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"Tetяis" redirects here. For the Tengen produced game, see Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game.

Tetris ( ) is a puzzle video game originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov. It was created on June 6, 1984, while he was working for the Dorodnicyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the USSRmarker in Moscowmarker. He derived its name from the Greek numerical prefix "tetra- (all of the game's pieces, known as Tetrominoes, contain four segments) and tennis, Pajitnov's favorite sport.

The game (or one of its many variants) is available for nearly every video game console and computer operating system, as well as on devices such as graphing calculators, mobile phones, portable media players, PDAs, Network Music Players and even as an Easter egg on non-media products like oscilloscopes. It has even been played on the sides of various buildings, with the record holder for the world's largest fully functional game of Tetris being an effort by Dutch students in 1995 that lit up all 15 floors of the Electrical Engineering department at Delft University of Technologymarker.

While versions of Tetris were sold for a range of 1980s home computer platforms, it was the hugely successful handheld version for the Game Boy launched in 1989 that established the reputation of the game as one of the most popular ever. Electronic Gaming Monthly's 100th issue had Tetris in first place as "Greatest Game of All Time". In 2007, Tetris came in second place in IGN's "100 Greatest Video Games of All Time". It has sold more than 70 million copies.


A random sequence of tetrominoes (sometimes called "tetrads" in older versions)—shapes composed of four square blocks each—fall down the playing field (a rectangular vertical shaft, called the "well" or "matrix"). The object of the game is to manipulate these tetrominoes, by moving each one sideways and rotating it by 90 degree units, with the aim of creating a horizontal line of blocks without gaps. When such a line is created, it disappears, and any block above the deleted line will fall. As the game progresses, the tetrominoes fall faster, and the game ends when the stack of tetrominoes reaches the top of the playing field and no new tetrominoes are able to enter.

Tetris game manuals refer to the seven one-sided tetrominoes in Tetris as I, J, L, O, S, T, and Z—due to their resembling letters of the alphabet—but players sometimes use other names for the pieces, such as "stick" for I or "snake" for S. All are capable of single and double clears. I, J, and L are able to clear triples. Only the I tetromino has the capacity to clear four lines simultaneously, and this is referred to as a "tetris". (This may vary depending on the rotation and compensation rules of each specific Tetris implementation. For instance, in the Super Rotation System used in most recent implementations, called "Easy Spin" in Tetris Worlds, certain rare situations allow T, S and Z to 'snap' into tight spots and clear triples.)

Colors of tetrominoes

Pajitnov's original version for the Elektronika 60 computer used green brackets to represent blocks.Versions of Tetris on the original Game Boy/Game Boy Color and on most dedicated handheld games use monochrome or grayscale graphics, but most popular versions use a separate color for each distinct shape. Prior to The Tetris Company's standardization in the early 2000s, those colors varied widely from implementation to implementation.

Colors of tetrominoes in various Tetris games
Piece Vadim Gerasimov's

Tetris 3.12


(TGM series)
The New Tetris
and Kids Tetris
The Tetris

(beginning with
Tetris Worlds)


TETЯIS The Soviet

Mind Game
I red red red cyan cyan red red blue
J white magenta blue blue-violet blue yellow orange yellow
L magenta yellow orange magenta orange magenta magenta cyan
O dark blue cyan yellow light grey yellow blue blue magenta
S green green magenta green green cyan green green
T brown light grey cyan yellow purple green olive light grey
Z cyan blue green red red orange cyan red


The scoring formula for the majority of Tetris products is built on the idea that more difficult line clears should be awarded more points. For example, a single line clear in Tetris Zone is worth 100 points, while a back-to-back Tetris is worth 1,200.

Nearly all Tetris games allow the player to press a button to increase the speed of the current piece's descent, rather than waiting for it to fall. If the player can stop the increased speed before the piece reaches the floor by letting go of the button, this is a "soft drop"; otherwise, it is a "hard drop" (some games allow only soft drop or only hard drop; others have separate buttons). Many games award a number of points based on the height that the piece fell before locking.


