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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.

Gameplay

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.

The Blocks

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.

I Block
Ipiece
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.
J Block
Jpiece
The J block is among the three blocks that is capable of making three lines disappear.
L Block
Lpiece
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.
O Block
Block
The O piece is a perfect square. It can get rid of two lines.
S Block
Spiece
The S piece was one of the four original pieces that couldn't clear three lines, though this was changed in future games.
T Block
Tpiece
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.
Z Block
Zpiece
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.

Music

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.

Games

Title Region(s) Platform(s) Publisher(s) Release date
Tetris Japan Famicom BPS 1988-12-22December 22, 1988
Tetris Japan Game Boy Nintendo 1989-06-14June 14, 1989
North America 1989-08August 1989
Europe 1990-09-28September 28, 1990
Tetris North America NES Nintendo 1989-11November 1989
Europe 1990-02-23February 23, 1990
Tetris 2 + Bombliss Japan Famicom BPS 1991-12-13December 13, 1991
Super Tetris 2 + Bombliss Japan Super Famicom BPS 1992-12-18December 18, 1992
Super Famicom (Satellaview) 19951995
Tetris 2 Japan Famicom Nintendo 1993-09-21September 21, 1993
North America NES Nintendo 1993-10October 1993
North America Game Boy Nintendo 1993-12December 1993
Japan 1994-06-14June 14, 1994
Europe 1994-10-27October 27, 1994
Japan Super Famicom BPS 1994-07-08July 8, 1994
North America SNES Nintendo 1994-08August 1994
Europe 19951995
Tetris Battle Gaiden Japan Super Famicom BPS 1993-12-24December 24, 1993
Super Tetris 3 Japan Super Famicom BPS 1994-12-16December 16, 1994
Tetris & Dr. Mario North America SNES Nintendo 1994-12December 1994
Europe 1995-07-25July 25, 1995
Super Bombliss Japan Super Famicom BPS 1995-03-17March 17, 1995
Tetris Blast Japan Game Boy BPS 1995-03-17March 17, 1995
North America Nintendo 1996-01January 1996
Europe 19961996
Australia
V-Tetris Japan Virtual Boy BPS 1995-08-25August 25, 1995
3D Tetris North America Virtual Boy Nintendo 1996-03-22March 22, 1996
Tetris Attack North America SNES Nintendo 1996-08August 1996
North America Game Boy 1996-08August 1996
Europe SNES 1996-11-28November 28, 1996
Europe Game Boy 1996-11-28November 28, 1996
Tetris Plus Japan Game Boy Jaleco 1996-12-27December 27, 1996
North America 1997-08August 1997
Europe Nintendo 19971997
Tetrisphere North America Nintendo 64 Nintendo 1997-08-11August 11, 1997
Europe 1998-02February 1998
Australia 19981998
Tetris DX Japan Game Boy Color Nintendo 1998-10-21October 21, 1998
North America 1998-11-18November 18, 1998
Europe 1999-07-01July 1, 1999
Tetris 64 Japan Nintendo 64 SETA 1998-11-13November 13, 1998
Magical Tetris Challenge Japan Nintendo 64 Capcom 1998-11-20November 20, 1998
North America 1999-01-14January 14, 1999
Europe Activision 1999-09September 1999
Japan Game Boy Color Capcom 1999-11-21November 21, 1999
North America 2000-02February 2000
Europe Activision 2000-03-24March 24, 2000
The New Tetris North America Nintendo 64 Nintendo 1999-07-31July 31, 1999
Europe 1999-10-15October 15, 1999
Tetris Worlds North America Game Boy Advance THQ 2001-09-05September 5, 2001
Europe 2001-12-07December 7, 2001
Japan Success 2002-04-26April 26, 2002
North America Nintendo GameCube THQ 2002-06-23June 23, 2002
Europe 2002-09-27September 27, 2002
Japan Success 2002-12-20December 20, 2002
Pokémon Shock Tetris Japan Pokémon Mini The Pokémon Company 2002-03-21March 21, 2002
Europe Nintendo 20022002
Minna no Soft Series: Tetris Advance Japan Game Boy Advance Success 2003-11-28November 28, 2003
Tetris DS North America Nintendo DS Nintendo 2006-03-20March 20, 2006
Australia 2006-04-13April 13, 2006
Europe 2006-04-21April 21, 2006
Japan 2006-04-27April 27, 2006
Korea 2007-07-07July 7, 2007
Tetris Party Japan Wii (WiiWare) Tetris Online 2008-10-14October 14, 2008
North America 2008-10-20October 20, 2008
Europe 2008-10-24October 24, 2008
Tetris Party Deluxe North America Nintendo DS Majesco 2010-05-25May 25, 2010
Wii
Japan Nintendo DS Hudson 2010-08-05August 5, 2010
Wii
Europe Nintendo DS Nintendo 2010-09-03September 3, 2010
Wii
Australia Wii 2010-10-14October 14, 2010
Tetris Party Live North America Nintendo DSi (DSiWare) Tetris Online 2010-11-22November 22, 2010
Europe 2010-12-03December 3, 2010
Tetris Axis North America Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 2011-10-02October 2, 2011
Japan Bandai Namco Games 2011-10-20October 20, 2011
Europe Tetris Online 2011-10-21October 21, 2011
Australia 2011-10-27October 27, 2011
Puyo Puyo Tetris Japan Nintendo 3DS Sega 2014-02-06February 6, 2014
Wii U
Japan Nintendo Switch 2017-03-03March 3, 2017
North America Nintendo Switch 2017-04-25April 25, 2017
Europe Nintendo Switch 2017-04-28April 28, 2017
Australia Nintendo Switch 2017-04-28April 28, 2017
Korea Nintendo Switch 2017-12-01December 1, 2017
China Nintendo Switch 2017-12-01December 1, 2017
Tetris Ultimate Australia Nintendo 3DS Ubisoft 2014-11-06November 6, 2014
North America 2014-11-11November 11, 2014
Europe 2014-11-14November 14, 2014
Tetris 99 North America Nintendo Switch (eShop) Nintendo 2019-02-13February 13, 2019
Japan 2019-02-14February 14, 2019
Europe
Australia
Cancelled games
  • Tetris Attack (64DD, 1999, would appears when the player plays The New Tetris with the add-on connected)JP
  • Tetris Wars (Cancelled)

Clones/Spin-offs

Many clones and spin-offs of the game were made either by Alexey himself or other compnies.

Reception

The game was phenomenally successful, and has spawned numerous variants on multiple consoles. Tournaments have even been established.

Trivia

Other appearances

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