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Tetris

                   
Tetris
NES Tetris Box Front.jpg
The box of the Nintendo version of Tetris for the NES.
Developer(s) Alexey Pajitnov (E60 prototype),
Vadim Gerasimov (MS-DOS version),
Bullet Proof Software (Game Boy version)
Publisher(s) Various
Designer(s) Alexey Pajitnov
Composer(s) Hirokazu Tanaka[1]
Platform(s) Various
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Puzzle
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Tetris (Russian: Тетрис) is a tile-matching puzzle video game originally designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov in the Soviet Union. It was released on June 6, 1984,[2] while he was working for the Dorodnicyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the USSR in Moscow.[3] He derived its name from the [Russian] numerical prefix tetra- (all of the game's pieces contain four segments) and tennis, Pajitnov's favorite sport.[4][5]

It is also the first entertainment software to be exported from the USSR to the U.S. and published by Spectrum Holobyte for Commodore 64 and IBM PC. The Tetris game is a popular use of tetrominoes, the four element special case of polyominoes. Polyominoes have been used in popular puzzles since at least 1907, and the name was given by the mathematician Solomon W. Golomb in 1953. However, even the enumeration of pentominoes is dated to antiquity.

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.[6] It has even inspired Tetris serving dishes[7] and been played on the sides of various buildings,[8][9] 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 15 floors of the Electrical Engineering department at Delft University of Technology.[10][11][12]

While versions of Tetris were sold for a range of 1980s home computer platforms as well as the arcades, it was the hugely successful handheld version for the Game Boy launched in 1989 that established 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" (2007).[13] It has sold more than 70 million copies.[14] In January 2010, it was announced that Tetris has sold more than 100 million copies for cell phones alone since 2005.[15]

Contents

  Gameplay

The seven one-sided Tetriminos in their Tetris Worlds colors. Top row, left to right: I, J, L, O. Bottom row: S, T, Z.

Tetriminos are game pieces shaped like tetrominoes, geometric shapes composed of four square blocks each. A random sequence of Tetriminos fall down the playing field (a rectangular vertical shaft, called the "well" or "matrix"). The objective of the game is to manipulate these Tetriminos, by moving each one sideways and rotating it by 90 degree units, with the aim of creating a horizontal line of ten blocks without gaps. When such a line is created, it disappears, and any block above the deleted line will fall. When a certain number of lines are cleared, the game enters a new level. As the game progresses, each level causes the Tetriminos to fall faster, and the game ends when the stack of Tetriminos reaches the top of the playing field and no new Tetriminos are able to enter. Some games also end after a finite number of levels or lines.

All of the Tetriminos are capable of single and double clears. I, J, and L are able to clear triples. Only the I Tetrimino 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,[16] certain situations allow T, S, and Z to 'snap' into tight spots and clear triples.)[17]

  Colors of Tetriminos

Pajitnov's original version for the Elektronika 60 computer used green brackets to represent blocks.[5] 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 (decade), those colors varied widely from implementation to implementation.

Colors of Tetriminos in various Tetris games
Piece Vadim Gerasimov's
Tetris 3.12
Microsoft
Tetris
Sega/Arika
(TGM series)
The New Tetris
and Kids Tetris
The Tetris
Company

standardization
(beginning with
Tetris Worlds)
Tetris Party
Atari/
Arcade
TETЯIS The Soviet
Mind Game
I Tetris I.svg      maroon      red      red      cyan      cyan      red      red
J Tetris J.svg      white      magenta      blue      blue-violet      blue      yellow      orange
L Tetris L.svg      magenta      yellow      orange      magenta      orange      magenta      magenta
O Tetris O.svg      dark blue      cyan      yellow      light grey      yellow      blue      blue
S Tetris S.svg      green      blue      magenta      green      green      cyan      green
T Tetris T.svg      brown      light grey      cyan      yellow      purple      green      olive
Z Tetris Z.svg      cyan      green      green      red      red      orange      cyan

  Scoring

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, clearing four lines at once (known as a Tetris) is worth 800, while a back-to-back Tetris is worth 1,200.[18]

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.

