Tetris and Game
Boy: The Portable Aspects of Tetris
I remember being
about seven or eight when I first bought a Game Boy. Tetris
came with the unit. I also bought a copy of a game called
Dexterity, as at that time I was not a Tetris fanatic.
I really don't know what led me into the Tetris addiction
but one day, I think it was raining, I found myself playing
it for hours and hour on the Nintendo. Well I became hooked.
One day I was The Price is Right, and one of the
prizes was a Game Boy version of Wordtris. Being
a fan of both Tetris and Scrabble I went in search of this
game. My first search did not turn up Wordtris, but
did turn up another Tetris offspring known as Hatris.
Hatris is a fun game (though to this day I still
do not know how you get a "double hatris"). I
eventually did find Wordtris and was not disappointed
except that they put in a feature so it would not except
swear words (how about an off/on option on that feature!).
Wordtris came out another game came forward claiming
to be the successor to Tetris. This game was Tetris 2.
Tetris 2 is essentially a hybrid of Tetris and Dr.
Mario. There are numerous things I like about Tetris
2 such as its catchy tunes it played while you played,
numerous modes such as an arcade mode, a puzzle mode, a
two player mode, and a version of the 2 player mode that
you could play against one of 3 different AIs. I admit I
made the mistake of jumping into his game the first time
without reading the manual and got confused about why the
pieces were not disappearing.
A little bit
longer a wait, but not that much longer, two more Tetris
games came out. First Tetris Blast came out and then
about two weeks later Tetris Attack. Tetris Blast
is a new game. Your blocks no longer would explode unless
you used at least a bomb in the sequence. Putting for together
made a mega bomb. The game relies on the player's ability
to set off chain reactions as well. It has 3 modes, Practice,
Marathon, and Fight mode. I really liked fight mode since
it pits you against little creatures that created junk blocks
and had other interesting powers to make clearing their
level. The object was to completely deplete their energy
or clear the screen. You could deplete their energy by dropping
blocks on them or setting of an explosive by them.
really has no real link to Tetris other then it is a puzzle
game here you destroy blocks to keep them from reaching
the top of the screen. Other then that, it is nothing like
Tetris which is probably why Alexy Pajitnov's name appears
no where in the game or on the box which really annoys me
(they take his game's name but don't even say thanks). It
does inspire some aspects in future Tetris games, like dropping
trash blocks. All in all it was a very well done puzzle
game with seven different modes.
first appeared for Playstation and for awhile came with
a Tetris Junior unit as a promotional. This game had a classic
Tetris mode (with more then 30 levels of varying speeds)
and a new puzzle mode where you try to guide the Professor
(hey, doesn't he look a bit like...?) to the bottom of the
screen before he gets squished by the spiked ceiling. It
sound easy but some junk block configurations can be quite
hard to get holes big enough for the Professor to fall through;
he needs a width of two to fall through. I also like how
this game offers an puzzle editor mode so you can make your
Not long after
Tetris Plus, there was another cry for a color unit.
Calculators starting with the TI 85 started offering games
with speeds and in some cases graphics that exceeded the
capabilities. There were numerous versions of Tetris on
both the TI and HP Calculators. (These are unofficial,
arguably blasphemous versions of Tetris. - Ed.) Z Tetris
was a version of Tetris that I prefer to the original version
of Tetris as it was easier to move the pieces and combined
"A type Tetris" with "B type Tetris"
creating endless Tetris games with junk block options. They
also included Two player options that allow communication
with all other TI calculators that support Z Tetris or 68K
Tetris. 68K Tetris added grayscale that made it look graphically
comparable to the original Game Boy Tetris with better control
of the pieces making higher game levels easier to play.
Another advancement came along specifically for the 89/92+
in the from of another clone, called queue, which
added further playing element to the game including a mode
that added gravity as a gaming element meaning that unattached
blocks will fall if they are not connected. This made chain
reactions and clearing 5 or more lines in a turn possible.
When the Game
Boy Color first came out, a new version of Tetris was not
far behind. Known as Tetris DX, this game consists
of a greatly improved version of the original (control wise),
several new modes and a mode where you could challenge an
Tetris (this one specifically for the Game Boy Color) came
out. However this one was not to be a disappointer. Like
Tetris Attack, Magical Tetris has a bunch of cutesy
characters that may make you question the seriousness of
this as a Tetris game, but trust me this game has some excellent
variations on Tetris that I have yet to find anywhere else.
The story mode might be a bit corny, but it is fun anyway.
Although at the time I am writing this (not far off though)
there is not a Tetris for Game Boy Advance, there is one
scheduled for release in September. While I personally am
looking forward to its release, some people think it will
just be another boring remake. I think if they stop using
the creativity common in the creation of almost every version
of Tetris for the Game Boy thus far, then they may be right.
I hope they are wrong though.