June 6 – Anniversary of the Release of Tetris

Posted on June 6, 2014

On this date in 1984, a wonderful new game burst onto the world scene:

It's part puzzle, part race-against-time. It's a great game for computers, video game systems, arcades, and even handheld devices and phones. It's even available for graphing calculators, portable media players, and as an inside joke on oscilloscopes!

Tetris is also the first entertainment software to be exported from the USSR to the US.

The guy who designed and programmed Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov, chose the name to be a combination of the Greek prefix tetra-, which means four, and Pajitnov's favorite sport, tennis.

Why “four”?

The game involves playing pieces (blocks) of various shapes falling from the top of the screen. The player's task is to move and rotate the pieces in order to create solid lines of ten blocks, without gaps. Each line that is created disappears, making room for new blocks—and racking up the score.

And the thing is, each and every falling piece is created from four square units.

Here are some of the stats for this super-duper game:

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly's 100th issue listed Tetris as the Greatest Game of All Time.
  • As of January, 2010, Tetris has sold more than 170 million copies, making it the highest paid / downloaded game of all time.
  • Guiness World Records states that Tetris is the most ported in the history of video games. (That means it has been released on more different sorts of machines, with more varieties of operating systems, of any game.) So far, Tetris has appeared on more than 65 different platforms.
  • Tetris has won numerous awards and has been called the most addictive game ever designed by multiple magazine editors, reviewers, and others.
  • The recent Paralympic Games at Sochi, Russia, featured a giant game of Tetris on the stadium floor during the closing ceremony.

You can play Tetris for free here

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