  Gravity

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[19] 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,[20] Tetris Worlds was the first game to fall under major criticisms for it. Easy spin refers to the property of a Tetrimino to stop falling for a moment after left or right movement or rotation, effectively allowing someone to suspend the Tetrimino while thinking on where to place it. This feature has been implemented into The Tetris Company's official guideline.[16] This new type of play differs from traditional Tetris because it takes away the pressure of higher level speed. Some reviewers[21] 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."[22] In response to the issue, Henk Rogers stated in an interview that infinite spin was part of the guideline, giving a rationale:[16]

So the problem is you get part way through the game, make one small mistake, 'Aw man, I blew it,' and restart. I think that's an annoying way to play the game. So we decided it's better to give them a way to recover from that small mistake, but you're losing time. So if you sat there and rotated for, I don't know, five seconds, you've just taken five seconds out of the game that you needed to score so many points. So you won't find in the top games any gratuitous spinning going on, it just doesn't happen. It helps the beginning player who's trying to figure out what to do. It's a useless feature (for competitive play); it only helps if you're taking the time to think. The better players don't take that much time to think, that's the difference.[16]

  History

  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 Sciences 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. The most recent version of this port is available on Gerasimov's web site.[5]

The IBM PC version eventually made its way to Budapest, Hungary, 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 States in 1986. The game's popularity was tremendous, and many players were instantly hooked; Computer Gaming World called the game "deceptively simple and insidiously addictive".[23]

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 5.25 in (133 mm) diskettes, and for the Apple IIgs on a 3.5 in (89 mm) diskette, none of which was 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, after a promotional trip to the country by Gerald Hicks, the one time United States champion of the game, 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.[24] 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.[citation needed] In 1988, Sega released an arcade game version of Tetris.[25] This Sega version won the Japanese Gamest Award for Game of the Year in 1989.

  Nintendo

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-Japanese 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.[14]

  Screenshot of the Atari version of TETЯIS: The Soviet Mind Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  Screenshot of the official NES version of Tetris.

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 were the only company which had the rights to Tetris on home game systems, and Tengen's TETЯIS game was recalled, with an unknown number of copies sold.[26] The lawsuits between Tengen and Nintendo over the Famicom/NES version carried on until 1993.

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.

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

  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.[14] In 1996, The Tetris Company was founded, claiming to hold copyright registrations for Tetris products in the U.S.[27][28] and taking out trademark registrations for Tetris in almost every country in the world.[29] They have licensed the brand to a number of companies, and the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Customs have at times issued seizure orders to preclude unlicensed Tetris-like games from being imported into the U.S.,[30] though bulletins circulated by the U.S. Copyright Office state that copyright does not apply to the rules of a game.[31][32]

In mid-2006,[33] and in late 1997,[34] TTC's legal counsel sent cease and desist letters to web sites that misused the Tetris trademark to refer to homemade video games. Around 2009, TTC and Tetris Holding LLC brought legal action against BioSocia, Inc., on the grounds that BioSocia's "Blockles" game infringed on proprietary rights that were held by TTC and Tetris Holding LLC.[35] On September 10, 2009, the legal case against BioSocia was resolved, with BioSocia agreeing to discontinue making the "Blockles" game available to the public.[35] In May 2010, TTC's legal counsel sent cease and desist letters to Google insisting that 35 Tetris-clones be removed from the Android Market.[36]

  Variations

  A 5th generation iPod featuring Tetris (2006)

Tetris has been subject to many changes throughout releases since the 1980s. Newer Tetris games have focused on a 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 restricted to a specific number of digits, these games' 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.[37] 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. Critics of Tetris Worlds said it was flawed by virtue of the ability of a piece to hover over the bottom for as long as a player needs.[21]

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 Tetrimino occupies columns 4, 5, 6 and 7, the O Tetrimino occupies columns 5 and 6, and the remaining 5 Tetriminos 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. After 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 speed until 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 locking 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°.

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. 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;[38] 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 Tetriminos. 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 20 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 planning one 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 blocks are only shown when falling – then finally revealed 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. For instance, µTorrent and GNU Emacs contain similar shape-stacking games as easter eggs.[39][40]

  End of play

Players lose a typical game of Tetris when they can no longer keep up with the increasing speed, and the Tetriminos stack up to the top of the playing field. This is commonly referred to as topping out.

  Possibility of indefinite gameplay

The question Would it be possible to play forever? was first encountered in a thesis by John Brzustowski in 1988.[41] The conclusion reached was that the game is inevitably doomed to end. The reason has to do with the S and Z Tetriminos. If a player receives a large sequence of alternating S and Z Tetriminos, 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 Tetriminos, 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.[42][43]

In practice, this does not occur in most Tetris variants. Some variants allow the player to choose to play with only S and Z Tetriminos,[44] and a good player may survive well over 150 consecutive Tetriminos this way. On an implementation with an ideal uniform randomizer, the probability at any given time of the next 150 Tetriminos 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 Tetriminos, 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 (an unofficial variant) 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 repeatedly 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.

