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Tetris is a puzzle video game released on a variety of consoles. It's spawned a multitude of variations and semi-sequels, or rather remakes and has been deemed the most popular puzzle video game of all time. The original game was developed by game designer Alexey Pajitnov in 1985 while living in Moscow. The name Tetris is derived from the Russian word for "four".
The game was initially released on multiple consoles though it gained much of its popularity when it was ported to the Game Boy (generally as a free first cartridge). When playing the game, tetriminos of different shapes and colors will fall from above and will drop to the bottom. The objective is to construct a horizontal line without any gaps, thus depleting that line and earning you points. Once you reach a certain level, the blocks will fall faster and will become harder to manipulate.
Interestingly, if you were to divide the block into four pieces, each of the sets would be identical. This is demonstrated in many of the game's variations where there are four separate blocks in each tetriminos.
Due to rights disputes between Nintendo and Elorg, the original games for the Game Boy and NES cannot be re-released.
The gameplay of Tetris involves seven differently shaped and colored blocks that fall from the top of the board. As they fall, you are asked not to leave any gaps so that you are able to clear the lines. You're able to clear a line once one, horizontal line is filled with blocks, which will cause it to disappear. The primary objective is to not allow the blocks to raise above the board (classified as "topping out"), which will result in a game over.
The blocks included in the game include I, J, L, O, S, T, and Z. The only block that is capable of ridding of four full lines is the I block, though in the original title only I, J, and L could deplete three (though this has been altered in recent games where you're capable of turning the blocks in such a fashion where they'll fit into an empty place to clear the three lines). The colors of the blocks change with each new variation.
When the blocks are falling, you're allowed to turn it so that it can fit in a particular place. However, while you do this the block itself will continue to fall down. In some versions of the game, you're allowed to keep spinning the block even if it happens to be touching another block, though this will usually only last for a short time if playing in multiplayer mode (for example, in Tetris DS you'll only be allowed to do this for a few spins until it connects). Some critics have said that it breaks the game, seeing as when you're playing on the hardest level you can continue to spin the block until you find the perfect place for it.
To make a block fall faster, you're allowed to press down on the d-pad, though to make it immediately connect with a piece below, you just have to press up on it. In some games, a ghost of the block will be shown below to show the player where it's falling, though this option can usually be turned off for the more advanced players who wish for a greater challenge.
The main goal of the game is to get a high score. There is no way to beat Tetris, as in the end you'll ultimately lose. The more lines cleared, the higher the score you'll get. Getting a Tetris (clearing four lines) will earn you the most points, though performing special moves such as T-Spins will also give you a hefty amount of points as well. The scoring system changes slightly with each new game released.
The blocks have become popular among most gamers. The L block itself managed to win Gamefaq's 2007 character battle. Each of the seven blocks are present in every Tetris game, though the colors of them change slightly. The tactics of each block usually remain with each new game, with new twists (such as the T-Spin) being added in later games.
|The I block is unarguably the most helpful of the seven blocks. The I block is the only block that is capable of getting rid of four lines, resulting in a Tetris. In Tetris DS' multiplayer mode, the Starman would give you an unlimited amount of I blocks for a short time.|
|The J piece is often times refered to as the reverse L piece, though in the original game's manual it was called simply the J piece. It is among the three pieces that were capable of making three lines disappear|
|The L piece is among the three pieces that can destroy three lines in the original game, though as mentioned before this would change in future variations where most of them could actually do so. It won the Gamefaqs' 2007 character battle, surprisingly.|
|The O piece is a perfect square. It's perfect for getting rid of two lines though can also prove to be a hassel when there are no flat places to put the piece, often requiring to to make an unfortunate gap.|
|The S piece was one of the four original pieces that couldn't clear three lines, though this was changed in future games.|
|The T Block can be very helpful - it can fit in almost every space that the S and Z blocks can fit into and you'll almost never have a problem with it. Notably it is the only block in which the color of it has been different from each other in the major variations.|
|The Z block is similar to the S block though is reversed. Just like the S Block, it is one of the four original pieces that couldn't clear three lines, though this would change in future variations.|
All music tracks are based on popular Russian songs.
- Game Boy Type A - The most recognizable track, widely known as the Tetris Theme.
- NES Type A - A track based on Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy from the Nutcracker Ballet.
The game was phenomenally successful, and has spawned numerous variants on multiple consoles. Tournaments have even been established.
- In the NES version, a secret ending will feature Donkey Kong, Peach, Mario, Luigi, Pit, Bowser, Link, and Samus.
- Nintendo Power V10 contained a 16-page strategy guide with helpful tips for playing Tetris.
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl - In this Wii title, the music for games A and B were featured and would be played on the Luigi's Mansion stage.
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U - In the 3DS version, Type A appears without an associated stage. In the Wii U version, Type A returns to the Luigi's Mansion Stage but Type B is moved to Wuhu Island.