Alexey Pajitnov - 1985
Generation: 3 but still going strong.
Machine: Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Acorn Archimedes, PC, Acorn BBC Micro, Atari Jaguar, Sega Master System, NES, Nintendo Gameboy, Super Nintendo, Sega Megadrive, SNK Neo-Geo, Gameboy Advance, Sega Saturn, Playstation, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Gamecube, PS2, Microsoft XBox, Arcade, Apple II, Apple Mac, and many others
Tetris was originally designed by a Russian academic called Alexi Pajitonov. His game crossed through the iron curtain and was released in the west by Spectrum Holobyte, Inc. It was initially released on the PC but soon proliferated onto arcade machines (courtesy of Atari) and home consoles. Rumour has it that the CIA became concerned with the fact that Tetris stemmed from a Communist country. Was Tetris a plot by the Soviets to enslave the West with an incredibly addictive video game? Yes. Yes it was.
The game is stupidly simple. Different shaped geometric blocks fall from the top of the screen, and you have to stack them up into neat piles. The blocks appear in random order, but you are allowed to rotate them so that you can slot the different pieces together. If you complete a horizontal line, it disappears. If you get four in a row (a ‘Tetris’) the entire block disappears and you rack up lots of points. As you keep playing the blocks gradually speed up to a point where near-super human reactions are needed. When the screen fills up, the game ends. Now do it again. Try to beat your high score. Go on. I dare you.
Tetris is one of those games that will be around forever. It will appear on at least one console from every generation, from here on to eternity. Never mind the fact that it’s cheap to produce, it is gaming perfection, a masterwork of addictive game play. I first played it on an Atari ST. At first I didn’t like Tetris. But I kept coming back to it. I started to like it very much. I suppose the game found it’s perfect host in the form of the Nintendo Gameboy. A match made in heaven. It is difficult to explain how addictive Tetris is. It is difficult to describe the feeling when the blocks are falling down at a tremendous rate, but you’re still able to place the blocks together with freakish precision. Once, I managed to complete Tetris on the Gameboy. I was locked in a lunatic asylum at the time.
Bubbaray 01 Mar '03
Visual Boy Advance - Use this to emulate the popular Gameboy version. Search Google to find the game file.
Tetroid 2012 - A modern Tertis remake for the PC which takes its cue from Tempest 2000 adding just enough to make it special without spoiling the purity of the original. Be warned: this version may make your eyes bleed!
Tetris.com - The official site with online versions.
Original Tetris - The story of Tetris featuring download of the original PC version.