Traditional versions of Tetris move the stacks of blocks down by a distance exactly equal to the height of the cleared rows below them. Contrary to the laws of gravity, blocks may be left floating above gaps. Implementing a different algorithm that uses a flood fill to segment the playfield into connected regions will make each region fall individually, in parallel, until it touches the region at the bottom of the playfield. This opens up additional "chain-reaction" tactics involving blocks cascading to fill additional lines, which may be awarded as more valuable clears.

Original algorithm
Algorithm with chain reactions

Easy spin dispute

Although not the first Tetris game to feature "easy spin" (see The Next Tetris), also called "infinite spin" by critics, Tetris Worlds was the first game to fall under major criticisms for it. Easy spin refers to the property of a tetromino to stop falling for a moment after left or right movement or rotation, effectively allowing someone to suspend the tetronimo while thinking on where to place it. This feature has been implemented into The Tetris Company's official guideline. This new type of play differs from traditional Tetris because it takes away the pressure of higher level speed. Some reviewers even went so far as to say that this mechanism broke the game. The goal in Tetris Worlds, however, is to complete a certain number of lines as fast as possible, so the ability to hold off a piece's placement will not make achieving that goal any faster. Later, GameSpot received "easy spin" more openly, saying "though the infinite spin issue honestly really affects only a few of the single-player gameplay modes in Tetris DS, because any competitive mode requires you to lay down pieces as quickly as humanly possible." In response to the issue, Henk Rogers stated in an interview that infinite spin was part of the guideline, giving a rationale:


Screenshot of the 1986 IBM PC version
Tetris has been involved in many legal battles. In June 1984, Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris on an Elektronika 60 while working for the Soviet Academy of Sciencesmarker at their Computer Center in Moscow with Dmitry Pavlovsky, and Vadim Gerasimov ported it to the IBM PC. Gerasimov reports that Pajitnov chose the name "Tetris" as "a combination of 'tetramino' and 'tennis'." From there, the PC game exploded into popularity, and began spreading all around Moscow. This version is available on Gerasimov's web site.

The IBM PC version eventually made its way to Budapestmarker, Hungarymarker, where it was ported to various platforms and was "discovered" by a British software house named Andromeda. They attempted to contact Pajitnov to secure the rights for the PC version, but before the deal was firmly settled, they had already sold the rights to Spectrum HoloByte. After failing to settle the deal with Pajitnov, Andromeda attempted to license it from the Hungarian programmers instead.

Meanwhile, before any legal rights were settled, the Spectrum HoloByte IBM PC version of Tetris was released in the United Statesmarker in 1986. The game's popularity was tremendous, and many players were instantly hooked—it was a software blockbuster, with reviews such as in Computer Gaming World calling the game "deceptively simple and insidiously addictive".

The details of the licensing issues were uncertain by this point, but in 1987 Andromeda managed to obtain copyright licensing for the IBM PC version and any other home computer system.

For Amiga and Atari ST two different versions by Spectrum HoloByte and Mirrorsoft became available. The Mirrorsoft version did not feature any background graphics while the Holobyte version had a background picture related to Russian themes for each level. Games were sold as budget titles due to the game's simplicity. Spectrum's Apple II package actually contained three diskettes with three different versions of the game, for the Apple II+ and Apple IIe on separate DOS 3.3 and ProDOS 5-1/4" diskettes, and for the Apple IIgs on a 3-1/2" diskette, none of which were copy-protected: the included documentation specifically charged the purchaser on his or her honor to not give away or copy the extra diskettes.

By 1988, the Soviet government began to market the rights to Tetris through an organization called Elektronorgtechnica, or "Elorg" for short. Pajitnov had granted his rights to the Soviet Government, via the Computer Center he worked at for ten years. By this time Elorg had still seen no money from Andromeda, and yet Andromeda was licensing and sub-licensing rights that they themselves did not even have.


By 1989, half a dozen different companies claimed rights to create and distribute the Tetris software for home computers, game consoles, and handheld systems. Elorg, meanwhile, held that none of the companies were legally entitled to produce an arcade version, and signed those rights over to Atari Games, while it signed non-Japanesemarker console and handheld rights over to Nintendo. Tetris was on show at the January 1988 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where it was picked up by Dutch games publisher Henk Rogers, then based in Japan, which eventually led to an agreement brokered with Nintendo that saw Tetris bundled with every Game Boy.

