In 1984 Alexey Pajitnov created in his free time at work one of the most prolific and influential puzzle games of all time: Tetris. Based on toys Alexey played with during his childhood, Tetris is a simple puzzle arcade game where descending blocks are required to line up to clear itself.
The player is to tackle two goals:
- to not have the blocks tower to the very top by clearing lines,
- get as many points as possible by clearing lines.
More points are awarded as more lines are cleared at once, the most being four, making a “Tetris”. To fight against the player the game gets faster as progress is made. Naturally, as the game continues to go on little mistakes will inevitably be made, thus adding a third objective to the game: fixing said mistakes.
Tetris as a game can become stressful and quickly overwhelming to the uninitiated, but with the right amount of focus, skill and in keeping calm the player can eventually overcome the game. In my opinion and from my experience, getting better at this game is just as rewarding as Dark souls can be. The skill progression is almost instant for any player, first one figures out how to clear lines, then they start trying to set up a Tetris, and then learn to fix the mistakes made in both processes, then repeat that learning loop on a faster game speed.
The Randomization however is what separates this game from your average puzzle or one of Tetris’ contemporaries such as The Rubik’s Cube; Every time Tetris is fired up its a different experience and I’m not just talking about the endless ports.
While you can know what the next piece will definitely be, you will never be able to predict what the starting piece will be or what other pieces are coming down the pipeline. Making each new run a whole new puzzle. Sometimes you may start with an L Piece,standing for “lucky you”, or other times your luck might dry up and you start with an s or a z, leaving you to figure out how to fill that seemingly blocked off hole on the bottom row. (Hint: there are ways) No one will ever be able to “memorize” Tetris and do it from memory making professional Tetris quite the interesting thing to watch, and making Tetris itself, an endlessly re-playable game.
Tetris as a puzzle game as all the right parts for a flawless masterpiece. The design encourages progress, and the use of randomization is perfect to make this game last forever for any player. It’s simple enough to be played on anything, by anyone, just complex enough to be as widely engaging. In 1985 Tetris was not just some puzzle game from Russia, it was a whole new breed of puzzle, the endless puzzle, Tetris.