Tetris is a series of puzzle video games released on a variety of consoles. The original game was developed by game designer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984 while living in Moscow, and it spawned many variations, ports, and clones. The name Tetris is derived from the Russian word for "four". The Tetris brand is currently owned by Tetris Holding and licensed through The Tetris Company.
The first console variant of Tetris was developed and published by Bullet Proof Software for the Famicom and released in Japan on December 22, 1988. Nintendo's first Tetris title, which was Tetris for the Game Boy, was released worldwide a few months later and it has since been credited as the Game Boy's killer app.
When playing Tetris games, 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, which will result in the line being cleared. As the game's level number increases, the blocks will fall faster and become harder to manipulate.
The gameplay of Tetris games involves seven differently shaped and colored blocks that fall from the top of the board. As they fall, the player can create lines which will result in the line disappearing. The primary objective in Tetris games 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 clearing four lines is the I block. The J and L blocks can clear three lines, and in some games players can turn the blocks in a way that will fit it into a tight space. The colors of the blocks change with each new variation.
When the blocks are falling, players are allowed to turn it so that it can fit in a particular place. However, while players do this the block itself will continue to fall down. In some versions of the game, players are 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 players 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 players play on the hardest level they can continue to spin the block until they find the perfect place for it.
To make a block fall faster, players can press down on the d-pad, though to make it immediately connect with a piece below, players 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 most Tetris games is to get a high score. This can be done by continuously clearing lines. Getting a Tetris (clearing four lines) will give players the most points, though performing special moves such as T-Spins in some games can also give players more points. The scoring system changes slightly with each new game released.
Each of the seven blocks are present in every Tetris game, and their designs vary depending on which game they appear in. The tactics of each block usually remain with each new game, with new twists (such as the T-Spin) being added in some games. The L block has managed to win GameFAQ's 2007 character battle.
|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 the player an unlimited amount of I blocks for a short time.|
|The J block is among the three blocks that is capable of making three lines disappear.|
|The L piece is among the three pieces that can destroy three lines in the original game, though this would change in future variations where most of them could actually do so. It won the GameFAQs' 2007 character battle.|
|The O piece is a perfect square. It can get rid of two lines.|
|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 fit in almost every space that the S and Z blocks can fit into. 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 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 games released in this time frame were produced by either BPS or Nintendo and licensed by Elorg.
|Tetris||Japan||Famicom||BPS||December 22, 1988|
|Tetris||Japan||Game Boy||Nintendo||June 14, 1989|
|North America||August 1989|
|Europe||September 28, 1990|
|Tetris||North America||NES||Nintendo||November 1989|
|Europe||February 23, 1990|
|Tetris 2 + Bombliss||Japan||Famicom||BPS||December 13, 1991|
|Super Tetris 2 + Bombliss||Japan||Super Famicom||BPS||December 18, 1992|
|Super Famicom (Satellaview)||1995|
|Tetris 2||Japan||Famicom||Nintendo||September 21, 1993|
|North America||NES||Nintendo||October 1993|
|North America||Game Boy||Nintendo||December 1993|
|Japan||June 14, 1994|
|Europe||October 27, 1994|
|Japan||Super Famicom||BPS||July 8, 1994|
|North America||SNES||Nintendo||August 1994|
|Tetris Battle Gaiden||Japan||Super Famicom||BPS||December 24, 1993|
|Super Tetris 3||Japan||Super Famicom||BPS||December 16, 1994|
|Tetris & Dr. Mario||North America||SNES||Nintendo||December 1994|
|Europe||July 25, 1995|
|Super Bombliss||Japan||Super Famicom||BPS||March 17, 1995|
|Tetris Blast||Japan||Game Boy||BPS||March 17, 1995|
|North America||Nintendo||January 1996|
|V-Tetris||Japan||Virtual Boy||BPS||August 25, 1995|
|3D Tetris||North America||Virtual Boy||Nintendo||March 22, 1996|
The games released in this time frame were licensed by The Tetris Company, which was partly owned by Elorg until they went defunct. Elorg is credited in every title here except the South Korean version of Tetris DS.