Tengen (the console software division of Atari Games), regardless, applied for copyright for their Tetris game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, loosely based on the arcade version, and proceeded to market and distribute it under the name TETЯIS: The Soviet Mind Game (with faux Cyrillic typography incorporating the Cyrillic letter Ya), disregarding Nintendo's license from Elorg. Nintendo contacted Atari Games claiming they had stolen rights to Tetris, whereupon Atari Games sued, believing they had the rights. After only four weeks on the shelf, the courts ruled that Nintendo had the rights to Tetris on home game systems, and Tengen's TETЯIS game was recalled, with an unknown number of copies sold.

Nintendo released their version of Tetris for both the NES and the Game Boy (the Famicom and Game Boy versions were developed by Bullet-Proof Software, Inc., who held the Japanese license, despite Nintendo's license to the game) and sold more than three million copies; some players considered Nintendo's NES version inferior because it lacked the side-by-side simultaneous play of Tengen's version, but Nintendo's Game Boy Tetris became arguably the most well-known version of Tetris, selling over 33 million copies. The lawsuits between Tengen and Nintendo over the Famicom/NES version carried on until 1993.

Sega also released a Tetris game for the Mega Drive; however, the ensuing blitz of litigation ensured that it was hastily withdrawn.

The Tetris Company

In 1996 the rights to the game reverted from the Russian state to Pajitnov himself, who previously had made very little money from the game, even though Nintendo had done very well with it. In 1996, The Tetris Company LLC (TTC) was formed in an effort to derive revenue from Tetris. TTC is now the exclusive licensee of Tetris Holding, LLC, which owns copyright registrations for Tetris products in the United States and trademark registrations for Tetris in almost every country in the world. Tetris Holding through TTC has licensed its intellectual property to a number of companies. The U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Customs have at times issued seizure orders to preclude knock-off Tetris games from being imported into the U.S., despite bulletins circulated by the U.S. Copyright Office stating that copyright does not apply to the rules of a game.

Due to the popularity of Tetris, there have also been many knock-off and lookalike games on the Internet, many with names confusingly similar to "Tetris". In order to stop this infringement, TTC and Tetris Holding have vigorously policed and enforced their rights and have sent cease-and-desist letters to websites that infringe the Tetris mark.


Tetris has been subject to many changes throughout releases since the 1980s. It is difficult to place a standard on the game, as newer releases frequently progress it either to make the game better or to keep players interested. Newer Tetris games have made the trend of pace rather than endurance. Older releases such as Game Boy or NES Tetris offer records according to points. Since the meter for points is set to only a certain number of digits, these game's records can be "maxed out" by an experienced player. The next big Game Boy release after Tetris, Tetris DX, in marathon mode—comparable to mode A in previous releases—allowed an additional digit for the point meter. Even so, players still maxed it to 9,999,999 points after hours of play. For The New Tetris, world record competitors have spent over 12 hours playing the same game. In Tetris DX and The New Tetris, the new modes sprint and ultra were added. These modes require the player to act under a timer, either to gain the most lines or points in that time. Releases like Tetris Worlds did away completely with point records. This particular game kept records by how fast a certain number of lines could be cleared depending on the level. A drawback of this deviation, along with some other newer features, is that many traditional players rejected these advances all together. Critics of Tetris Worlds said it was broken due to how a piece is able to hover over the bottom for as long as a player needs.

There are many different modes of play added in recent years. Modes appearing in more than one major release include: classic marathon (game A), sprint (otherwise game B or 40 lines), ultra, square, and cascade.

The field dimension of Tetris is perhaps the least deviated among releases: almost always 10 cells wide by 20 high. Some releases on handheld platforms with small screens have smaller fields; for example, the Tetris Jr. keychain game has 8 by 12, and Tetris for Game Boy has 10 by 18.

Traditionally, blocks spawn within the four most central columns and the two highest rows. The I tetromino occupies columns 4, 5, 6 and 7, the O tetromino occupies columns 5 and 6, and the remaining 5 tetrominoes occupy columns 4, 5 and 6 (or in some, especially older, versions, 5, 6 and 7). In some more recent games, pieces spawn above the visible playfield.

