Tetris in a retro special: How a game made the Game Boy a success

Tetris in a retro special: How a game made the Game Boy a success
Da, dadada, dadada, dada, dadada, dada, dada, dadaaa, da, dada, dadada, dada, dadada, dada, dada, da daaa. Well, is the catchy tune awakened? There are probably few melodies that have stuck in the collective memory of the players like the Tetris theme, simply called "A-Type" in the original game. No wonder, because firstly it is simply unbelievable in the ear, secondly, almost everyone who is old enough has at some point had the good, old Game Boy with the Tetris module in their hands and has played the classic puzzle. The stories of Game Boy and Tetris are inextricably linked. The Nintendo handheld version of the title was by no means the first variant ever to appear.

Table of contents

1 Tetris for everyone! 2 Tetronimo iacta est 3 Exactly my type! 4 A song that made history 5 An immortal classic The Russian software developer Alexey Pajitnov, the father of Tetris, had the idea back in 1984. He wanted to create a game in which you had to put different blocks together and fill in rows. The name was quickly invented: It is a mixture of Tetra, i.e. four, because of the four blocks that made up the various Tetris stones or Tetrominos, and tennis, Pajitnov's favorite sport. Actually a speech recognition researcher at the scientific institute in Moscow, the developer used the computer Electronica 60 located there to make his vision a reality, all with one noble goal: he just wanted to make people happy. When the game was finished, his staff were absolutely delighted.


Happy Birthday, Tetris: Special video for the 30th birthday of the block classic loadVideoPlayer ('55899', '& sAdSetCsategory = article_featured', 6, '16: 9 ', false, 1363032, false, 253584, 260, false, 0, '', '', false); The game spread to all Moscow universities, and Pajitnov teamed up with the 16-year-old computer genius Vladim Gerasimov to develop a technically advanced version of the title for the IBM PC. The game moved to more and more devices, but Pajitnov, who unfortunately had no economic expertise, could hardly make any profit from it. Otherwise chaos prevailed, several companies claimed the rights to Tetris for themselves, including the company BPs, which created an implementation for the Japanese NES, the Famicom, in 1988. Despite all the ambiguities, Tetris was a success almost everywhere, and Pajitnov, although he still hardly ever received any money from his creation, said he felt proud to have brought joy to so many people around the world.

Tetris for everyone!

& With Game Type B, we optionally start with lines that are already filled; if you pass the highest level of difficulty, you will see a short "cut scene". Source: PC Games When the Game Boy version appeared in 1989, the legal problems were by no means over, numerous companies fought over the rights and at the beginning two companies were actually in talks at once about the handheld version. This implementation was developed by Nintendo itself, and the outstanding relevance of this version can be traced back to a trend-setting decision: Instead of adding Super Mario Land to the Game Boy, which is believed to have reached boys and young men, you would instead Put Tetris in the package, a game with which both genders and absolutely all age groups could be reached. The idea worked, the Game Boy became a best seller and with it the puzzle game, which has now found a new home in millions of households worldwide.

Tetronimo iacta est

& If you want, you will go up straight away in one of the higher of the nine levels of difficulty, then the blocks fall down at a significantly faster rate. Source: PC Games Although the content of the first portable Tetris was identical to the previous versions of the game, it was definitely not the technically best implementation; there was no color like on some other devices. The fact that you could indulge in the addicting gameplay anytime, anywhere and in a completely uncomplicated way was of course an unbeatable argument. And what do you actually do in Tetris? Well, at the core it's incredibly simple: Different tetrominos fall one after the other in a random order on a vertically aligned field. They either form a square, a straight line, a kind of pyramid, an L or a staircase, whereby the last two variants can each fall down in two mirrored versions. With the control pad we move the tetrominos to the left and right, we can also turn them clockwise or counter-clockwise at the push of a button and let them slide down faster as soon as they are aligned so that they land where we want them. Our goal: To crack the high score by forming lines that then dissolve.

