41: Tetris

Genre: Puzzle

Developer: Atari
Publisher: Tengen
Year: 1988

Basic Idea:  Pray for that long tetrad after you pile a skyscraper on one side.

Review:  Most people first played this on the Gameboy, but sometimes you just want a big screen. Easy to learn for anyone in any culture and incredibly addictive.  There have been many a night I’ve gone to bed, closed my eyes, and couldn’t help but see falling tetrads.

The version released by Nintendo is fine enough.  It’s crisp, user-friendly, and has some cool endings depending on how many points you get or lines you complete.  However, I prefer the unlicensed game by Tengen.  Not only does it have the basic game, you can also play against or with a friend, or against or with the computer.  The variety easily makes it the more interesting game.

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11 thoughts on “41: Tetris

  1. One thing I’d like to add is that this game often ranks in the top 10 on lists and the primary reason given is often how inspirational the game was. The argument seems disingenuous to me, like “I love the fact that I have played this game,” rather than, “I love playing this game.” I have no problem with a top 10 ranking for Tetris if you just love the game so damn much. But if there are ten other games you’d rather play, then leave it out of your top 10.

    • I always thought that was odd too. The entire list would be run under one criteria, save for this game. I’ve even seen it as #1 more than a few times. A list of “most inspirational games” almost certainly gives this one the top spot, save maybe for SMB and Asteroids or whatever, but that entire list would be different.

    • I put it way up on my list (though I didn’t specify the NES version), because I still play Tetris quite often, and enjoy the hell out of the hours that dissolve as I do so.

      • Huh, I forgot you had it so high. I even made this comment:

        I’d be torn on where to place this in a list. On one hand, it is an historical and transcendent game. I’ve also spent many, many hours playing it. On the other hand, I’m pretty much done with it. I haven’t had any strong desire to play Tetris in about 10 years. I mastered Level 18, Height 3 and that was about as far as I could go or wanted to go.

        I guess I didn’t feel that torn about it when I made this list. 41 feels about right to me for the NES. I haven’t played a ton of original Gameboy games (maybe 30?), but it would probably make the top ten for that system.

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