In traditional games, a level-up would occur once every ten lines are cleared. During a level-up, the blocks fall slightly faster, and typically more points are given. In some newer games such as Tetris Worlds, the number of lines required vary upon each new level. For example, NES Tetris operates at 60 frames per second. At level 0, a piece falls one step every 48 frames, and at level 19, a piece falls one step every 2 frames. Level increments either terminate at a certain point (Game Boy Tetris tops off at level 20) or increase forever yet not in speed after a certain point. NES Tetris will level up in until the speed of level 29 (due to limitations of the game's engine, pieces are not capable of dropping faster than this), but tool-assisted emulation will show that the level indicator increases indefinitely—eventually leading to a glitch where the meter displays non-numeric characters. Modern games such as Tetris the Grand Master or Tetris Worlds, at their highest levels, opt to drop a piece more than one row per frame. Pieces will appear to reach the bottom as soon as they spawn. As a result, these games have a delay that lets the player slide the piece on the bottom for a moment to help deal with an otherwise unplayable fall speed. In some games, the hover time is regenerated after a piece is moved or rotated.

Soft drops were first implemented in Nintendo releases of Tetris so that pieces would be able to drop faster while not lock as to slide into gaps. The other option is hard dropping, which originated in early PC games such as Microsoft Tetris, a game developed by Dave Edson and bundled with Microsoft Entertainment Pack. With hard dropping, a piece falls and locks in one frame. Newer Tetris games feature both options. Some games have their locking roles reversed, with soft dropping making the pieces drop faster and locking down, and hard dropping making the pieces drop instantly but not lock.

Single direction rotation is an older restriction that has since been ruled out in nearly every new official release by the favor of separate buttons for clockwise and one for counterclockwise rotation. In traditional games, the unsymmetrical vertical orientation I-, Z-, and S-pieces will fill the same columns for each clockwise and counter clockwise rotation. Some games vary this by allowing two possible column orientations: one for counter clockwise and one for clockwise rotations. Double rotation, only seen in progressive clones such as Quadra and DTET, rotates the piece 180 degrees.

One of the features most appreciated by skilled players is wall kick, or the ability of rotating the pieces even if these touch the left or right walls. In the NES version, for example, if a Z piece is "vertically" aligned and falling touching the left wall, the player cannot rotate the piece, giving the impression that the rotate buttons are locked. In this situation, the player has to move the piece one position to the right before rotating it, losing precious time. Proper implementations of wall kick first appeared in the arcade version of Tetris by Atari Games.

Piece preview allows a look at the next piece to enter the field. This feature has been implemented since the earliest games, though in those early games, having the preview turned on made the score increase more slowly.

Newest features

Newer versions of Tetris add different scoring goals not present in traditional Tetris. As achieving these goals while not topping out becomes more difficult, these games usually add a few features to help the player.

The New Tetris and The Next Tetris are the first official Tetris games to feature multiple piece previews, showing 3 in advance. Tetris Worlds for PCs and game consoles add 5 more, while the GBA version retains the 3 piece preview. Tetris DS uses the 6-piece preview.

The New Tetris also introduced the "ghost piece", an obscuration in the shape of the current piece over where that piece would drop. The feature reduces mistakes, especially for beginners and high-speed players.

Hold piece is an optional ability to reserve a piece for later use, allowing a player to either avoid undesirable pieces or save desirable ones, usually the I piece or a piece needed to complete another goal. Some clones featured it as a powerup that the player could earn and use once. A hold piece available to the player at all times was first featured in The New Tetris. Most games that have hold piece activate it when the player presses a dedicated button, often a shoulder button; other games activate it when both rotate buttons are pressed simultaneously. When hold piece is activated, it causes the falling piece to move to the top and trade places with the hold piece. However, the feature cannot be activated twice in a row; it is disabled until the piece released from hold locks in the well.

Initial rotation and Initial hold are features that make the game accept rotation/hold button inputs while the next piece is still in the preview area. With initial rotation, when the player holds down the rotation button after the previous piece has locked down but before the next piece comes into the well, the next piece will come into the well in an already rotated state. Initial hold works similarly, as the piece will be already swapped with the hold piece when it enters the well. Initial rotation and Initial hold first appeared in the Tetris: The Grand Master series.

