Mario Kart vs Sonic Team Racing: Which is Better?

Few things in life match the simple, visceral satisfaction of firing a Blue Shell at the first-place leader and blowing past the explosion to win the race—except, perhaps, using Slingshot Boost from a nearby teammate to boost yourself ahead of everyone else to claim the glory for yourself and your team.

Both Mario Kart and Sonic Team Racing appeal to those that want a lighthearted, fun, pick-up-and-play experience with minimal time commitment. 

While the majority of people can immediately pick which of the two titles they prefer, newcomers to the Switch might struggle a bit. This guide can help. We will break down the differences in gameplay, mechanics, and several other factors that set the two games apart from one another. 

Which Is Better: Mario Kart Vs Team Sonic Racing?

Mario Kart is the better game, hands-down. This doesn’t mean that Team Sonic Racing is bad, but it’s a newcomer in the world of kart racers. Mario Kart’s long and storied history makes it stand out, but its true strength lies in how well-developed the game is overall. 

Which Has The Better Roster?

A racing game is typically about the cars (or the carts), but both Mario Kart and Team Sonic Racing allow players to take the role of their favorite characters from the respective series.

In Mario Kart, characters are divided into size types: small, medium, and large. They are then broken down into a series of stats including how they perform in ground, in air, in water, and in anti-gravity. For a full breakdown of character stats, check out the Mario Wiki

In Team Sonic Racing, characters are divided into Speed-type characters, Technique-type characters, and Power-type characters. There are five of each type, for a total of 15 characters—including Sonic, Chao, and Big the Cat. 

The character you choose matters, but none are inherently better than others. The games are more skill-based than anything else, so your character choice is more about personal preference. Compared to Team Sonic Racing’s 15 characters, Mario Kart’s roster of 41 playable characters gives players far more choice in who and how to play. 

How Does Gameplay Differ?

Both Mario Kart and Team Sonic Racing are kart racers, but their style of gameplay differ wildly from one another. Mario Kart is a solo racer. While there are team modes, they aren’t the same style of team race that Team Sonic Racing offers.

Mario Kart is great for playing on your own or going toe-to-toe with friends, but if you want a cooperative experience that challenges both you and your allies, Team Sonic Racing is the way to go.

Team Sonic Racing requires all three players to work together. One person can’t come in first and the other two come in dead last, as a point system is used to determine the overall winner. All players need to finish well in order to win.

Players can do this by riding in one another’s trails for better boosts, driving beside a stunned teammate to give them a “Skim Boost,” and activating the “Team Ultimate” to give all three players on the team a massive boost of speed that lasts for several seconds. 

What Are The Different Game Types?

Sonic Team Racing is focused solely on the races. There is a Team Adventure Mode that guides players through a story and a Local Mode that features a Grand Prix, an Exhibition Race, and a Time Trial. 

On the other hand, Mario Kart has all of those game types and more. Mario Kart includes a multiplayer mode where you can race against your friends as well as a Battle Mode that pits players against each other in different types of competitions, including a race to collect coins or to burst balloons attached to your opponent. 

Item Differences Between Games

Both games follow a similar pattern in how players obtain and use items. Items litter the various courses in floating containers that can be picked up simply by driving through them. In Team Sonic Racing, items are called Wisps and range from speed boosts to homing missiles that can slow down other racers. 

In Mario Kart, items are just called items and include classics like the Blue Shell, the homing Red Shell, and Mushrooms for speed boosts.

What Makes Mario Kart Better?

Team Sonic Racing is a fun game, but it’s just too new. It hasn’t yet had time to develop its own identity or build the rabid fanbase that Mario Kart has. In every aspect, from game types to items, Mario Kart is more fleshed out and better developed.

Of course, the current entry is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a remake of the original Mario Kart 8. Nintendo has improved upon the Mario Kart series with each and every iteration, resulting in the powerhouse the game is today. 

If you’re looking for the best kart racer on the market, Mario Kart is the way to go—but if you want to experiment with a fun, serviceable racer that can only improve from here, give Team Sonic Racing a try. 

