Game name: Tetris

Manufacturer: Atari

Year of development: 1988

Category: Puzle

Hardware Platform Info:

  • Main CPU: 6502A IC to 80E
  • Program ROM: IC at 45F
  • Graphics ROM: IC at 35th
  • Atari Pokey sound chips
  • Video Resolution: Upright262 x 240
  • CTR: 256 colors

Original Developer / Programmer: Alexey Pazhitnov

Music Composer: Hirokazu Tanaka


History of development:

The game was released in 1984, but was not marketed outside the Soviet Union as an arcade machine until 1988 in its upright and cocktail versions.

The creator of game is the Russian mathematician Alexei Pajitnov, a puzzle hobbyist who worked at the Dorodnitsyn computing center of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow in the former Soviet Union. Pajitnov's intention was to recreate on a computer a game similar to Pentominós: a puzzle for one or several players in which the objective is to fit geometric pieces, consisting of five squares in a wooden box.

During creation of Tetris, Alexei imagined that pieces of Pentominoes fell into a glass, and that the players could move them to both sides and rotate them until completing complete forms. However, the game was too difficult, so he decided to simplify the pieces by figures of four squares, called Tetrominos. The origin of the Tetris name is combination of "tetra" in Greek, four, and the favorite sport of its creator, tennis.

Tetris begins to gain popularity when Vadim Gerasimov, a young man of sixteen who worked at Academy, ported game to IBM PC. From there it is distributed free to Hungary, where it is programmed for Apple II and Commodore 64 by Hungarian programmers. These versions attract the attention of Robert Stein, who tries to acquire the rights to the game. Before obtaining these rights, he sells the stolen concept to the English company Mirrorsoft and its American subsidiary: Spectrum Holobyte, which edit a version for Atari ST and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Tetris was marketed in Europe and the United States in 1987 with the mention: "Made in the United States, created abroad."

Game Overview:

Tetris is a puzzle game, for up to two simultaneous players, where seven different types of blocks fall continuously from the top of screen, having to organize and fit them (by turns) to make horizontal rows of bricks, without letting the wall grow. When completing any row those blocks disappear and rest fall. The fact of completing four rows at the same time is called "Tetris". As game progresses blocks gradually fall faster. Game ends when screen fills up and blocks can no longer fall.

Often times, when you try to do a "Tetris" with four rows of lines being removed at once, you end up waiting a long time for the long red brick, which is the only way to complete it. It is interesting to note that each brick is made up of exactly four blocks.

  • If the "rotate" buttons are pressed when figure in the door is doing his "victory dance", a hook will extend from one side and drag him by the neck. If you do it when you are going down to do the "Cossack kicks", it will dodge the hook the first time, but it will catch you on the way back!
  • Gilman Louie was the first to obtain a Tetris license from its developers in the Soviet Union
  • In 1991, Alekséi Pázhitnov emigrated to the United States, and five years later, in 1996, he founded his own company, Tetris Company, together with Henk Rogers, and took the copyright.



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