A blast from the past: Tetris

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The Russians have invented Vodka, their national alcohol, they have their awesome dancers but to me the best invention they ever made is the puzzle game TETRIS. Simple, fun, yet frustrating!

It was created for the NES in 1987 and licensed to Nintendo at 1989.

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Gameplay
You can choose two modes in the game A and B.

Tetriminos are game pieces shaped as geometric shapes and composed each of four square blocks. A random sequence of Tetriminos falls down the playing field called the matrix. The objective of the game is to manipulate these Tetriminos, by moving each one sideways and rotating it by 90 degrees, with the aim of creating a horizontal line of ten blocks without gaps. When such a line is created, it disappears, and any block above the deleted line will fall. There are in total seven shapes. You can clear up to 4 lines giving you a nice flashy epileptic effect. On the left side of the screen you have a statistics window that tells you what type of block dropped so many times.

Mode A
This is what Tetris is all about. Before you start the game you can choose up to nine different levels giving you a more challenging start. When ten lines are cleared you enter the next level making the game faster and changing the colour of all the bricks. The higher the level, the faster the bricks fall. If the matrix is filled to the top you will become topped out and it’s game over baby. Do a good job and you are rewarded some awesome music and an image of a rocket being launched with Russian buildings in the background. The better the score and lines cleared, the better the ending will be.

Mode B
This mode is different, here you have to clear 25 lines without dying. Seems easy, ey?

You can choose the speed of the mode and the height. The height places random brick in the matrix making it far more challenging. If you managed to beat the game in max level and max height you are awarded the best ending ever imaginable. It’s something far better than Russian dancers.

Music
The music in Tetris is well done, you can choose from three distinctive songs. Otherwise you have the typical sounds when you place a block and the game over sound. It’s only a shame that you don’t get a new tune when you enter a new level, as you could easily get fed up with the same music. The ending music is really rewarding. Carmen anyone?

Graphics
For an old 8 bit machine in 1987 the graphics look impressive, the colour theme of the blocks change depending what difficulty you get. The details around the matrix are actually several Tetris blocks put together, making it look cool. But the most rewarding graphics come when you finished the game.

My Playthrough of Mode-B, Level 9, with a start height of 2

Ending
In my opinion if you complete Mode B on the speed difficulty and height you are awarded the best ending ever. I won’t spoil what the ending is. But there are different endings depending how you finish the game with speed and height, see if you can find them all.

Conclusion
Tetris is a marvellous puzzle game. Its indeed in the list of my favourites. This game brings back nostalgia. I would recommend it to anyone. Just to be warned, the harder the game gets, the easier frustrated the player can get. The music can get irritating on the long run. Since this game was the first, it doesn’t feature the endless rotation or moving blocks quickly when they landed.

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