10 Best Nonviolent Video Games for PC, Xbox, PlayStation

Video games have become an entertainment giant, with games like Grand Theft Auto V making more money than any other entertainment title in history. It also happens to be the poster-child for brutal, over the top violence in video games. In fact, violence is almost a default theme in video games. From Mario squashing hapless Goombas to the gory, demon-smashing action of DOOM, video games and violence seem like two sides of the same coin. 

However, it couldn’t be further from the truth. While shooters and other violent action games may be incredibly popular, the video game medium now includes a massive variety of game designs and mechanics. Game developers have come up with many imaginative games that don’t involve you committing violence against other entities in the game. 

Of course, there are degrees of violence when it comes to games. In this list we have avoided games that even have the cartoony Mario-jumping-on-things level of violence. This means popular, family-friendly games like Stardew Valley can’t feature here, because you can whack monsters on the noggin in that game.

Here are ten nonviolent video games that will give you a varied taste of what the nonviolent gaming world has to offer.

Cities: Skylines

SimCity is a franchise that’s legendary among sim gamers, but there hasn’t really been a decent one in ages. The last version of the main line games was released in 2013 to major controversy, thanks to a borked launch and always-connected internet requirements, even for the single-player mode! Since then there have been some pretty awful mobile versions, but nothing official that provides us with the modern equivalent of the core SimCity experience.

Which is where Cities: Skylines comes into play. While it may not have the trademark SimCity charm, for obvious reasons, this is undoubtedly the best modern open-ended city sim. Skylines is available on just about every platform, including the Switch! It also has absolutely gorgeous graphics, if you have the computer to drive them.

What really matters is the actual simulation and building mechanics. Skylines is very granular, letting you build just about any city design you like. There are also a mountain of DLC and expansions and some of the later console releases do include some of the DLC in the price. For example, the Switch version includes the After Dark and Snowfall DLC. 

The base game lacks the more violent aspects of SimCity, such as natural disasters, but if you really do want them there’s an expansion for that too!

Euro Truck Simulator 2

The enduring popularity of Euro Truck Simulator 2 is a bit of a mystery to be honest. That is, until you actually play it. Yes, this is a game about driving your big rig across the European countryside and there is a game in there that deals with the expansion of your trucking business.

However, what really makes this game worth playing is the pure zen pleasure of putting on some good music and cruising the highways in your truck for hours on end.

Although the nonviolent video game was released back in 2012, it is still actively being supported and expanded by the developer. It has one of the largest active player bases on Steam.

After almost a decade of expansion and upgrading, ETS2 offers you thousands of stress-free hours exploring Europe from the cab if your truck. It’s weird, but it works. You don’t even have to like trucks all that much.

Rime

There have been quite a few non-violent “walking simulators” in the last few years. Dear Esther, Gone Home  and Journey are typical examples. The problem is that these titles stretch the definition of what counts as a “game”. Instead they could be more accurately described as mildly-interactive digital narrative.

At first, Rime might feel like Journey, but this is actually a proper 3D puzzle game. Your character has to climb, explore, solve puzzles and avoid monsters. While the game is not particularly deep or challenging, it is beautiful and well-crafted. 

It has just enough gameplay not to count as a walking sim. You can get it on just about every platform, but we suggest playing it on console, which includes the Switch. The Windows version, in our experience, is pretty poorly optimized. 

You play a young boy who washes up on the shores of a strange island, where you must figure out its mysteries, while interacting with the strange spirits that dwell there. It’s definitely worth checking out.

The Talos Principle

This nonviolent video game is also widely available on many platforms. We played it on both a high-end PC and on an iPad Pro. It’s a sci-fi puzzler where you come into the world as a robot, or a person controlling a robot, or someone who thinks they are a robot.

The whole point of this game is to unravel the large mysteries of the world you find yourself in and we’ll let you experience it first-hand, since that’s such an integral part of the game. 

