The earliest version of Tetris I played is the Game Boy version. It is among the most popular of the early versions, released in 1989 and selling over 35 million copies. It is a game about organization, and should probably be made therapy for people with OCD. I’m sure many readers have played it, but here’s a brief overview.
The game is played on something like a grid, with ten spaces across and twenty spaces down. There are falling blocks, comprised of four squares, arranged in six different formations. The blocks can be rotated. Presumably gravity carries the blocks from the top of the screen to the bottom. The goal is to create individual rows at the bottom of the screen, without any blank spaces. Doing so eliminates the row and adds to your score.
You can take out more than one row at a time, but are limited to the shapes that can be made from four squares. With time, the speed of the falling blocks increases. Also with time, you are more likely to have blank spaces in your rows. If the blocks hit the top and have no where to go, you lose. The game on Game Boy was perfect for long car rides to anywhere.
The mobile phone version of Tetris is made by Electronic Arts, and is Free-to-Play (or F2P), I was able to play the Tetris I remember, but you are presented with an occasional in-game ad, as well as an ad before each new game starts. I suppose there’s no such thing as free lunch. Looking into the game further, I discovered the free version was removed from the App Store and replaced with a paid version. I guess I got in at the right time.
The most interesting thing about the mobile version of Tetris is that you’re presented with an outline of the locations where you can drop the pieces on the lowest available levels. You tap the location you want, and that’s where the block goes. It doesn’t display every location, but rather the most practical ones. It’s an interesting twist.
The Game Boy version has you hold the down button and watch the piece fall into place. The mobile phone version had me resort to dropping pieces instantly after finding a good spot. As a former friend might say, “price of progress.” Even so, it’s still the classic puzzle game I remember. With so many people carrying smartphones everywhere they go, it’s an excellent way to pass the time.