  Computational complexity

In computer science, it is common to analyze the computational complexity of problems, including real life problems and games. It was proven that for the offline version of Tetris (in which all the pieces are known in advance) the following objectives are NP-complete:

  • Maximizing the number of rows cleared while playing the given piece sequence.
  • Maximizing the number of pieces placed before a loss occurs.
  • Maximizing the number of simultaneous clearing of four rows.
  • Minimizing the height of the highest filled grid square over the course of the sequence.

Also, it is not possible to find a polynomial time approximation algorithm for the first 2 problems and it is hard to approximate the last problem within 2 − ε for every ε > 0.

To prove NP-completeness, it was shown that there is a polynomial reduction between the 3-partition problem, which is also NP-Complete, and the Tetris problem.[45]

  Music

  Effect of Tetris on the brain

According to research from Dr. Richard Haier, et al. prolonged Tetris activity can also lead to more efficient brain activity during play.[46] 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.[47] Even moderate playing of tetris (half-an-hour a day for three months) boosts general cognitive functions such as "critical thinking, reasoning, language and processing" and increases cerebral cortex thickness.[48]

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 hopes to develop this approach further as a potential intervention to reduce the flashbacks experienced in posttraumatic stress disorder, but emphasized that these are only preliminary results.[49]

The game has been noted to cause the brain to involuntarily picture tetris combinations even when the player is not playing (the Tetris effect), although this can occur with any computer game or situation showcasing repeated images or scenarios, such as a jigsaw puzzle.

  Legacy

  Reception

The IBM version of the game was reviewed in 1988 in Dragon No. 135 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 4.5 out of 5 stars.[50] The Lessers later reviewed Spectrum HoloByte's Macintosh version of Tetris in 1989 in Dragon No. 141, giving that version 5 out of 5 stars.[51] 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.[52] 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,[53] seen here. 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, it's Tetris".[54]

  Awards

 Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer and Video Games 94%[55]
CRASH 77%[56]
Sinclair User 10/10 stars[57]
Your Sinclair 9/10[58]
Zzap!64 98%[59]
ACE 956[60]
Awards
Entity Award
Zzap!64 Gold Medal
Sinclair User SU Classic

  In physics

During the game of Tetris, blocks appear to adsorb onto the lower surface of the window. This has led scientists to use tetrominoes "as a proxy for molecules with a complex shape" to model their "adsorption on a flat surface" to study the thermodynamics of nanoparticles.[61][62]