The primary game mechanic is the collection of Tetris pieces. They are locked behind puzzle zones where you have to solve some brain-bending physics and logic puzzles to open the way to the next piece. It’s a lot of fun and, apart from getting your robot body destroyed and reset, there’s no real violence to speak of.

Forza Horizon 4

Yes, this is another vehicle-based game, which seems like an easy choice when looking for non-violent games, but Forza Horizon 4 isn’t a simulation management game like Euro Truck Simulator. It’s also not your average racing game either. It’s an open-world game featuring deep online integration and a wide variety of vehicles, events and racing types. 

There’s nothing quite like this iteration of Forza, which has a long and storied history on the Xbox. This version is also available on Windows and is, at the time of writing, part of Xbox Game Pass on PC. If you love racing, this is one game that can scratch almost every itch. 

The only thing to keep in mind is that Forza Horizon 4 is not quite a sim and not quite an arcade game. It’s a nice balance of the two, but if you really want a hardcore sim in the vein of Gran Turismo, it’s better to look elsewhere.

Rocket League

Another game with cars in it? We promise, this isn’t like the other two wheeled-game entries on the list. Instead this is “car-soccer”. You can play with someone else against the computer, just against the computer, with the computer and so on. You control an RC car and have to punt a giant soccer ball into the other team’s goal. Easy right? 

Well, Rocket League is easy to learn, but almost impossible to master. Experts at the game can pull off seemingly superhuman moves, but there are plenty of practice hours ahead of you if that’s your goal. Also available on Switch, which makes for a wonderful nonviolent video game to play with your mates locally.

The Tetris Effect

The “Tetris Effect” is that thing that happens when you play a game like Tetris too much and keep seeing it when you close your eyes. It’s also the name of a video game that’s taken the world by storm. 

Available for both Windows and PS4, it’s Tetris like you’ve never seen it before. You still place your tetrominos and clear lines, but it’s been spiced up with music and rhythm features that create something both new and hypnotic. The game is especially popular in VR, but still pretty good without it.

Fez

Fez is a couple of years old now, but still holds up perfectly thanks to its lovingly rendered retro graphics. The big gimmick in this side-scrolling platformer is that it isn’t actually a 2D game. The whole world can be rotated in 3D, which helps solve puzzles and opens up pathways for your character. The world is fascinating, the artwork inspired and you can play Fez on a wide range of platforms. 

Including PS3, PS4 and Vita. the Vita version is the best mobile take on the game in our opinion, but you can also play on iOS, which has a much larger install base.

Splatoon 2

A sequel to the popular Wii U game, Splatoon 2 is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch and is a third-person multiplayer shooter. Except, there are no bullets and no blood to be found here. 

You play as a squid-person armed with a paint gun.  Well, ink if we are being true to the game’s terminology. It has a super-creative mechanic where you paint surfaces in your own ink color and then morph into squid form to speed across the level. 

There’s a single-player mode too, so you don’t absolutely need friends to play. It’s just that multiplayer is the main draw of this very family-friendly title.

Portal/Portal 2

The last entry on the list is a bit of a cheat, since it includes two nonviolent video games. Yet these titles are pretty short and should be played as a pair. This is a physics puzzler where your character is tormented by an insane computer running “experiments”. You need to use your portal gun to figure out your way through, dodging ever more deadly traps.

The writing is laugh-out-loud hilarious and the gameplay tight and exciting. The Portal games are often cited as some of the best games of all time and the fact that you don’t have to shoot anyone to play it was and still is a breath of fresh air.

Love and Peace

Nonviolent games are still pretty rare, but we are seeing more and more titles that don’t rely on murder as their central game mechanic. There will always be violent games and there’s nothing wrong with that, but who can argue with having more choice when it comes to picking your preferred digital entertainment?

Nintendo Switch Online Service: Everything You Need To Know

The Nintendo Switch isn’t only incredibly successful, the little hybrid console from Nintendo also happens to be one of the best and most versatile gaming platforms you can buy today.