Tetris DS features wireless on-line play through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection system. This new version also takes advantage of the touch screen in the added "Touch Mode," which has no time limit. Instead, every block is already placed in a tall tower, and the player uses the stylus from the Nintendo DS to shift blocks left and right and, in earlier towers, rotate blocks. The goal is to clear enough lines so that a cage of balloons reaches the ground (this mode is themed on the NES video game Balloon Fight, hence the cage of balloons).

Tetris DS also introduces the Metroid-themed "Catch Mode". In this mode, the pieces fall downward from the top screen to the touch screen, but the stack is moved and rotated instead. As the falling pieces bump against the stack, they get clustered into it. To clear blocks, there must be a solid area of the stack that is 4×4 or larger. When this happens, the blocks glow and the music changes. After ten seconds or upon pressing the X button, these blocks disappear and shoot a laser beam in a plus-shape, the horizontal part equal to the number of rows cleared and the vertical equal to the columns. This laser beam will move and rotate with the stack and destroy falling blocks and Metroid enemies in its path until it disappears a moment later. The parts of the stack not hit by the laser beam will be pulled in towards the center of the stack after the laser beam dies. If a piece reaches the bottom of the touch screen, the stack hits a falling block while rotating, or the stack hits a Metroid, the stack loses Energy. The player loses if the stack runs out of Energy or if the stack becomes so large that it can no longer fit on the touch screen.

Tetris Mania by EA Games brings back the Fusion and Sticky modes from Tetris Worlds. In Fusion, "atom" blocks must be activated, the number of those needing to be activated increases per level. Activated atoms wills also activate other atoms that they touch, and are generated two for every seven Tetrominoes. Gravity will not be activated until a line is cleared containing an atom of fusion block. In Sticky, based on The Next Tetris, you need to clear the bottom row of starting tiles. In each level there are more starting tiles that are harder to clear. The pieces in this game are made up of different colored minos that "stick" to those of the same color. Gravity is always a factor.

The Tetris arcade game by Atari Games offered different "puzzles" for selected rounds. The first three rounds are played normally, with no obstacles. At the start of round 4, eight bricks are placed vertically along each side of the well. Round 5 begins with ten bricks scattered throughout the bottom five rows. Round 6 begins with twenty bricks arranged in a pyramid. In rounds 7 through 9, the well starts out empty but single bricks will appear at random on top of your puzzle each time a piece lands that does not clear any lines, potentially thwarting any advance planning you may have done. In rounds 10 through 12, incomplete "garbage" lines will randomly pop up underneath your puzzle, pushing the puzzle upward, when a piece lands without clearing any lines. Rounds 13 through 15 begin with more blocks arranged in predetermined patterns, and the cycle continues throughout the remaining rounds in the game in groups of three.

Tetris variants

Several Tetris variants exist. Some feature alternate rules and pieces, and others have completely different gameplay.

A popular variant called "The Grand Master" eventually becomes so fast players have to use every second of time optimally, and it even has a mode dubbed "Invisible Tetris", where the only time the blocks are visible is when the game is over.

Because of its popularity and the relatively simple code required to produce the game, a game with nearly the same rules as Tetris is often used as a hello world project for programmers coding for a new system or programming language. This has resulted in the availability of a large number of ports for different platforms, most of which are not endorsed by The Tetris Company and are given away freely.For instance, µTorrent and GNU Emacs contain tetromino stacking games as easter eggs.

End of play

Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the tetrominoes stack up to the top of the playing field.

Possiblity of indefinite gameplay

The question Would it be possible to play forever? was first encountered in a thesis by John Brzustowski in 1988 The conclusion reached was that the game is inevitably doomed to end. The reason has to do with the S and Z tetrominoes. If a player receives a large sequence of alternating S and Z tetrominoes, the naïve gravity used by the standard game eventually forces the player to leave a hole in a corner.

Supposing that the player then receives a large sequence of alternating S and Z tetrominoes, they will eventually be forced to leave holes throughout the board. Back and forth, the holes will necessarily stack to the top and, ultimately, end the game. If the pieces are distributed randomly, this sequence will eventually occur. Thus, if a game with an ideal, uniform, uncorrelated random number generator is played long enough, any player will top out.

