Tetris (1989)

Video Game  -  Action  -  17 May 1989 (USA)
8.3
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Differently shaped forms fall down into a 2D container. The forms, which can be moved and rotated, must be sorted in "on-the-fly".

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Title: Tetris (Video Game 1989)

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Storyline

Differently shaped forms fall down into a 2D container. The forms, which can be moved and rotated, must be sorted in "on-the-fly" on the bottom of the container. Every horizontal line completely built without any space makes you score and disappears. Every once in a while the game fastens. Additional points are given if you don't wait for a form to arrive at the bottom and drop it fast. The game ends if there is no room left in the container. Written by Oliver Heidelbach

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Plot Keywords:

cult film | tetris | game boy | puzzle

Taglines:

The Soviet Mind Game

Genres:

Action

Certificate:

E | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 May 1989 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

Aspect Ratio:

1.17 : 1
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Trivia

This version of Tetris, which was made for the NES, is the most controversial one. Tengen, a division owned by Atari that made games for third-party consoles (as a way to make money after Atari's unit was sold off by Warner Communications in 1984). Tengen bypassed a lockout chip designed by Nintendo to block unauthorized third-party games (as it was announced that Tengen would make games for the NES behind Nintendo's back) and Tetris was among the games. However, Tengen faced a lawsuit involving distribution of its own Tetris game. It was discovered that Tengen bought the rights from a company called Mirrorsoft, which did not own the rights in the first place. As a result, Tengen lost its case, the Tengen Tetris was recalled from stores, and Nintendo released their own legitimate version for the NES after that. See more »

Connections

Featured in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.13 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme C
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Truncated version of French Suite No. 3 "Menuet"
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User Reviews

Couldn't have been simpler, but it ruled
20 April 2005 | by (East Anglia, UK) – See all my reviews

Is there anything more entrancing than viewing a barrage of randomly-shaped blocks raining down on your computer screen? In theory that probably doesn't sound like it guarantees a thrill-ride, but this simple, ingenious little classic in the video game realm knew how to put it into deliciously addictive practice. You know how it works – a succession of square-based shapes start falling one by one and it's up to you to arrange them into perfect horizontal lines, allowing them to disappear the second they're completed. Keep the pile of blocks low and manageable at all times – they'll keep on falling no matter what, and if the pile gets out of control, that's when the fatal 'Game Over' slogan flashes. I have clear memories of playing it as a kid through to my early teens, and no matter how many lines I sorted and blocks I eliminated, and the eventual pile-ups I would inevitably endure, it was a game I kept on going back to. Then I'd end up getting side-tracked by something else, leave it dormant for a while, then finally rediscover it and get addicted all over again. I'm sure I'd still be giving it a go every so often even today if I hadn't misplaced my copy. :(

A fraction of this humble game's appeal would have to be attributed to the unforgettable theme music – and was there ever a more beautifully catchy electronic score to accompany your game play? I never got tired of hearing that tune, or the sound effects at that (including that particularly satisfying sound bite you'd hear whenever you were slick enough to nail five lines in a row). But even if you removed that from the mix, it wouldn't have kept 'Tetris' from being the endearing smash that it so rightfully was. It remains full-on evidence that video games don't necessarily require cutting-edge graphics or complex game-play to be involving or successful. This one was basic, but it was fun and it was challenging, and in the end that's all you really need to have a classic on your hands. There probably isn't anything else to say, except "great game".


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