Tetris, one of the most iconic and enduring puzzle games in the world, has a fascinating history, particularly regarding its journey on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Game Boy platforms.
Origins of Tetris
Tetris was created in 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian* software engineer, while working at the Soviet* Academy of Sciences. His game, inspired by a traditional puzzle game named Pentominoes, involved arranging geometric shapes (tetrominoes) falling from the top of the screen in a way that they form complete lines without gaps. The game's name is derived from the Greek numerical prefix 'tetra-', as all of the pieces contain four segments, and tennis, Pajitnov's favorite sport.
Tetris on the Nintendo Entertainment System
Tetris gained its international fame when it was brought to the NES in 1989. This was not without controversy, as various companies, including Nintendo, battled for the game’s rights. Nintendo's legal victory allowed them to publish Tetris for the NES, a move that significantly contributed to the game's global popularity. The NES version of Tetris stood out for its simplicity, addictiveness, and accessibility. It was a game that appealed to all ages and skill levels, making it a household favorite.
Game Boy Tetris: The Game Changer
However, it was the Game Boy version, released in the same year, that truly turned Tetris into a cultural phenomenon. Bundled with the Game Boy, Tetris was not only a testament to the portable console's appeal but also a game that transcended the gaming industry. Its simple and captivating gameplay was perfect for a handheld device, allowing people to enjoy the game anywhere and anytime. The Game Boy version of Tetris was instrumental in the device's success and helped establish Nintendo’s dominance in the handheld gaming market.
The Game Boy version also introduced the concept of portable multiplayer gaming. Using the Game Boy’s link cable, players could compete against each other, a feature that added a competitive edge to the game and significantly increased its replay value.
Legacy and Impact
Tetris on the NES and Game Boy played a crucial role in popularizing the game worldwide. The game's success on these platforms helped establish Tetris as a timeless classic, influencing countless puzzle games that followed. Its simple yet challenging gameplay has been praised for its ability to improve cognitive skills and problem-solving abilities.
Moreover, Tetris's journey on these platforms highlights the importance of accessibility and portability in video games. The Game Boy version, in particular, showcased how a simple game could become a global sensation, transcending cultural and linguistic barriers.
My Tetris Game
Ok... Let's see. There is very strict rules in modern Tetris. Since 1996, the Tetris Company has internally defined specifications and guidelines to which publishers must adhere to be granted a license to Tetris. I think that's rubbish. If the game is competitive (and Tetris is) it makes sense, but in a casual environment it's just... I don't know. It's like forcing everyone to play football only on full size field with all the regulation equipment, otherwise it's not football (or you can't call it that). How stupid would that be? And kids would still call it football.
My version of TETRIS is a mix of things I find interesting. Scoring is almost from Nintendo, but no score from soft drops as such. You do get one point every time you press down arrow to speed up the tetromino. But no hard drops in this game. But unlike Nintendo, my version follows the "Bag of 7" rule. So randomizer works like this: Tetrominoes are put into a bag, and piece by piece randomly picked out until the bag is empty. Once the bag is empty, the tetrominoes are put back in the bag and the process is repeated. Also the speed change with level increase is different. And it's written in different way too. Level will increase after ten cleared rows, but speed increase is more linear in my version. Tetromino rotation is same as Nintendo "right-handed" rotation, however in my version tetrominos doesn't just appear on playfield, but actulally "slide down" above the playfield. Also, this original Nintendo system does not have lock delay or wallkick.
From its humble beginnings in the Soviet Union to becoming a staple on Nintendo's platforms, Tetris's history is a testament to the universal appeal of a well-designed game. The NES and Game Boy versions of Tetris were more than just successful ports; they were instrumental in shaping the gaming landscape and bringing the joy of Tetris to millions around the world. As we look back on the history of Tetris, it's clear that its legacy is as enduring as the game itself – simple, captivating, and endlessly entertaining.
* Tetris is a game from 1980s Soviet Union (USSR or CCCP).
Current actions of Russian Federation has nothing to do with
gaming, so keep your comments to yourself.