In practice, this does not occur in most Tetris variants. Some variants allow the player to choose to play with only S and Z tetrominoes, and a good player may survive well over 150 consecutive tetrominoes this way. On an implementation with an ideal uniform randomizer, the probability at any given time of the next 150 tetrominoes being only S and Z is one in (2/7)150 (approximately 2×10-82). Most implementations use a pseudorandom number generator to generate the sequence of tetrominoes, and such an S–Z sequence is almost certainly not contained in the sequence produced by the 32-bit linear congruential generator in many implementations (which has roughly 4.2 × 109 states). The "evil" algorithm in Bastet often starts a game with a series of more than seven Z pieces.

Recent versions of Tetris such as Tetris Worlds allow the player to continuously rotate a block once it hits the bottom of the playfield, without it locking into place (see Easy spin dispute, above). This permits a player to play for an infinite amount of time, though not necessarily to land an infinite number of blocks.

The increasing speed of a Tetris game would eventually make it impossible to play unless capped at some reasonable value. Even given arbitrarily good reactions, a player would be limited by the frame rate of the computer or console on which they were playing. Consoles have a finite frame rate for both recording user input and drawing screen updates, so tetrominoes move down the screen in discrete steps. Depending on the algorithm used, this may result in tetrominoes appearing and landing within the period of a single frame, thereby preventing the player from repositioning the tetromino before it lands.


  • Music A in the original Game Boy edition of Tetris has become very widely known, to the point that Level 20 in Tetris DS is based on the original Game Boy version of Tetris and uses that theme. It is an instrumental arrangement of a Russian folk tune called "Korobeiniki" (with various Latin spellings), which has been covered by UK dance band Doctor Spin, US alternative rock band Ozma, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Basshunter the Swedish Eurodance DJ, and also the Germanmarker techno group Scooter on their 2007 album Jumping All Over the World. It was also sampled in "21 Concepts" by MC Lars. Music A and B are also remixed and arranged for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and can be selected for the stage "Luigi's Mansion", as well as being used in custom stages. The song has also been remixed for two dance games, under the name "Pumptris Quattro" in Pump It Up NX2 and "Happy-hopper" in Dance Maniax 2nd Mix.
  • Music 1 in the NES version is "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy", a tune noted to be scene 14c of act two of The Nutcracker, composed by Tchaikovsky.
  • One song in the BPS and Tengen versions is the "Kalinka", a famous Russian song written by Ivan Petrovich Larionov.
  • Music C in the Game Boy version is an arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach's French Suite No. 3 In B Minor, BWV 814, V. Menuett - Trio.
  • Nintendocore band Powerglove used Music A & B in the 1st track of their 2nd album, 'Total Pwnage', naming the song 'Tetris (Themes B And C)' It opens playing Theme B normally, quickly followed by the 2 themes being played on guitars with numerous effects.

Effect of Tetris on the brain

According to intensive research from Dr. Michael Crane and Dr. Richard Haier, et al. prolonged Tetris activity can also lead to more efficient brain activity during play. When first playing Tetris, brain function and activity increases, along with greater cerebral energy consumption, measured by glucose metabolic rate. As Tetris players become more proficient, their brains show a reduced consumption of glucose, indicating more efficient brain activity for this task. Even moderate playing of tetris (half-an-hour a day for three months) boosts general cognitve functions such as "critical thinking, reasoning, language and processing" and increase cerebral cortex thickness.

In January 2009, an Oxford University research group headed by Dr. Emily Holmes reported in PLoS ONE that for healthy volunteers, playing ‘Tetris’ soon after viewing traumatic material in the laboratory reduced the number of flashbacks to those scenes in the following week. They believe that the computer game may disrupt the memories that are retained of the sights and sounds witnessed at the time, and which are later re-experienced through involuntary, distressing flashbacks of that moment. The group hope to develop this approach further as a potential intervention to reduce the flashbacks experienced in PTSD, but emphasized that these are only preliminary results.

The game can also cause a repetitive stress symptom in that the brain will involuntarily picture tetris combinations even when the player is not playing the game (the Tetris effect; for citations see the references in the article Tetris Effect), although this can occur with any computer game or situation showcasing repeated images or scenarios, such as a jigsaw puzzle.