As a standalone device it’s already worth every penny, but you can get more from your Switch by paying for a Nintendo Switch Online service subscription.

Online Gameplay

The main value proposition of the Nintendo Switch Online service subscription is of course the ability to play games online. Without the subscription you’ll be limited to only playing the single-player mode and for games that are only online in nature, you won’t be able to play at all!

Cloud Game Saves

The Switch is a portable system, which makes it much more likely that you could lose or break it while out and about. Digital games can always be downloaded again and your Switch cartridges are unlikely to break, but your game progress is irreplaceable. 

If you subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online service, you can make cloud backups of your saved games every time you connect to the internet. Now, there is a major caveat! A given game has to support cloud saves to take advantage of this feature, so make sure the games you care about lists cloud saving as a feature.

Voice Chat Features

Voice chat is a pretty standard feature in online gaming these days. All you have to do is connect a headset to your PC or console and you too can have rude children screaming profanity in your ear within minutes. 

Not so for the Nintendo Switch. Inexplicably, the console doesn’t support headsets at all. You can use a regular set of headphones, but USB-C, Bluetooth and wired headsets are a no-no. 

If you pay the subscription fee, Nintendo does have a workaround for voice chat. It requires the Nintendo app and a smartphone, that lets you chat to other players. Honestly, this is a pretty clunky way to get voice chat in games. You might as well use an alternative like Discord instead, which you can use for free.

Access To Classic Games

The Nintendo Switch sadly lacks any form of virtual console, as has been the case with past Nintendo machines. On older Nintendo consoles, you could purchase classic NES, SNES, N64 and other classic games to play them on newer hardware. 

The only way to play classic Nintendo games, other than through a re-release, is to subscribe to the online service, as this gives you access to the Switch Online NES and SNES applications. 

Within these apps, you’ll find curated collections of classic games from the first two Nintendo home consoles. You don’t get to choose which titles are included, but Nintendo periodically adds more games at no further cost to you. Moreover, the titles that are included include some properly beloved titles. 

On the NES side of things, you’ll find Mario Bros 1-3, The Legend of Zelda and other heavy hitters from the Nintendo catalogue. For the SNES selection there are titles such as Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mario Kart and Star Fox 2. A title which is only available on the SNES Classic, having never been released on the original hardware.

Given what Nintendo has charged for these titles in the past and the fact that you had to re-buy them with each new console, the subscription-based libraries of games represent incredibly good value for money. The deal will also only get better with time, as new titles and (perhaps) new systems are added.

Exclusive Controllers

Being a Nintendo Online subscriber gives you access to special official retro controllers, which can only be ordered by those who belong to the club. These controllers are meant to give you a more authentic experience when playing the classic games. 

To be honest, the standard Switch Joy Cons and Pro controllers work just fine for these classic games. Also, you can buy some very nice third-party classic controllers from companies like 8BitDo which are 100% Switch compatible, cost less and work great. Not really a selling point for the service, unless you are a particularly hardcore Nintendo fan.

Game Vouchers

While being a Nintendo Switch Online service member doesn’t give you access to special discounts in the same way that, say, Playstation Plus does, it can save you money. Nintendo has introduced digital vouchers for a select list of games.

You buy the voucher for a set price and then you can have any two games from the list. You can also claim one game now and then use the other voucher when another supported game is released. As long as it’s within one year of purchase.

How much money this saves you varies, since not all of these games have the same retail price. However, you’ll generally save about $20 for each pair of games you buy. Just pay attention to the normal price so you don’t waste vouchers on cheaper games.

What Does it Cost?

Like most online services, the longer the period you pre-pay for, the less it all ultimately works out as. If you want to pay month to month, you’ll have to stump up $3.99 at the time of writing. Three months will cost you $7.99 and a whole year will cost about $19.99. Going for the annual plan will save you almost twenty-eight bucks. So clearly that’s the best one to go for. 

Don’t forget, there’s a 7-day free trial you can sign up for before committing yourself and four bucks is not too much for another four weeks if you just can’t decide if this is for you or not.

