Monday, April 11, 2011


John Marine | 4/11/2011 04:53:00 PM | | |
No one game series balances fun and skill quite like Tetris (or TETЯIS). What other game tests your skill by simply testing your ability to take multi-colored blocks and building lines with them? The goal of Tetris is to build as many lines as possible as bricks fall from the top the screen to the bottom. There is a method to doing this, however. You have to plan ahead because once one block falls, you have to contend with another block. This blog post is my post regarding Tetris. Now for the record, I will mostly refer to the classic Tetris games, not any of the newer ones.

There are two other spellings of Tetris, by the way: Те́трис and TETЯIS.

--- Tetris ---
(most facts supplemented from Wikipedia)

On June 6, 1984; a man from Russia (of course, back when Russia was the Soviet Union/USSR) named Alexey Pajitnov created a building block game called Tetris. Tetris was no ordinary building block game. Blocks fall from the top, and players are challenged to form lines while also thinking ahead. The name "Tetris" is derived from the Greek number prefix tetra- and Alexey's favorite sport- tennis. The blocks are called Tetrominoes, and there are five of them that comprise the basic blocks of Tetris. Two of the Tetrominoes are mirrored. The player is challenged to form lines as blocks fall from the top of the screen to the bottom. He/She will be able to rotate the blocks to make the most of the space allowed. The player can advance to new levels after clearing a certain number of lines. Lines can come in the form of Singles (1 line), Doubles (2 lines), Triples (3 lines), or the maximum- Tetris (4 lines). Many consoles, portable gaming devices, and other devices over its 25+ year history have featured Tetris. Tetris may be one of the best non-violent video games ever made.

Early Memories of Tetris.

I can remember that as a little boy, I always wanted a Game Boy (the very first one) to play Tetris. I once rented (I believe) the Nintendo Entertainment System version of Tetris. I must note- there were two versions of the original Tetris for the NES. Once was from Nintendo, and the other was from Tengen. I played the Nintendo version.

Playing Tetris.

Tetris can either be played as a regular game or with a handicap. An original game of Tetris starts you off with a clear board as blocks fall from the top to the bottom. The other Tetris has some blocks already put into place. This is a bit harder because you not only have to be concerned with falling blocks, but also trying to make the most of the pre-made screen to potentially clear more blocks.

To win in Tetris, your goal is to take blocks from the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen. There are seven basic block formations you have to take note of. You need to make lines with each set of blocks. Blocks can be rotated while in the air to make better fits into space. Use this to better prepare a set of blocks. You can simply press down to make the blocks fall faster to the bottom. Do this only if you are certain you don't need to adjust them any further. Sometimes, you can only do so much adjusting the blocks. And so, you just have to let the next block fall. You can make a set of lines for quick progression through levels, or you can challenge yourself by stacking as many blocks as possible and try to clear them easily. Your goal is to complete as many lines as possible while making sure the top of the screen doesn't have another block coming down. If the playing field is full of bricks with another one coming down, the game is over.

The risk-reward here lies in making sure you don't build a big enough set of blocks to where you risk the game being over. Try to set up bricks to be as high as possible to maximize your opportunities at a combination score. You can score doubles or triples based on how well you stack your blocks in Tetris. To score the most points, go for Tetris! Tetris is only scored when you clear four lines in a row. The tall/long block is the only way to score Tetris.

Once a certain number of lines are cleared (usually 10 in the Nintendo version of Tetris), you go to the next level. The points are greater, but the game gets harder as blocks fall from the top of the screen faster. You have to think quicker as the blocks fall quicker.

What to Take Away from Tetris.

I think most people are under the mindset that games always have to be violent or intense to be fun. Tetris is totally NOT the case. Tetris is actually a great game to play to test your skills and give your brain an exercise. It's one of those make-you-think games that really tests your mental capacity. It may be a set of colorful bricks falling from the top of the screen, but there is a method of making lines with these blocks that makes this game every bit as challenging.

--- Tetris Videos ---
So are you any sort of Tetris fan? Let me show you some videos to showcase this classic puzzle game. Some of these videos can be rather long. Therefore, if you don't want to see some of these videos, that's okay. I'm just showing you these for educational purposes.

NES (Nintendo) version of Tetris in a 9:35 long video:

NES (Tengen) version of Tetris (called "Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game"):

Game Boy version of Tetris. I personally can't look at this video without wanting to shed a tear because I wanted a Game Boy so bad in my youth and wanted to play the heck out of this game:

I tried to find a video of two-player Tetris, but I was unfortunately able to find anything good enough to feature in my blog. Sorry... :(

Hope this satisfies you Tetris fans! :)

Most of you are probably aware that I am a classic gamer for the most part. Therefore, some of the future Tetris games don't really appeal to me as much as the classic. It's still the same game today, but with fancier graphics and fancier gameplay. The only one I've truly played was Tetris Worlds, released in 2001 or so for the PlayStation 2. There was a newer Tetris released not too long ago for XBOX 360. Not sure if it's a title sold in stores or only on XBOX Live, though. Anyways- Tetris is a timeless classic no matter what kind of Tetris you play. Whoever would have thought that a game like this can remain a classic and still be every bit as challenging now as it has been since its introduction more than 25 years ago?

Visit the official Tetris webpage at for more information about this classic franchise!

Want to get some Tetris stuff online? Get your fill of Tetris love on Amazon by shopping here:

For Tetris Video Games:

For Tetris Toys:

Thank you for reading! Keep those Tetris blocks falling while making those lines. Get a Tetris if you can! :) Oh, and subscribe to my blog and check out my others:

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John B. Marine said...

You were right, you really love blue!;))Love Tetris!As a child, I was a definite addict:))Thank you so much for your sweet comment!Have an amazing day!

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