To All the Tetrominoes I’ve Loved Before

Tetris Necklace

Have you ever suffered from the so-called Tetris Effect?

If you’ve ever played Tetris for a prolonged amount of time, I bet you have.  Don’t worry, it’s okay to admit it – you’re in good company, as I am also a Tetris Effect survivor.

I actually found it quite funny that there’s a name and an entry for the Tetris Effect (which is attributed to repetitive stress, whatever that is) on Wikipedia.  I always thought it was just me who, after a long Tetris session, couldn’t stop seeing the falling pieces and thinking about how to make good fits whenever I closed my eyes!

Anyway, I was recently going through some old stuff of mine up at my parents’ house, and I came across an old watch I used to have as a kid – a Tetris game watch, to be more specific.  It got me thinking about how much I love Tetris, so I thought it’d be interesting to reminisce a bit, and figure out just how many different versions of Tetris I’ve acquired over the years.  All in chronological order!

Tetris (NES)

One of the first games I ever played, Tetris on the NES served to kick off my life-long love for the game.  I remember playing the game with my brother and dad, with each of us trying to out-do each others’ high score.  Much excitement occurred whenever one of us finished and we were treated to one of the rocket launch “congratulations” screens.

Tetris Watch

Tetris (Watch)

This was the watch I mentioned above.  The playing field was smaller than standard, there was no color, and the buttons were hard to press fast enough for later levels, but this was still a fun toy to have for long road trips.  My grandparents got one of these for both my brother and I, if I remember correctly.

Image courtesy of Wonderland

Tetris (Game Boy)

I was late to arrive to the Game Boy scene (my first Game Boy was a clearance Game Boy Pocket), so I didn’t play Tetris on a true handheld until much later than most fans of the game.  I enjoyed this version nonetheless, as it introduced me to one of the best things ever:  Game Boy during bathroom breaks.

Tetris Worlds (GBA)

When I picked up Tetris Worlds for a measly $20, I figured that even if the game was slightly bad, as long as it stuck to the roots of Tetris, it couldn’t be that bad.  It turned out I was half right – the game wasn’t all bad, but it lacked a lot of things that I expected from a Tetris title, and it introduced “Easy Spin,” which let you keep a piece alive as long as you continued to rotate it where it landed.  This feature doesn’t break Tetris entirely for me, but in Tetris Worlds, it was implemented in such a way that made it almost impossible to lose.

Tetris (iPod)

Upon hearing about Tetris making an appearance on my 5th generation iPod, I was excited, but controlling Tetris with a click wheel sounded incredibly difficult and stupid.  Well guess what?  It is.

Tetris DS

Tetris DS (Nintendo DS)

This is probably my favorite version of Tetris thus far.  It’s got many different play modes, local and online multiplayer, global ranks, it saves your high scores, and it contains loads of sweet Nintendo-oriented stuff – all wrapped up to go as a DS cart.  The one thing I don’t like hate about Tetris DS is that the only people who play online seem to be grand masters at Tetris, so despite my being a pretty fast / decent player, playing online (and winning) is more often than not a slightly frustrating experience, unless I’m playing with friends.

Image courtesy of GameZone

Tetris (Cell Phone)

Chalk this one up to an impulse buy.  Thanks to the tiny buttons on my LG Chocolate 2, it’s only slightly more controllable than the iPod version I mentioned above, but it is handy to have when I’m out and about, and bored.  I haven’t played this much since I got Pictocross Mobile, however.

Tetris Splash (Xbox 360)

Though one could probably make the argument that Tetris Splash doesn’t really push the envelope as far as new features is concerned, it’s still a solid game, and I’ve had a few good hours with it.  The fish / aquarium stuff is utterly useless, other than to provide a pretty backdrop for the main game, but with decent multiplayer and a few good single player modes, Tetris Splash isn’t all bad.  And hey, getting Xbox Achievements for playing one of my favorite games of all time doesn’t hurt either.

Looking back on my list, I think my obsession with Tetris might go beyond the Tetris Effect, huh?  To hell with mental illness!  It’s a fun game, and I’m going to continue playing it in every way possible!

Title image courtesy of tetris-gollum


  1. xot - Over a year ago

    I never really cared for Tetris beyond using it as a learning exercise when I tried to clone it on my Atari ST back when Tetris was still new (ie. before the GameBoy and NES versions). I think Tetris is brilliantly designed, and I always liked Pentominoes, but it just doesn’t grab me for some reason. That said, the watch is 100% win. I’ve never seen one of those and want it desperately. I love cool watches even though I don’t like to wear one.

    I was always more of a Puyo Puyo (well, Mean Bean Machine) and Dr. Mario kind of guy. I like the chain reactions and competitive aspects of those games. Cloning Dr. Mario in Javascript is one of my proudest programming achievements, and I made a Game Maker version a few years ago that’s never been released.

    1. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

      Xot, you are officially my GM hero. If there’s one thing that can make me look past your indifference towards Tetris, it is Dr. Mario. Admittedly, I’m much better at Tetris than Dr. Mario, but I’ve always loved that game too. It’s awesome that you cloned it in GM… any chance we might get to try it someday? :D

      For some reason, my puzzle game attempts have always fizzled out in Game Maker. I think I’m just not sure how to go about setting it up so that the grid can be checked efficiently. Might have to give it another go sometime though, as I’ve got a pretty decent idea for a puzzle game brewing in my mind right now.

    2. xot - Over a year ago

      Yeah, I’ll probably put on the YoYo site soon. It’s been in limbo because I wanted to add multiplayer (which I think is more or less finished) and network play (which I have no clue about). It still needs some polish and control configuration menus and stuff.

    3. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

      Awesome, I’m looking forward to trying it out.

    4. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

      Downloaded and played for a while – nice work, Xot. The only thing it’s missing is dancing viruses now! :D

  2. Anthoni - Over a year ago

    I had built a tetris game in VB once and I used a Matrix filled with 1’s and 0’s to show where the blocks were and when one row would be all 1’s it would clear it and move the next line down.

    1. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

      So the entire thing looked like a spreadsheet? If so, that’s pretty sweet. And a great way to hide game-playing at work, too. :)

  3. Anthoni_C - Over a year ago

    When I have time I might try to make one for GM.

  4. desertdweller - Over a year ago

    I remember playing tetris on gameboy during roadtrips. There was not only rocket launching scene upon acquiring 100,000 points, (if I remember correctly) but also a little scene where small characters danced and rejoiced after you got something like 10 rows eliminated on a really difficult level. Can’t remember it all perfectly, I was only 7 or 8 at the time.

    Those songs though, man, they stick with you for life. There were songs A, B and C. I can even remember which one was which letter. :P

    1. FredFredrickson - Over a year ago

      Hehe, yeah, those songs will never leave me. Even just reading your comment made me hear them each in my mind. Scary!

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