Popular culture

Tetris' popularity has resulted in its appearance in the media. It was featured in two episodes of the video-game oriented cartoon Captain N: The Game Master. It was also referenced in the Muppet Babies episode "It's Only Pretendo", The Simpsons episode "Strong Arms of the Ma" (where Homer uses the Tetris effect on his brain to fill his car with family and his shopping goods but fails to leave room for him) as well as "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", Family Guy episode "Prick Up Your Ears", and Futurama episode "Fear of a Bot Planet." Commercials also occasionally parody the game. Police Academy: Mission to Moscow alluded to Tetris by depicting the Russians trying to hypnotize Americans through a puzzle video game referred to as "The Game" in the movie. On The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert's right-wing character mourned the passing of a more innocent time by remarking that in today's America, among other divisive factors, there is "no one game where when we close our eyes we still see the shapes falling." A Honda commercial showed pieces similar to the blocks in the Tetris games along with electronics, suitcases, pieces of furniture, and a hamster cage into a Honda Fit, the automobile the commercial was advertising. The commercial ends with a robotic voice proclaiming, "The Fit is Go!". Even other videogames have shown tributes to Tetris such as the character Ai from NeoGeo Battle Colosseum, who can summon and attack characters with various Tetris blocks.

In 2007, video game website GameFAQs hosted its sixth annual "Character Battle", in which the users nominate their favorite video game characters for a popularity contest in which characters participate. The L-shaped Tetris piece (or "L-Block" as it was called) entered the contest as a joke character, but on November 4, 2007, it won the contest.

In Japan, a hugely popular live-action game called Brain Wall (also referred to commonly as "Human Tetris") ran for a number of seasons on a Japanese variety show. Contestants would be assigned to teams (Red or Blue) and paired with recurring characters. Each team would then, in turn, face a wall of painted styrofoam with a Tetris-like shape carved out. The wall would advance on the contestant, who must pass through the opening by posing, squeezing or jumping. Later levels have a pool of water at the end of the run (the effect being to force the contestant into the pool if they fail.) The recurring characters provide running commentary, built-in rivalry and comic relief. Due to the game's popularity as a viral video, versions of the game have been exported around the world as a dedicated show, commonly known in English regions as Hole in the Wall.

Other viral video versions of the game have been created using stop-motion animation with Lego blocks.

In Thomas Pynchon's 2006 novel, Against the Day, mention is made of a "Captain Igor Padzhitnoff" (presumably pronounced the same as Pajitnov) whose preferred method of causing trouble was "to arrange for bricks and masonry, always in the four-block fragments which had become his 'signature,' to fall on and damage targets designated by his superiors".

In 2008, the New Zealand Army published recruitment advertisements depicting troop movements and supply drops in Tetris-style formations. [5263][5264]

In 2009, songwriter Jonathan Mann depicted the history of the game's development as a humorous musical narrative from the perspective of Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov. The account mentions several of the major players in Tetris' commercial success including Robert Maxwell, Robert Stein and Henk Rogers.

On June 6, 2009, Google honored Tetris' 25-year anniversary by changing its logotype to a version drawn with Tetris blocks - the "l" letter being the long Tetris block lowering into its place.

At the 2009 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Pig With The Face Of A Boy performed their song 'The Complete History Of The Soviet Union As Told By A Humble Worker Arranged To The Melody Of Tetris', the worker's role being the manual labour of moving giant Tetris pieces into place as they fall.

The Tetris theme can be briefly heard during Russia's version of Marukaite Chikyuu, the end theme of Axis Powers Hetalia.


The IBM version of the game was reviewed in 1988 in Dragon #135 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The Lessers later reviewed Spectrum HoloByte's MacIntosh version of Tetris in 1989 in Dragon #141, giving that version 5 out of 5 stars. In 2009, Game Informer put Tetris 3rd on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time", saying that "If a game could be considered ageless, its Tetris".


The long history of Tetris resulted in a Guinness World Record awarding the franchise nine world records in the Gamer's Edition. These records include, "Most Ported Video Game", "Game With the Most Official and Unofficial Variants", and "Longest Prison Sentence for Playing a Video Game", which is held by Faiz Chopdat, who was jailed for four months for playing Tetris on his cell phone while on a flight to Manchester, England. He refused to stop playing after being repeatedly warned by the cabin staff.

See also


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