ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on March 8, 2017
RetroBrothers profile image

Martin is an experienced software developer with a passion for retro machines and gaming.

The Origin Of Tetris

Tetris (with the Russian spelling Те́трис) is a video-puzzle game originally designed and programmed by Alexey Patjitnov back in the 1980s.

The game was created in the Soviet Union and was released on June 6th, 1984.

The game's creator derived the name 'Tetris' from the Greek numerical prefix tetra which was very apt as all of the puzzle pieces within the game, (known as tetrominoes), contain four segments).

To complete the title of 'Tetris' the rumour goes that he simply combined this greek prefix with his favourite sport 'Tennis'.

This game is regarded as the first entertainment software to be exported from the USSR to the United States (and beyond eventually), with the game published by Spectrum Holobyte for IBM PC compatibles and the 8-bit powerhouse, the Commodore 64.

So let's take a look at a classic game that is still as playable today as it was when it was first released...

Gameboy Tetris Loading Screen

Tetris is a true modern classic game
Tetris is a true modern classic game

The ever superb Gameboy Tetris

The packaging for Tetris on the Nintendo gameboy
The packaging for Tetris on the Nintendo gameboy

Tetris Gameplay

The gameplay to Tetris is deceptively simple. But don't be fooled by this simplistic approach, this is a highly addictive and thought out game that is a fine example of that 'one more go' factor.

A random sequence of shapes composed of four square blocks each (those tetrominoes!) fall downwards (obeying gravity) on the game screen which consists of the playing field (a rectangular vertical shaft, known as the "well" or "matrix").

It sounds cool already no?

The objective of the game is to manipulate these tetrominoes by moving each one sideways and rotating it through 90 degree turns, with the aim of creating a solid horizontal line of ten blocks - a line without any gaps.

When such a line is constructed it disappears and any block above the deleted line will fall downwards (again obeying gravity).

Once a certain number of lines have been cleared the game 'jumps' to the next level. The action hots us as you progress!

As you progress through the levels the pieces fall at a faster rate. Once you have played through a few levels your thumbs and fingers will be a blur as you keep up with that never ending rain of blocks!

The game ends when the stack of tetrominoes reaches the top of the screen preventing any new pieces from entering the 'matrix'.

You know that sad feeling when you see a full tetris screen..... you have just 'topped out'!

All of the pieces are capable of single and double clears. I, J, and L are able to clear triples. Only the I tetromino has the capacity to clear four lines simultaneously, and if they player achieves this it is known as a "tetris".

Tetris Game screen on the Nintendo Gameboy

Tetris game running on an original Gameboy
Tetris game running on an original Gameboy

Tetris on the original Gameboy

The poorly implemented ZX Spectrum version of Tetris

Tetris on the Amstrad CPC 464

Various Versions of Tetris

Now this game has been released on pretty much any computer, handheld device or gaming console you can think of.

Back in the 1980's it was released on the good old Nintendo Gameboy, and a version for IBM PC compatible was also released.

Shortly after (during the height of the 8-bit era) this game was also released for the ZX Spectrum (which was a poor version :-( that did not do the original game justice), C64, Amstrad CPC 464, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron and many more...

The 16-bit machines such as the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST were also graced with versions of this fantastic game which featured better graphics, colours, sound effects and music.

The first version I ever played was on the bog standard Gameboy, and for me this is still the best version ever.

There is just something about the controls of the Gameboy that suit the game perfectly.

Combine this with the simple monochromatic graphics and the addictive in-game music (you know Music A - 'The Korobeiniki' which invades your psyche and stays with you for days); it all goes together to make a fantastic puzzle gaming experience.

Tetris on the Commodore 64

Tetris on the Commodore Amiga

Dr Spin had a hit using the Korobeiniki Tetris music

The Music to Tetris

Almost everyone playing the Gameboy version listened to music 'choice A' (a nice catchy version of the Korobeiniki) which must go down as one of the most well know pieces of in-game music of all time.

This tune matched the game perfectly, especially as you progressed through the levels and the game became more frantic.

It became so popular that people would hook their Gameboys up to full size sterio speakers and blast the music for everyone to hear.

Even world class musical artist Dr Spin had a hit with the tune in 1992!

The option of Music B was pretty good too, but if you say the words 'Tetris theme tune' to anyone they immediately think of the Korobeiniki...

Tetris Music A on the Nintendo Gameboy

Tetris Music B on the Nintendo Gameboy

Tetris says "You're doing great!"

All in all... Tetris is a classic

All in all Tetris is a true classic computer game that appeals to fans of arcade games, funny games and puzzles alike.

It is still fresh and playable today, and many versions of the game have been released over the years.

Mobile devices have had a multitude of tetris inspired games released on them, and this genre of game will be around for many a year yet.

Extra fun can also be had by going head to head with a human opponent: Linking two Gameboys together and battling it out against each other was fantastic fun; not to mention competitive!

Oh, and who remembers the 'Space Shuttle Launch' (A Soviet shuttle of course, the 'Buran'!) feature if you did really well?

Dig out your old Gameboy and load Tetris up, the old magic is still there...

Tetris Gameboy Packaging

Tetris is a true classic game
Tetris is a true classic game

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)