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Tetris 99's Big Block DLC adds offline modes

Tetris 99 came out of nowhere and became a major hit with Switch owners. Now Nintendo is looking for ways to monetize the game's popularity — you know, outside of having people sign up for Nintendo Switch Online.

The Big Block DLC is a $10 expansion for Tetris 99 that could very well be the most curious bit of downloadable content we've seen in quite some time. It adds a mode called CPU Battle, which pits you against 98 Tetris-playing bots, as well as a mode called Marathon, which is more akin to the single-player Tetris experience we all know and love. These are neat modes, for sure. Who doesn't want a chance to get the mechanics of Tetris 99 down without being humiliated by human opponents? And having a solo Tetris mode is a nice perk, especially since the Switch is missing a nice, normal Tetris game.

But think about what this is for a moment. This is an online multiplayer game, available with a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, that is charging for its offline experience. It seems a bit topsy-turvy, but who knows; maybe Nintendo just cracked the code for how to make these kinds of games work, and it won't be long before we see the online modes of games being given away while companies charge for the offline single-player side of things.

In any case, it's great to see Nintendo throwing all this support behind Tetris 99. And now that the company has openly stated that it wants to have more games like this one — tied to Nintendo Switch Online, preferably — it might not be long before the service is more valuable than its asking price.

Tetris 99 is downloadable from the Nintendo eShop, and is free to those with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The Big Block DLC can also be obtained via the eShop for $10, or — if you have them — 1000 Gold eShop Coins.