If you have more than one Switch in the house with multiple players, the Family Plan is an absolutely fantastic deal. For $34.99 a month, you can cover eight Nintendo Accounts for a year. You can figure out how to make the best of that yourself, but that works out to a miniscule $4.30 per account for a whole year.

What You DON’T Need Switch Online For

Not every game requires a Switch Online service subscription to use online multiplayer services. Free-to-play hits like Fortnite and Paladins can be downloaded and played on any Switch with an internet connection, with no need at all to pay anything to Nintendo. Games that don’t require a Nintendo Online subscription will usually clearly say so in the eShop description or on their own official home page.

Obviously, you also don’t need the subscription to log into the Nintendo eShop and buy games digitally. It’s only the multiplayer aspect of the majority of games that need this subscription.

You do NOT need a Nintendo Online subscription for games that support local multiplayer. For example, a game like Torchlight II or Mario Party will let you play with friends who bring their own Switches along without a Nintendo Online subscription or, indeed, an internet connection.

So there you have everything you currently get as part of the Nintendo Online Subscription. Of course, whether these features are worth the money depends entirely on how much you value them. We do expect that Nintendo will sweeten the deal over time, but since this is Nintendo we’re talking about there’s no telling when or how. 

Is Nintendo Switch Online Service Worth It?

OK, so let’s sum up the value proposition here and figure out if this service is for you. If you want to play games online that require the subscription, this is a no-brainer. You should go for the service and have a blast with your friends who are too far away for local multiplayer.

If you’re a retro-game lover and there are titles you want to play in the NES and SNES collection, then $20 a year for a portable classic game collection is a steal. So that alone is definitely a reason to pay the fee.

If you’re going to buy two or more games from the voucher list in a given year, then the money you’ll save already pays for a year of individual membership, effectively making it free. So that’s also a good scenario and most of us are going to buy two AAA Nintendo games per year from that list. It’s free money in this case.

Cloud saves are the other killer feature, but it’s not quite enough by itself to make the service worth it, but if you value your save games at more than $20 a year, then by all means pull the trigger.

Overall, the Nintendo Switch Online service subscription is worth the money for the vast majority of users and you should at least give the week-long trial a go before dismissing it entirely.

The 10 Best YouTube Channels For Retro Computer Games

Retro gaming is all the rage these days. Everyone’s selling a mini-console with classic games from years gone by, it seems. The offerings from Sega and Nintendo’s SNES and NES mini consoles are particularly good as a gateway into gaming’s amazing history of quality titles. 

However, retro computer games from systems like the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum are also starting to get the attention they deserve. With mini consoles featuring their games also seeing the light of day. It’s certainly a cheaper and easier path to playing these games compared to buying the original hardware and software.

That being said, there’s a fun and even simpler way to learn about retro gaming from people who know more than anyone about the subject. All you need to do is check out these excellent YouTube channels packed with the best retro computer game content on the web.

Just remember, we’re looking at channels that have content related to retro computer games. Sadly channels that focus exclusively on retro console gaming will have to wait for another article.

Metal Jesus Rocks

This channel has been around since 2006 and has become one of the best-known names in retro computer games on YouTube. His real name is Jason Lindsey, and along with a variety crew of friends you’ll find a variety of creative retro computer game topics to explore.

Although Metal Jesus has plenty of video game console content, he’s a big collector of PC games, especially the classic big-box variety. Even better, Jason is a former Sierra On-Line employee, effectively making him classic PC gaming royalty. The show itself has that schlocky 90s vibe, from the cheesy awkwardness to the garage band metal intro, it’s all just so perfect.

Jason himself is a down to earth dude who seems like that friendly nerd friend we all wish we had growing up. Is he the Mister Rogers of retro gaming? We’re not saying he’s not.

For the best of Metal Jesus’ retro computer game content, we recommend heading straight to the Classic PC Gaming playlist.