  See also

  References

  1. ^ Square Enix Music Online, Hirokazu Tanaka: Brief Profile
  2. ^ "At 25, Tetris still eyeing growth". Reuters. June 2, 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/06/02/us-videogames-tetris-idUSTRE5510V020090602. 
  3. ^ The Tetris saga. Retrieved August 24, 2007.
  4. ^ Pajitnov interview, G4 "Icons", ep. 305, originally aired on April 22, 2004.
  5. ^ a b c Gerasimov, Vadim. Original Tetris: Story and Download. June 10, 2007.
  6. ^ "HP 54600B Oscilloscope Easter Eggs — Eeggs.com". Eeggs.com. http://www.eeggs.com/items/39244.html. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  7. ^ Perets, Abbi (February 22, 2010). "Tetris-inspired dishware brings the game to dinner". CNet. http://www.cnet.com/8301-13553_1-10457461-32.html. 
  8. ^ "La Bastille: A Tech House Art Installation". Bastilleweb.techhouse.org. http://bastilleweb.techhouse.org/. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  9. ^ "Huge Tetris Game Played On Dorm Building – Geekologie". Geekologie.com. December 7, 2007. http://www.geekologie.com/2007/12/huge_tetris_game_played_on_dor.php. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Tetris takes over tower block". BBC News (UK: BBC). April 19, 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/718009.stm. "The group, Tech House, says it is currently the world's largest fully functional Tetris game. The current record holder according to the Guinness Book of World Records is a Dutch effort that lit up 15 floors at Delft University in 1995. ... The Dutch game was also built by students, from the Electrical Engineering Department at Delft University of Technology. It was displayed on 15 floors of a 96-metre tall building and used 3.5 kilometres of cable and 400 lights. Internet users could play the game through a telnet session." 
  11. ^ Martijn van Osch (April 24, 2006). "2000 Square Meter Of Tetris". Fresh Creation. http://www.inspiratiesessies.nl/2006/04/2000_square_meter_of_tetris/. Retrieved February 21, 2008. "In the year 2000 some people came up with the idea of making the world's largest Tetris game (video above). At first they thought they succeeded but later on they found out that some Dutch guys had beaten them by far in November 1995. The Dutch guys of the Delft University Of Technology pulled their stunt in 1995 by making the world's largest Tetris game. They did this using the lights of the officerooms of a 96.2 meters high building which resulted in more than 2000m2 of Tetris." 
  12. ^ "TETRIS for Buildings: Play the game yourself!". Electrotechnische Vereeniging. Delft University of Technology. November 18, 1995. Archived from the original on January 19, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080119060815/http://www.etv.tudelft.nl/vereeniging/archief/lustrum/90/english.html. Retrieved February 21, 2008. "The Electrical Engineering Student Association ETV celebrated in November 1995 its ninetieth anniversary and used this huge stunt to op its anniversary year. The World largest Tetris Game on a building and of course on the internet. People all over the world could play the game Tetris by using a simple telnet session and all the West of Holland could watch what they were doing on this building. At the same time the Telecom Student Club of ETV used a GSM telephone and a laptop to put every 10 seconds a picture on the Web. So this way you could see the crowd in front of the building watching the game you were playing. ... On a 96 meters high building, we used 15 floors and each floor had 10 rooms. So we created a huge billboard of more than 2000m2." 
  13. ^ IGN Top 100 Games of All Time – 2007
  14. ^ a b c The Guardian, June 2, 2009, How Tetris conquered the world, block by block
  15. ^ » Tetris atteint les 100 millions de téléchargements payants (et une petite histoire du jeu) – Maximejohnson.com/techno : actualités technologiques, tests et opinions par le j...
  16. ^ a b c d Tetris from the Top, April 6, 2006. Retrieved on April 28, 2007.
  17. ^ Tetris DS manual. Nintendo, 2006
  18. ^ Tetris Zone manual as of 2008-11-12
  19. ^ "tetanus.c". LOCKJAW: The Overdose, milestone 4.
  20. ^ Tetris Worlds for Game Boy Advance Review – GameSpot
  21. ^ a b Jeff Gerstmann, Ryan Davis (April 19, 2002). "Tetris Worlds for PlayStation 2 Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/puzzle/tetrisworlds/review.html. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  22. ^ Tetris DS for DS Review – GameSpot
  23. ^ Wagner, Roy (May 1988). "Puzzling Encounters". Computer Gaming World: pp. 42–43. 
  24. ^ Boyes, Emma. Q&A Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  25. ^ Tetris (Sega) at the Killer List of Videogames
  26. ^ "The Wish List". Edge presents Retro. 2002. 
  27. ^ Blue Planet Software, Inc. v. Pajitnov, 334 F. Supp 2d 425 (S.D.N.Y. 2004).
  28. ^ See, e.g., Copyright Registration Nos. PAu 1-214-036; PAu 1-214-035; PA 412–169; PA 412–170, among others.
  29. ^ See, e.g., Trademark Registration Nos. 1,753,062 (USA); 1,657,499 (USA); 1,742,325 (USA); 1,382,544 (UK); 1,382,543 (UK); 507644 (Taiwan); 498703 (Taiwan); 098,381 (Peru); 097, 244 (Peru); 266/36 (Saudi Arabia), among others.
  30. ^ See Luxury Int’l, Inc. v. U.S., No. 99-02-00093, Slip Op. 00-27 (Ct. Int’l Trade 2000), holding that Luxury violated Customs' administrative procedure; U.S. Customs Service Memorandum Order, ENF-4-02-RR:IT:IP 470343 GFM (Dec. 19, 2000); U.S. Customs Service Memorandum Order, ENF4-02-RR:IT:IP 469107 GFM (July 31, 2000).
