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New Tetris 99 DLC adds offline modes to Nintendo Switch Online's battle royale

Tetris 99, a free Tetris battle royale game that you can only play online with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, now has paid DLC to add offline modes that you can play for free. Something about those two juxtaposed concepts makes my brain feel like it's doing cartwheels inside my skull, but confusion aside, the Big Block DLC sounds pretty cool.

Buying the Big Block DLC will immediately add two new modes that are playable offline: CPU Battle, which plays out like a standard match of Tetris 99 with all your opponents controlled by the computer; and Marathon, which is an endurance mode to see how quickly you can clear set amounts of lines. Nintendo says you can also "get additional modes for Tetris 99 as they are released with the one-time purchase of this DLC", so you can look forward to more ways to play in the future.

Just to run down how this whole thing works: anybody with a Nintendo Switch is free to download Tetris 99. However, by default it only has one game mode that requires an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play. Purchasing and installing this $9.99 / £8.99 DLC will add two modes (and hopefully more in the future) that can be played offline, meaning you no longer have to pay for Nintendo Switch Online to enjoy Tetris 99. Though you do have to pay for the DLC. There, settled.

Now that my brain has stopped doing olympic gymnastic routines, the Big Block DLC strikes me as a smart way to expand Tetris 99 without splitting the online playerbase into multiple modes. Not only that, Tetris 99 now has some appeal for folks who just aren't into multiplayer. Maybe not as mind-blowing as playing through a full Tetris Effect VR journey, but still pretty clever.

Find more to play this year and beyond with our list of upcoming Switch games. Or see if you should invest in Switch VR with our video explainer.