Yesterday, Tetris Ultimate, the latest official version of the classic puzzle game, was released on Steam for $14.99. Today, I asked for a refund.

I haven’t gotten it yet, but I did fill out the forms:

It wasn’t technical issues, or anything like that. While the console versions of Tetris Ultimate were known to have weird performance and lag issues, my version of Tetris Ultimate seemed to work the way it was intended to. The problem is everything surrounding the experience.

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I do not want to log into uPlay, Ubisoft’s proprietary distribution service, to play Tetris. It’s TETRIS. I just want to play the damn game. Really, the Game Boy version of the game is perfect: no frills, no bullshit superflous special effects or animations that alter a classic experience. No cringey updated version of the Tetris theme. Just good ol’ Tetris.

Yes, I know that I sound like I’m 97 right now.

I mean, Ubisoft tried. They really did. There are a few new modes. There’s multiplayer. There are achievements of sorts. You can earn rewards by playing, like special avatars to use on uPlay. Except, again, I don’t want to use uPlay. Nor do I really want stuff like a Tetris wallpaper.

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What really cemented Tetris Ultimate’s fate on my hard drive, however, is that I can’t play the game for too long without the game hurting my eyes. For whatever reason, the entire game has this awful neon hue that’s really harsh on the eyes. You can see it in any of the screenshots of the game. Obviously, not being able to play the game without discomfort is a problem.

I’m kind of in disbelief anyone could mess something like Tetris up, but they did, and here we are. Arguably, this is the second time Ubisoft have messed Tetris up. The first time was on consoles, when the game ran like garbage for some people. Now that we have a port of Tetris Ultimate, it turns out that well, maybe the game underneath all the issues wasn’t super great to begin with.

If I were to classify myself, I’d say I’m more of a casual player of Tetris. On the other end of the spectrum are hardcore players, who really care about more granular features...and they don’t seem very happy with the experience, either. Right now, Tetris Ultimate has a “mostly negative” rating on Steam. A few reviews, which illustrate the issues people are having:

I guess I got lucky that I didn’t experience any technical issues in the time I played. Regardless, I’m still waiting to hear back on Steam support, to see if my refund request will go through. Hopefully it does. This game does not seem like it is worth the $14.99 I put down.


Contact the author at patricia@kotaku.com.