‘Tetris’ rolls out daily Primetime prize mode, battle royale and more

‘Tetris’ on mobile has expanded to add Primetime, Royale, and Together modes. © N3TWORK, Inc. / The Tetris Company

The latest iteration of “Tetris” for mobile phones is adding US$5,000 USD of daily prizes to play for.

The concept should be familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of the now-defunct but once wildly popular quiz app “HQ” (aka “HQ Trivia”).

Daily rounds of “HQ” offered rollover prizes that could reach six-figure US dollar amounts, depending on a particular contest’s sponsorship.

“Tetris” is starting with a more modest US$5,000 Primetime prize pool.

Multi-round Primetime games begin at 7.30pm each day, with local times determined by which of seven initial cities are closest to a player’s location: Los Angeles (PT), New York City (ET), London (UK), Berlin (Germany, Central Europe), Moscow (Western Russia), Perth (Western Australia) or Auckland (New Zealand).

“Tetris Royale,” as it was then known, went live in New Zealand in March 2019 as part of a pre-launch testing phase before rolling out internationally in January 2020 as “Tetris.”

Even at that early stage “Tetris Royale” featured Primetime Mode, with presenter Maudie Garrett and TV actor Millen Baird as hosts, and Baird is already in place for Primetime’s international bow.

A second mode from the New Zealand test is also among those given wide release in the game’s July 9 update.

Up to 100 players can go head-to-head in a discrete Tetris Royale mode, and see which of them can keep stacking blocks and clearing lines the longest for points and leaderboard places.

The elimination format and high player count is a hallmark feature of popular Battle Royale action games like “Fortnite” and “PUBG,” though Tetris Royale isn’t offering the more directly competitive multiplayer of “Tetris 99” on Nintendo Switch, in which players can target and attempt to derail fellow contestants.

Tetris Together is another new addition to the app, offering customisable, invite-only instances of Tetris Royale for groups of friends (or family members) with real-time voice chat, while the franchise’s classic mode stays on as Tetris Solo Marathon.