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For the Love of Tetris!

Updated on January 18, 2015

Tetris: One of the Most Addicting Games of All Time.

Millions of people around the world have, at one point or another, been exposed to the addictive Russian mind game that is Tetris.

The game is such a simple concept, yet somehow it never gets old. The game play is so easy to learn and understand, even master, and yet it always provides a challenge to both your mind and fingertips!

I've always been an enormous fan of the Tetris games, and I'm sure many people reading this can relate! That prompted me to make this lens, as an informative homage to one of my all time favourite games.

Alexey Pajitnov
Alexey Pajitnov

A Little History

Tetris was originally the brainchild of Russian computer engineer Alexey Pajitnov, pictured here. He, along with the help of Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov, came up with the original concept for Tetris and released the first version of the game in 1984. At first it was only available in the Soviet Union, but a year later in 1986 it reached Western shores (Complete with the slogan "From Russian with Fun!").

Tetris began to reach its worldwide audience on a number of different consoles, but the most notable was the version on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game designers made no attempt to hide the game's Russian origin. The music was based on famous Russian folk songs and ballads, such as the well-known "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" by Tchaikovsky.

A few years later, Tetris made another explosion when it was released on Nintendo's Game Boy in 1989 as the launch game, showing fans that a portable version of the game was infinitely better. This version also introduced a Russian folk song, the "Korobeiniki" (known in the game as "Music Type A"), which became a sort of theme and association for Tetris itself. To this day people hear this catchy tune and refer to it as "the Tetris song". Check below for some videos of this song and others.

Since then, Tetris has only grown in popularity, and is now available for virtually every game console, hand-held, and cellphone/PDA on earth. Though I grew up with the Game Boy version from 1989, these days I have one on my cellphone, and play it almost once a day. The love of this simple puzzler has not diminished, but grown over the years, and will continue to do so as time goes on.

Learn the Moves of Tetris

Some hints and tips you'll need to succeed

#1. Dropping

Dropping is causing the block to fall faster. In most versions of Tetris, there are two types of drops: soft and hard. A soft drop makes the Tetromino fall faster, but you can slow it down and control it still before it lands. A hard drop, on the other hand, causes the block to simply land directly below, and move on to the next piece.

Dropping a piece will earn you more points, usually based on how far a piece is dropped. Also, a hard drop gets you even more points than a soft drop does.

#2. Tetris

Obviously the goal of Tetris is to clear lines from the play field (called the "matrix"). But you can see how it is possible to fill in more than one full line at once. Of course, the largest number of lines you can clear at once is four - called a "Tetris".

The only way to accomplish a Tetris is to set things up, with the four lines filled in and ready, excepting one space in each, lined up in one column. Then, using the "I" shaped Tetromino, you fill in those four spaces in one move, causing four lines to disappear at once. This is worth a massive amount of points, and is deadly in any sort of versus-style multiplayer game.

#3. Line Combos

Another way to rack up points. Combos occur when you get one or more lines with consecutive moves - that is, you get a line, then get another with the next block, and maybe even another with the following move. These can be hard to set up, but can really boost your score if done right. It simply takes practise to set up.

#4. T-Spin

This is one of the more advanced moves. It involves taking the T-shaped Tetromino, soft dropping it down to your spot, and then rotating it at the last second to fit it into a spot you couldn't otherwise just move it into, and getting one or two lines as a result. This can be quite difficult to do.

#5. Holding

Most of the later versions of Tetris include the ability to hold your blocks. That is, put the block currently under your control to the side and use the next one. After putting your first block in hold, doing so again will simply trade your current block for the one in hold. This is a great way to put a block aside that you simply cannot use at the moment, or even save a block you intend to use later.

Simply the BEST Tetris Links!

If you're ready to express your love of Tetris, here's some links to check out!

1: Play Tetris Online

If you are just burning to play some simple Tetris now, here's a great spot:

Free Tetris

Controls are:

Up: Rotate

Left & Right: Move block left or right

Down: Soft drop

Space Bar: hard drop

2: Tetris Friends!

For some more extensive and rewarding Tetris play, I would recommend this site, and not just because I myself am a member. It's by the official Tetris Holdings Company, the games are fun and modernized, and there's a neat points system for unlocking bonuses. Definitely worth trying out!

Tetris Friends

3: Tet Tats!

Here's a page displaying many of the Tetris tattoos out there!

Tetris Tattoos

4: Tetris Tetris Everywhere!

A Flickr gallery with photos a scenes that seem to emulate the Tetris blocks. Pretty neat to look at!

Tetris Tetris Everywhere!

Which Tetrominoe is Your Most Hated?

See results

Music #1

The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, from the NES Tetris.

Music #2

The Korobeiniki, as it originally appeared in the Game Boy Tetris.

By far the most famous Tetris theme. It just makes you want to do a Russian dance, or arrange blocks!

Music #3

This tune, also from the Game Boy version, also got fairly popular.

Tetris Movie Trailer

A fan-made vision of what a Tetris-based movie might be like. Interesting concept, and fairly well done!

Human Tetris

The popular performance on YouTube, this group put some effort into this Tetris display - what do you think?

Complete History of the Soviet Union... - ...to the Tune and Theme of Tetris!

Very well done, I must say!

Tetris 3-D Board Game!

This must be one of the most awesome board games ever. I have not had the privilege to try it out, but I'd like to! It's like combining Tetris with Connect 4 and Battleship.

You'll find a brief review HERE.

Comments, Comrades?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Another great lens. In many ways i hate tetris, yet oddly enough i find it amazingly addictive. Nicely done!

    • CeleryStalker LM profile image

      CeleryStalker LM 7 years ago

      This is a great lens GLacharity :) I spent way too many hours playing tetris. Here's a fun video if you're looking for more to add: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0LtUX_6IXY