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Tetris Beat gives the classic '80s game a new soundtrack on Apple Arcade

The new game brings the classic one into the spotlight for a new generation with exclusive music.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
3 min read

You can enjoy Tetris Beat even if you never played the original game. 


Take classic Tetris and splice it with VR rhythm game Beat Saber, and you'll get Apple Arcade's latest game. Tetris Beat from game developer N3twork is a fresh spin on the tile-matching game first released in 1984, mixing in rhythm mechanics and pop, electronic dance and hip hop music. 

Tetris Beat keeps traditional game play of rotating and dropping Tetriminos (blocks) with the goal of creating a combo chain to score. The twist with Tetris Beat? You have to keep time with the song's beat. The exclusive Apple Arcade game features songs from musicians like Alison Wonderland, Octa Octa and Garza. 

You can play three game modes -- drop, tap and marathon -- with multiple difficulty levels. Drop mode lets you rotate and drop the Tetriminos to the beat. Keeping to the rhythm increases your chances of creating the biggest combo chain. In tap mode, you'll choose the most strategic piece to tap in time with the song's beat. Finally, marathon mode gives you an endless Tetris experience with a fun soundtrack. 

N3etwork executive producer Lawrence Clark said that Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov likened Tetris to a "song which you sing and sing inside yourself and can't stop."

"[That quote] led us down a path of exploration using music as the central design pillar," Clark said. "During prototyping we became fascinated by a niche community of Tetris YouTubers who intentionally Hard Drop along to the music of existing Tetris games just to showboat."


Tetris Beat elevates the original game with original music and fun backgrounds.


Tetris Beat's colorful interface and fun soundtrack fit in with other atmospheric, addictive games on Apple Arcade like Alto's Odyssey, Skate City and Sayonara Wild Hearts. The game features laser-show style flashing lights, so if you're sensitive to flashing lights, you might want to skip this one. 

The new game launches with 18 exclusive songs, and more will be added every month. Starting in October, Tetris Beat will start adding four new songs on the first Thursday of each month, according to Kathee Chimowitz, who's part of N3twork's strategic partnerships team. The musicians and performers collaborated closely with the developers on how the music would be in the game -- down to color choices and visual themes.

"We are so proud to use this as an opportunity to draw attention to nonbinary and female producers (such as Octo Octa, Eris Drew, Alison Wonderland and Cinthie) who are underrepresented in dance music," Chimowitz said. "We've also made a very intentional effort to include a wide range of ethnic diversity -- everything from Scandinavian Pop to Latin Hip Hop."

Never played Tetris? Clark says newcomers should start with tap mode to enjoy an absorbing, flowing gameplay experience while getting used to the rhythm and building gameplay mechanics. 

Tetris CEO Maya Rogers also noted the company's slogan, "We all play together."

"Tetris has always been an inclusive game, no matter what background, language, gender or age, it's a game that is loved by everyone," Rogers says. "The seven Tetriminos represent all the colors of the rainbow, and we love how the music in Tetris Beat was curated with that in mind."