& Not surprisingly, there are different songs behind the different types of music, the game type allows slightly adapted game variants. Source: PC Games However, if you build in front and then vaporize four rows at once, you get a particularly high number of points, this process is appropriately called a Tetris. Little by little, things get faster and faster, where at the beginning you have enough time to plan your steps, at some point you have to act almost intuitively in order to still have a chance. On the one hand pure stress, because it requires multitasking, on the other hand indispensable if you want to play effectively, we can always see which stone will be the next to fall and can plan accordingly. This principle is understood so quickly that even a novice does not need more than a few seconds to know what to do.

However, as with the best puzzlers, the innumerable finesse and Tricks to get better over time. What is the best way to prepare to get a Tetris? Which stones can be best combined with each other? And is it possible to put a tetromino in a seemingly impossible place if I turn it at exactly the right moment? It is not without reason that Tetris world record attempts are still welcome today at events such as Awesome Games Done Quick. A player who knows exactly what he is doing to watch him actually complete human-impossible Tetris runs is simply absolutely fascinating. And all of this only exists because a talented developer had a great idea at some point and wanted to please his colleagues!

Exactly my type!

& The pulse is racing, the blocks are stacking higher and higher - if you want to be successful, you have to play with focus and react quickly. Source: PC Games What makes Tetris so special is that it offers a lot of scope for customization in how you want to approach it. For example, you can activate the maximum falling speed right from the start, which is of course a great feature, especially for experienced players. Having to fight your way through excruciatingly slow laps every time would get on your nerves. In addition, there are two different game variants available: A-Type, which we have discussed up to this point, and B-Type. Here, too, we can choose the speed, but make life even more difficult. The "Lines" option allows us to set that several lines are already filled with gaps according to a random pattern, which means that we have much less space to act and not only have to play well, but also the block-giving as quickly and dissolve effectively. At the highest level of difficulty there is also a kind of rudimentary end cut scene in which a rocket takes off in the B-Type for all those who insist on seeing it. Nice little reward! By the way, the Game Boy version of Tetris includes a game mode that not all previous versions of the game had: a multiplayer!

The frustration when you fail and the gray blocks moving across the field give you the frustration Displaying the Game Over is big, but you still want to get back to work immediately Source: PC Games For that you need a lot of peripherals, in addition to two Game Boys and two modules of the title also a link cable. But then you can compete with a friend and see who is the better impostor in the truest sense of the word. In principle, we play our rounds as normal, but if we break up two or three rows at a time or even succeed in a Tetris, then a corresponding number of incomplete rows move onto our opponent's field. So you have to be fast at the same time in order to be able to place obstacles in front of your opponent, but also play very precisely and carefully in order to even get the opportunity to do so. An exciting balancing act that ensures nerve-racking battles and was pushed to the top in the fight against 98 opponents all at once on the Switch not so long ago. And here, too, the following applies again: At its core, the game principle has remained unchanged from yesteryear to today - impressive!

A song that made history

We present: perhaps the most iconic title screen of all time. It's hard to believe how much video game history can be hidden behind a few pixels. Source: PC Games Finally, a few words about music. Here you have the choice between three different pieces, but of course there is a reason why we started this article with the bumpy writing of only one of the pieces: The other two pieces could never hold their own next to what is perhaps the most iconic of all video game songs, Tetris is firmly connected to the song A-Type. B-Type is the only composition made purely for the game, C-Type is based on the French Suite No. 3 in B-Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach. Finally, the original version of A-Type is a Russian folk song called Korobeinki, which first appeared in the middle of the 19th century and became famous all over the world thanks to the puzzler.

A immortal classic

Lots of words, but ultimately only one thing is important: Tetris is a cult and its complicated history full of legal problems only makes it even more interesting. Even after the Game Boy part, the license changed hands more often, there were sometimes more, sometimes less successful implementations of the classic. But even the worst version did not succeed in completely robbing the simple and ingenious gameplay of its spirit. We're excited to see how Tetris will go on, but we know very well: No matter what will happen, we will be happy to return to Game Boy and its Tetris module for many years to come.

Powered by Blogger.