals by announcing a new game that will please fans of puzzle, rhythm, and VR games.
Tetris Effect is the next game from the makers of Rez and Lumines. Developed by Enhance Games, which is headed by Rez and Lumines producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Tetris Effect looks to blend Tetris’ puzzle-based gameplay with Rez‘s focus on rhythm, music, and hypnotic imagery.
As the trailer explains, the “Tetris effect” is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people pattern their thoughts based on a single activity after completing that activity repeatedly over an extended period of time. Famously, amnesiac subjects of a 2000 Harvard study “reported intrusive, stereotypical, visual images of [Tetris] at sleep onset… despite being unable to recall playing the game [during the day].”
According to a blog post by Mizuguchi, Tetris Effect is looking to “amplify and enhance that same magical feeling where you just can’t get it out of your head, and not just the falling shapes, but all the visuals, the sounds, the music—everything!” In other words, Mizuguchi wants to invade your dreams, and judging by the trailer, it just might work.
Despite the fact that it’s a Tetris game, Tetris Effect might be one of Mizuguchi’s most ambitious projects to date. The game will feature 30 stages each based on a “different fantastical world that reacts and evolves based on how you play: background elements, audio, special effects—everything, down to the Tetris pieces themselves, pulse, dance, shimmer, make music, explode, etc., in perfect sync with how you’re playing.” Mizuguchi’s previous titles were already trippy and hypnotic, and it sounds like Tetris Effect is planning on taking it to the next level, especially considering that the game will launch with PlayStation VR support.
Understandably, this level of visual and aural shenanigans might sour some Tetris purists on the experience, but it sounds like there will still be a competitive bent to Tetris Effect, with returning modes including Marathon, Ultra, and Sprint, as well as new modes made specifically for Tetris Effect that will incorporate the game’s Zone mechanic that allows players to briefly stop time.
Tetris Effect will launch in fall 2018 for the PlayStation 4. Expect more information about the game, including a gameplay demo, at this year’s PlayStation E3 showcase.