Cinemassacre (The Angry Video Game Nerd)

It might seem a little strange to have Cinemassacre, home of the Angry Video Game Nerd, on a list of retro computer game channels. While it is true that they deal primarily with console gaming, there’s a healthy number of videos that apply the writing, production and humour standards to takedowns of classic computer games the Angry Video Game Nerd is famous for. 

Apart from the AVGN episodes, which are the main draw, the folks over at Cinemassacre have come up with some really creative angles when it comes to classic video games. The AVGN: Bad Video Game Art is a notable example, and you’ll find hilarious takedowns of box art for games on the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, along with all the usual console suspects. 

If you’re in a cynical, sarcastic and somewhat darker mood there’s nothing better than a dose of AVGN to really twist the knife. We recommend the AVGN playlist to get you started.

DF Retro

OK, this entry is cheating just a little bit since DF Retro is actually a series that exists as part of the larger Digital Foundry channel. Digital Foundry is a YouTube channel that we’ve featured before as an essential technology destination on the site.

DF Retro applies the same technical detail to the games of yore. There’s plenty of console-centric episodes here, but one of the best parts of their work is cross-platform comparison. Which means that if a game was released on both computer and console, you’ll get to see a fascinating breakdown of the differences.

There are also a good number of episodes dealing with classic PC gaming and the technologies of the various eras. The series is the brainchild of DF staffer John Linneman, who has made some standout footage for the pleasure of retro computer game enthusiasts.

We recommend everyone start with the Mortal Kombat feature. Which is quite possibly DF Retro’s finest work yet.

Gaming Historian

The Gaming Historian offers a radical change of pace to other retro computer game channels. Episodes are released at much longer intervals, usually months apart. However, this is very much a question of quality over quantity, as each video is a full-blown documentary filled with deep research, excellent editing and great narration by creator Norman Caruso.

As you would expect, many of the episodes center around retro console gaming, but since these are historical documentaries, even those videos touch on contemporary computer games of the time as a form of context. There are also episodes focusing on retro computer game series such as Wolfenstein and pivotal figures such as Steve Jobs and their role in the history of gaming. 

If you aren’t also interested in console gaming, many of the documentaries won’t be all that interesting to you, but that still leaves a substantial number of episodes that make the trip over to Norman’s neighbourhood more than worth it. We suggest starting with the History of Wolfenstein three-parter. It’s an essential part of computer gaming history.

The 8-Bit Guy

Yes, this is the second time the 8-Bit guy has featured on one of our YouTube lists, but for very good reason. This channel features chill, laid-back presentation with simple explanations of how the technology of yesteryear works. It belongs on this list because a significant amount of content is dedicated to classic computer hardware and the games that ran on that hardware. 

From a series outlining the history of Commodore computers to fascinating restorations of busted classic computers, if you love retro computer games you’ll find something to love here.

We suggest you get started with the “How Old School Computers and Games Work” playlist. It will unravel the mysteries of CGA graphics and what’s really happening behind the scenes of classic Apple computer graphics. It’s just a good time all around!

Classic Game Room

This is a bit of a weird one if you don’t know about it already. At the time of writing, Classic Game Room has been done with creating YouTube video content for about four years. It is how a publishing company, which still makes books that deal with classic video gaming as a significant part of their portfolio. 

Before that, CHR as the distinction of being one of (if not THE) first online video game review shows. Which means that plenty of their reviews may be considered retro now, but were contemporary when they were made.

The main link in the title above will take you to CGRundertow, which has hundreds of videos from their active years, but you can also head over to 80s Comics which is their active brand and also hosts many of the CGR videos. We suggest you start with the PC/Mac Review playlist.

RetroManCave

RetroManCave takes it all back to basics. If you just want to see the original hardware and games in action this is the place to be. There’s also a good measure of emulation when warranted, but there are few channels that showcase retro computer game hardware as well as RetroManCave. 

We can’t just stick with recommending one particular list or clip. There’s content on the BBC Micro, building a new Amiga and the Amstrad Mega PC. That’s really just the tip of the iceberg and any retro computer game fan will find just about every video on this channel worth watching. The production quality is beautiful and the presentation is wonderfully chilled out. This is definitely one to support!