|Tetris Attack||North America||SNES||Nintendo||August 1996|
|North America||Game Boy||August 1996|
|Europe||SNES||November 28, 1996|
|Europe||Game Boy||November 28, 1996|
|Tetris Plus||Japan||Game Boy||Jaleco||December 27, 1996|
|North America||August 1997|
|Tetrisphere||North America||Nintendo 64||Nintendo||August 11, 1997|
|Tetris DX||Japan||Game Boy Color||Nintendo||October 21, 1998|
|North America||November 18, 1998|
|Europe||July 1, 1999|
|Tetris 64||Japan||Nintendo 64||SETA||November 13, 1998|
|Magical Tetris Challenge||Japan||Nintendo 64||Capcom||November 20, 1998|
|North America||January 14, 1999|
|Japan||Game Boy Color||Capcom||November 21, 1999|
|North America||February 2000|
|Europe||Activision||March 24, 2000|
|The New Tetris||North America||Nintendo 64||Nintendo||July 31, 1999|
|Europe||October 15, 1999|
|Tetris Worlds||North America||Game Boy Advance||THQ||September 5, 2001|
|Europe||December 7, 2001|
|Japan||Success||April 26, 2002|
|North America||Nintendo GameCube||THQ||June 23, 2002|
|Europe||September 27, 2002|
|Japan||Success||December 20, 2002|
|Pokémon Shock Tetris||Japan||Pokémon Mini||The Pokémon Company||March 21, 2002|
|Minna no Soft Series: Tetris Advance||Japan||Game Boy Advance||Success||November 28, 2003|
|Tetris DS||North America||Nintendo DS||Nintendo||March 20, 2006|
|Australia||April 13, 2006|
|Europe||April 21, 2006|
|Japan||April 27, 2006|
|Korea||July 7, 2007|
The games released in this time frame were licensed by The Tetris Company after Elorg went defunct.
|Tetris Party||Japan||Wii (WiiWare)||Tetris Online||October 14, 2008|
|North America||October 20, 2008|
|Europe||October 24, 2008|
|Tetris Party Deluxe||North America||Nintendo DS||Majesco||May 25, 2010|
|Japan||Nintendo DS||Hudson||August 5, 2010|
|Europe||Nintendo DS||Nintendo||September 3, 2010|
|Australia||Wii||October 14, 2010|
|Tetris Party Live||North America||Nintendo DSi (DSiWare)||Tetris Online||November 22, 2010|
|Europe||December 3, 2010|
|Tetris Axis||North America||Nintendo 3DS||Nintendo||October 2, 2011|
|Japan||Bandai Namco Games||October 20, 2011|
|Europe||Tetris Online||October 21, 2011|
|Australia||October 27, 2011|
|Puyo Puyo Tetris||Japan||Nintendo 3DS||Sega||February 6, 2014|
|Japan||Nintendo Switch||March 3, 2017|
|North America||Nintendo Switch||April 25, 2017|
|Europe||Nintendo Switch||April 28, 2017|
|Australia||Nintendo Switch||April 28, 2017|
|Korea||Nintendo Switch||December 1, 2017|
|China||Nintendo Switch||December 1, 2017|
|Tetris Ultimate||Australia||Nintendo 3DS||Ubisoft||November 6, 2014|
|North America||November 11, 2014|
|Europe||November 14, 2014|
|Tetris 99||North America||Nintendo Switch (eShop)||Nintendo||February 13, 2019|
|Japan||February 14, 2019|
- Tetris Attack (64DD, 1999, would appears when the player plays The New Tetris with the add-on connected)
- Tetris Wars (Cancelled)
Many clones and spin-offs of the game were made either by Alexey himself or other compnies.
The game was phenomenally successful, and has spawned numerous variants on multiple consoles. Tournaments have even been established.
- In Nintendo's Tetris for the NES, 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.