  31. ^ U.S. Copyright Office. Title 17, United States Code, section 102. Retrieved March 12, 2009.
  32. ^ U.S. Copyright Office. "Publication FL-108: Games." June 2008. Explanation of how 17 U.S.C. § 102(b) limits the extent to which copyright applies to the rules of a game. Retrieved June 2, 2009.
  33. ^ "Tetris blocks Mac Quinn game". MacUser. Retrieved August 13, 2006.
  34. ^ Andrew James Bednarz. "The Tetris Company's Activities".. Retrieved August 13, 2006.
  35. ^ a b "Resolution of Litigation Regarding "Blockles" Announced by Tetris Holding, LLC, The Tetris Company, LLC, BioSocia, Inc. and Charles Forman". BusinessWire. September 10, 2009. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20090910006464/en/Resolution-Litigation-%E2%80%9CBlockles%E2%80%9D-Announced-Tetris-Holding-LLC. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  36. ^ "DMCA Notice Wipes 35 Tetris Clones Off Android Market". fixedd. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  37. ^ "Welcome to Twin Galaxies". Twingalaxies.com. http://www.twingalaxies.com/index.aspx?c=12&id=635. Retrieved November 12, 2008. 
  38. ^ The New Tetris, Tetris Worlds, Tetris DS, and Tetris Party assign hold to the L button.
  39. ^ µTorrent Easter Egg: Tetris in µTorrent
  40. ^ macosxhints.com – Play Tetris in Terminal via emacs
  41. ^ John Brzustowski. Can You Win at Tetris?. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
  42. ^ Dr. Burgiel's Tetris Research Page, Explanation. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
  43. ^ Heidi Burgiel. How to Lose at Tetris, Mathematical Gazette, vol. 81, pp. 194–200 1997
  44. ^ LOCKJAW – Options. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
  45. ^ Demaine, Eric D.; Hohenberger, Susan; Liben-Nowell, David (July 25–28, 2003). "Tetris is Hard, Even to Approximate". Proceedings of the 9th International Computing and Combinatorics Conference (COCOON 2003). Big Sky, Montana. http://erikdemaine.org/papers/Tetris_COCOON2003/paper.pdf. 
  46. ^ Richard J Haier, Sherif Karama, Leonard Leyba and Rex E Jung (2009). "MRI assessment of cortical thickness and functional activity changes in adolescent girls following three months of practice on a visual-spatial task". BMC Research Notes 2: 174. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-2-174. PMC 2746806. PMID 19723307. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1756-0500/2/174. 
  47. ^ Haier RJ, Siegel BV, MacLachlan A, Soderling E, Lottenberg S, Buchsbaum MS (January 1992). "Regional glucose metabolic changes after learning a complex visuospatial/motor task: a positron emission tomographic study". Brain Res. 570 (1–2): 134–43. DOI:10.1016/0006-8993(92)90573-R. PMID 1617405. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/0006-8993(92)90573-R. 
  48. ^ Tetris 'could boost brain power' Telegraph news, Sep 2, 2009
  49. ^ Holmes EA, James EL, Coode-Bate T, Deeprose C (2009). Bell, Vaughan. ed. "Can playing the computer game "Tetris" reduce the build-up of flashbacks for trauma? A proposal from cognitive science". PLoS ONE 4 (1): e4153. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0004153. PMC 2607539. PMID 19127289. http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0004153. 
  50. ^ Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (July 1988). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (135): 82–89. 
  51. ^ Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (January 1989). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (141): 72–78. 
  52. ^ "Fall 2007: The Great GameFAQs Character Battle VI". GameFAQs. http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/contest/cb6. Retrieved November 29, 2007. 
  53. ^ "Google Features TETRIS Look For Game’s 25th Anniversary". Electronic Arts. June 5, 2009. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20090605005609/en. Retrieved September 25, 2009. "Google will roll out the TETRIS-inspired design in 24-hour periods, starting first at 1:00 pm EDT in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. From 6:00 pm  – 7:00 pm EDT, the TETRIS-inspired design will begin appearing in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Starting June 6th, at 12:00 am EDT, the TETRIS-inspired design will be available in North and South America." 
  54. ^ The Game Informer staff (December 2009). "The Top 200 Games of All Time". Game Informer (200): 44–79. ISSN 1067-6392. OCLC 27315596. 
  55. ^ http://www.worldofspectrum.org/showmag.cgi?mag=C+VG/Issue092/Pages/CVG09200074.jpg
  56. ^ http://www.worldofspectrum.org/showmag.cgi?mag=Crash/Issue50/Pages/Crash5000010.jpg
  57. ^ http://www.worldofspectrum.org/showmag.cgi?mag=SinclairUser/Issue071/Pages/SinclairUser07100013.jpg
  58. ^ http://www.ysrnry.co.uk/articles/tetris.htm
  59. ^ http://www.zzap64.co.uk/zzap100/100thspec5.html
  60. ^ http://www.worldofspectrum.org/showmag.cgi?mag=ACE/Issue05/Pages/ACE0500049.jpg
  61. ^ The Thermodynamics of Tetiris, Ars Technica, 2009.
  62. ^ "Structure, Thermodynamics, and Solubility in Tetromino Fluids," Brian C. Barnes, Daniel W. Siderius, Lev D. Gelb, Langmuir 2009 25 (12), 6702–6716.

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Lettris

Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.

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Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !

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