Lazy Game Reviews

This author has a big soft spot for Lazy Game Reviews and not just because the host and creator does a mean Duke Nukem impersonation. This channel is almost entirely dedicated to classic PC gaming. Mainly on DOS and early Windows machines. 

It’s one of the largest channels on YouTube with well over a million subscribers, but the videos have never changed their home-made tone or lost any of their charm. 

Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one place to start off with all the content on offer. The hardware, restoration and DOS game playlists will most likely give you the best idea of what this channel is about. If you’re a fan of retro computer games from the IBM PC era onwards, there’s hardly a better channel for you to support than this one. 

Guru Larry – Larry Bundy Jr

Hello you! Yes, Guru Larry has his own catchphrase and the rest of the channel is similarly packed with personality. Not everyone is going to get along with this channel’s particular sense of humor and style, but there’s not arguing that Larry Bundy Jr is a true original on YouTube and puts out some corking content. 

We absolutely recommend you get started with the Fact Hunt which contains some of the most interesting facts and trivia from video game history, plenty of which pertain to retro computer games. 

Nostalgia Nerd

We end this roundup on a particularly high note with Nostalgia Nerd. The channel as a whole takes a look at retro hardware, software, toys and even magazines. Scattered amongst the general retro-ness are some truly interesting pieces on retro computer games. For example, there’s this archive of Demoscene content for Amiga Computers. Who else would have thought to collect that?

Then there’s the superlative collection of videos reviewing various systems. These videos don’t only look at the computers and consoles themselves. You also get a proper historical recounting and all the context you’ll need to understand what all the fuss was about. Nostalgia Nerd is a proper treasure trove and…you’re watching it right now. OK, fair enough.

It’s Like, Only Your Opinion Man!

Are these the best retro computer game channels on YouTube? This author thinks so, but there are plenty of other worthy YouTubers making top-notch retro computer game content. 

So here’s your chance to highlight who you think everyone else should give a shot. Sound off in the comments and share the hidden gem channels with the world. Whether established or up-and-coming, we’d love to know about them!

The Best Versions of Tetris to Play Today

For a game that is nearly 40 years old, Tetris continues to surprise new and old gamers alike as an enjoyable way to pass the time in classrooms, bedrooms, and offices worldwide. With simple but gripping gameplay, Tetris has been ported to almost every platform imaginable—even a soldering iron of all things.

If you want to play Tetris on something more usable, modern versions of Tetris continue to be released on various platforms including on PC, mobile, and console devices, and with online and multiplayer versions available. To help you decide, here’s a shortlist of six of the best versions of Tetris you can play today.

Tetris.com (Online)

If you’re struggling to find alternative versions of Tetris to play, open up your web browser and head to Tetris.com. This is the official, online version of this popular puzzle game, run by The Tetris Company which operates the license for Tetris worldwide.

This HTML5 game is modern, fresh and easy to play, and should be familiar to anyone with even a passing familiarity with Tetris. Just hitting the Play button will start a new game, using your keyboard arrow keys to move each piece left or right, or down to speed up the descent.

To immediately place a Tetris piece, you can use your mouse click to place it in position. Controls can be modified from the Options menu while the game is paused.

It’s an otherwise fairly simple Tetris game for the web, with a personal scoreboard to see how well your gameplay progresses. If the definitive Tetris experience is what you’re looking for, then Tetris.com is the game for you.

Tetris (Android & iOS)

Until recently, Electronic Arts held the license for Tetris games on mobile. That license has since expired, with EA removing all EA-published Tetris games from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. To fill the gap, Tetris by N3TWORK Inc is the new and official Tetris game available for mobile devices.

Like the Tetris.com HTML5 game, this official mobile Tetris game offers the traditional gameplay you’d expect. The game is crisp and appealing to play, with easy-to-use touch controls suited for mobile gameplay. Swiping left or right will move the pieces from side to side, swiping down will place it, and a single tap will rotate it.

