Tetris Effect, the trippy musical VR take on Tetris that won plaudits in 2018 from people like... me, is now available on the Oculus Quest headset. The game was originally released for the PlayStation 4 and came to the Epic Games Store on PC last year. Tetris Effect is one of the most beloved VR games out there and the Oculus Quest is my favorite VR headset, so I would describe this as good news.
I’ve spent some time with the Quest version and, well, it’s Tetris Effect on the Quest. It’s definitely taken a slight visual hit in the transition to three-year-old mobile hardware, but it still looks crisp enough on the Quest’s OLED screen. And, as with every other game for the Quest, it’s wonderful to play without wires and to be able to jump in right away with minimal fuss.
The biggest thing I had to get used to was actually the controls. Oculus’ Touch controllers don’t have D-pads and only use analog sticks for directional movement, which is not the ideal way to play a game like Tetris that benefits from precise digital input. The implementation is forgiving and I didn’t feel like it was a problem after a while, but I have a feeling I’ll fare somewhat worse on the leaderboards in this version when I get to the later stages.
Another thing you give up with the Quest version, obviously, is the ability to play it on a flat screen. I like Tetris Effect just as much in 2D as I do in VR on the PS4 and PC; it’s a different experience, neither better nor worse. VR is more immersive, sure, but there’s something to be said for watching the pin-sharp pyrotechnics fly around a 4K TV with the music pumping out of speakers. (It’s worth noting that at $29.99, the game is $10 cheaper on the Quest than on other platforms.)
The Quest version of Tetris Effect doesn’t have cross-buy compatibility with the Oculus store, possibly because of Enhance’s one-year Epic Games Store exclusivity deal. Theoretically, the Quest version could eventually come to the Oculus Rift store as well, which should allow for better visuals even on the Quest when played through an Oculus Link cable, though it’d still be a VR-only game.
This probably shouldn’t be most people’s first and only version of Tetris Effect. A lot of Oculus Quest owners will also have a PS4 or a PC capable of running the game, and those options would get them a better-looking, more versatile experience. But the Quest is such a unique piece of hardware that I can see a lot of Tetris Effect fans double-dipping — and if the Quest really is your only option, I absolutely do recommend this port. Tetris Effect is a game that I’ll personally always want to be able to play, and a truly portable VR version is a gift.
Tetris Effect is out now on the Oculus Quest store.