Where to Play Tetris

For those of us with day jobs, the only Tetris we know is the one on our PC or laptop- or, if we have a SWEET day job, the one on our iPod or PDA. But for the hobby Tetris player, committing yourself to only one type of Tetris is a sacrifice you shouldn’t have to make. Granted, the real Tetris has the same common traits. There are 7 differently colored pieces, loosely shaped like and named correspondingly to the letters: I, J, S, L, O, T, Z. Players get points for wiping out a horizontal line. The level increase is reflected in the speed of the falling blocks. And the game ends once you can no longer react quick enough to arrange the Tetris so that you can wipe out the lines and prevent its piling to the top.

We all have preferences. I, for instance, am a sucker for the laid back, the simple and the unaffected. I perform best reclined on a sofa with my legs crossed. The one for me is the Gameboy original Tetris. Many fans seem to agree. Probably because there is no better love than the first. This handheld makes the opposable thumbs the star-players. The Gameboy version is said to be the most challenging because the glass has two rows less and it’s faster. This version also has ‘naïve gravity’. The distance the blocks slide is in exact proportion to the number of lines annihilated . If there are any gaps under the blocks, they will remain hanging above the gap. Newer versions of Tetris have a chain effect reaction. The blocks above a cleared line will fall until it meets the base or the next block below it. This might appease novel Tetris players, but would leave the more experienced Tetris players slighted.

For those who aren’t colorblind, you may want to trade the unicolor Tetris with the 1998 Tetris DX, released on Game Boy Color. Different colors are not only cosmetic. It helps players quickly differentiate the pieces at a glance, allowing faster response and execution. On the downside, for people who really have a lot of spare time, the maximum 999,999 points of the Nintendo Tetris is disappointingly restrictive.

On the PC, competition between Tetris and other Tetris-spawns are ambiguous and less conclusive. Generally, the PC forces players to sit upright and utilize two more fingers on the keyboard.

Strong abiders by OpenSource and Linux, a.k.a ‘the people who want to do things the hard way’, have a Tetris manifestation of their own. Fitting to it’s program designed to analyze your current tetramino pile-up then send the worst piece- it is called Bastard Tetris or ‘Bastet’. If before, you felt like biting your arm off each time the random piece seemed to be a premeditated attempt at ending your game, this time you know it was no accident. And we all could use that much more certainty in ourlives, no?

If you answered No, then good. You’re sane and you want prevent serious destruction of your PC. Gnome 3D Tetris is the best thing for you. This 3D game gives you a top-down perspective and gives you control over the field size, speed level and difficulty of the pieces. It has had rave reviews from plenty of Linux users and unlike the Bastet, it has sound! Yeay! Something to drown out the cursing.

For users who operate on their Macs, Quinn is the apple of their eye. The game boasts of all the traditional features of Tetris while making it look spiffy the Apple way. The color of pieces can be customized and there is a two-player option which splits the screen into two and is manueverable using both sides of the keyboard. So with Quinn, you can share that delicious Tetris frustration.

And surprise, surprise. Tetris now comes to us in the flesh. That is if pieces of tetraminoes had flesh. The boardgame incarnation of Tetris is called Rumis, and it’s played with 2 to 4 players. All players try to position a piece adjacent to their already placed pieces. Players have their own pieces of different shapes, which they use to build Incan pyramid-like structures. At the end, the final score for players is calculated by counting the number of squares in their color, as seen from above, and subtracting the number of polycubes left in their supply. The player with the most points is the winner. Probably not as true to the real Tetris, but if you want a break from the virtual world and want to play with tetraminoes that you can flip and fiddle- Rumis is a worthy platform.

Now. While we could also start talking about the best Tetris versions on PS2 and Xbox- I’d rather not. Most reviews of Tetris on game consoles are negative. Once you’re on PS2 or Xbox, it gets pretty pointless to play Tetris, which doesn’t require a joystick because it doesn’t need you to shoot zombies. So basically, the best places to play Tetris are the ones that are minimal enough while retaining smoothness, attractiveness, and leaves the rest up to the players and their brains. The spirit of Tetris is that it’s a simple game that is tough. So you decide where to play based on how you play Tetris best. But I say:(I hope Nintendo reads this) stick to Game Boy.

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