When I move my cursor onto the Gnometris icon on my laptop, a pop-up appears stating this: fit falling blocks together. After 10 minutes of playing, I’ve only used 106 tetraminoes and finished at a pathetic score of 20406. I blame my keyboard. The space bar is a bit loose and I would accidentally drop a tetramino and land it in an awkward spot.
But hard as it is to last longer than 20 minutes on my Linux version of Tetris, it was probably impossible to do so in the earliest complete version. At its most primitive stage, Tetris is played in the DOS box with a line of 10 blocks. My Gnometris has a line for 14 blocks. It’s just 4 blocks of difference, but it could easily translate to 4 unwiped lines piling up. But this is just a slight variation from the original Tetris made by my 3 favorite Ruski software developers. I am a purist you see. I can’t barely stand fusion food- what more blasphemy.
Most modern Tetris variants tweaked the rules and gave the tetraminoes a make-over. Some of them are so different and adulterated that I indignantly not recognize them as Tetris at all. Among the notable and, ahem, recognized Tetris variants are: Super Tetris, 3D Tetris, Tetris 2, Bombliss, Tetris Blast, and Tetris-The Grand Master.
Super Tetris is still relatively simple, with the added competition from a two player option. Pajitnov, Pavlovsky, and Gerasimov also pioneered this model in MS-DOS. In their version, the Tetris glass was bottomless. Players would have pieces falling from the top, while their opponent would have pieces falling from the bottom. Together, they would compete for space in the glass. In the Sphere version, two players can compete or cooperate using new block types, like lightning bolts and bombs that can eliminate entire rows of blocks, with the Moscow Circus as the background.
As the name implies, 3D Tetris uses a three-dimensional playing field. This means that rotation of pieces can occur horizontally and vertically resulting in four directions the blocks can be moved. For those used to the 2D version, figuring out the left and right from the front and back can be quite tricky. But its that added challenge that makes getting a good score from 3D Tetris a dimension more gratifying-ahyuk!
When you have a game called Tetris-The Grand Master, you know it’s only for a select abnormal few who have left the humble grounds of Earth and catapulted into the stellar space of Tetris Excellence, a.k.a ‘the arcades of Japan’. The rest of us can only scratch our nose in wonder and benignly tap away at our Gnometris. Consider this. Normal Tetris will increase the level each time a player clears 10 lines. The Arika-developed TGM increases the level for each piece placed and locked down, and for each line cleared. The objective of the game also differs. Instead of the highest score, TGM players aim for the highest level, Level 999. Note that after level 500, the tetraminoes no longer fall- they instantly appear at the base. The players have barely any time to shift the pieces around before they are locked down. Thus, anyone who reaches Level 999 officially secures the GM rank and wins gloating rights for years to come.
Unfortunately, there won’t be many people who will know what they’re talking about.