You also have a leaderboard, where your gameplay scores will rank. You can also theme the game with different colors and backgrounds, including the default futuristic theme, as well as others like a Gameboy-style 8-bit theme.

Tetris on mobile is free, with ads shown to cover costs. You can pay a one-off fee to disable ads, costing $4.99 with an in-app purchase.

Tetris 99 (Nintendo Switch)

Nobody expected Tetris to suddenly start flying off the shelves yet again, but that’s exactly what happened with Tetris 99 for the Nintendo Switch. Mixing the popular Battle Royale gameplay style made famous by Fortnite, Tetris 99 pits you against 99 other Tetris players in a winner-takes-all battle to become the winner.

It follows the same principles of traditional Tetris, where you have to place falling Tetris pieces to fill the board. Unlike traditional Tetris, Tetris 99 allows you to send other pieces onto the boards of other players as a form of attack. You can see the grids of each player to the side as gameplay continues, with either you or the AI choosing your targets.

Each successful game gains the player experience points (XP) for bragging rights. An add-on DLC called Big Block takes the game even further, with a CPU Battle mode that allows you to play against 98 AI players, as well as a “marathon” mode to see who can play Tetris the longest.

Tetris 99 is one of the most innovative versions of the Tetris game for years. If you have a Nintendo Switch and you’re looking for easy and competitive Tetris gameplay, this should be on your shopping list.

Tetris Effect (Windows and PlayStation 4)

Another innovative Tetris game to hit the market is Tetris Effect, available on Windows PCs and the PlayStation 4 console. Created using Unreal Engine 4, this Tetris game comes with virtual reality support, allowing you to play Tetris on VR headsets like the Oculus Rift.

The basic gameplay is rooted in traditional Tetris, moving your pieces to fill the Tetris board. Tetris Effect builds on this, however, with new gameplay modes that allow you to play multiple pieces and clear up to 23 lines at once (although this is exceedingly rare).

The game also comes with various themes and high-quality sound effects, as well as different user levels that unlock new gameplay challenges. As single-player Tetris games go, Tetris Effect is definitely unmissable. 

Jstris (Online)

For multiplayer Tetris gameplay in your browser, you’ll need to look at Jstris. Consider this Tetris clone as a smaller version of Tetris 99, where you play against different users and can view their boards on your screen in real-time.

Like Tetris 99, survival is the aim of the game. The longer you hold out, the better your score, with the longest-surviving player (with the highest score) winning. There are various different gameplay options on offer, as well as a leaderboard that pits you against all other Jstris users.

You can also try your hand at different Tetris boards with different lengths, speeds, and obstacles, as well as design your own board for others to play.

Jstris has formed into one of the biggest online Tetris game communities, with a Discord server that allows you to chat with other Tetris fans.

Puyo Puyo Tetris (Windows and Console)

If you want to try something a little different, give Puyo Puyo Tetris a try. This Tetris game from SEGA combines Tetris with the Puyo Puyo franchise, mixing the two styles of gameplay together.

There are various gameplay modes that bring different elements of both Tetris and Puyo Puyo gameplay into the mix, with the option to play individually or with up to four local or online players. You can also play with AI players. 

There’s even a gameplay story mode, placing Puyo Puyo Tetris into the wider Puyo Puyo gameplay franchise. If you’re not a fan of the Puyo Puyo style of gameplay (with individual rounded Puyos as pieces, rather than Tetris blocks), then you can switch to a more traditional style.

Puyo Puyo Tetris is available on the Steam Store for Windows, as well as for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch players.

Classic Gaming Reinvented

These modern versions of Tetris games prove that classic gaming is sometimes hard to beat. If you’re looking for other casual classics, you can play the best versions of Solitaire on Windows or ditch the classics completely by getting started on Steam or another PC gaming platform.

Is Tetris still your favorite, or do you prefer something a little more modern? Let us know your favorite casual games in the comments below.