Follow TV Tropes

Following

Videogame / Tetris

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Tetris_3186.jpg
Come on! LINE PIECE, DAMN YOU...!
I am the man who arranges the blocks that descend upon me from up above
They come down and I spin them around, 'til they fit in the ground like hand in glove
Sometimes it seems that to move blocks is fine, and the lines will be formed as they fall
Then I see that I have misjudged it! I should not have nudged it after all
Can I have a long one, please?
Why must these infernal blocks tease?
Advertisement:

Contrary to popular belief, the Russians did invade during the Cold War — it just went unnoticed, because they were crafty about it. Their invasion was called Tetris (Russian: "Тетрис").

The concept is exceedingly simple. Tetriminoes note  (puzzle pieces made from four square blocks) are falling down the screen, and you must arrange them into lines by moving them around your workspace and rotating them. Once you form a line, all blocks in that line vanish, and everything above them falls down one level. You gain more points for making multiple lines at once — in the standard rules, the maximum number of lines that you can make at once is four, a "Tetris".

As you continue to play, the blocks fall faster and faster. If they reach the top of the play area, the game is over.

Advertisement:

According to legend, the game's creator, Alexey Pajitnov, nearly didn't complete the game; he was too addicted to playing the prototype. More on the game's long, weird, complicated history can be found on the Analysis page.

First released in 1985, Tetris products or other programs implementing the same game rules have appeared on nearly every video game console, computer operating system, graphing calculator, mobile phone, and PDA ever released, as well as the lighting systems for a couple of buildings (its simplicity makes porting it very easy). By far, however, the most famous and popular version was released on the Nintendo Game Boy in 1989, bundled with the system upon its release (and becoming its Killer App at the same time, long before Pokémon was created). The first of that version's three musical options, a Russian folk song called "Korobeiniki" (although the game just referred to it as "Music A"), has become an iconic (and catchy) piece of video game music.

Advertisement:

Tetris may well be one of the most beloved video games in the history of the craft, enjoyed by everyone alike. There are few gamers who haven't stared at a screen and muttered, "All I need is one straight line... just one..."

Arika's arcade version of Tetris, called Tetris: The Grand Master, features a few deceptively simple changes that transform Tetris from a classic action puzzle game into nothing less than the most cognitively strenuous high-speed twitch game ever devisednote . But, due to the creator's frustration with clones of that game, its future is bleak. Arika did, however, re-surface in 2019 with its Nintendo Switch title Tetris 99, an online multiplayer title which combines the game with elements of the battle royale genre.

In late 2018, Tetsuya Mizuguchi, under the Resonair label of developer, released a new Tetris game called "Tetris Effect" for Playstation 4, with the unique gimmick of blending in the visual and audio with the gameplay seen in Mizuguchi's other games. It was ported to PC and then released to Epic Games Store in 2019.

See also: Tetris Wiki, The Tetris Effect.


Tetris and its derivatives can contain examples of:

  • Allegedly Free Game: Along with Bribing Your Way to Victory, this has become a staple of official Tetris games since around 2007 or so. Tetris Online Japan, Tetris Friends, and Tetris Battle are all "free" but hide piece previews (except for Tetris Friends) and cripple your controls (in all three games) to slow you down; to remove these handicaps require either paying real money or several hundred hours of Forced Level-Grinding.
    • Tetris 99 on the Nintendo Switch, however, really is free, though with the caveat that it can only be downloaded and played by those with a subscription to the console's online system.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Over time, various features have been added to the tried-and-true formula to streamline the block-stacking experience:
    • In the original Tetris as well as most early Tetris games by Nintendo, pieces immediately lock once they land on another piece or the floor. The 1988 Sega version of Tetris introduces what is known as "lock delay" — once a piece lands on something, it has a brief period of time during which it can move around until it finally locks into place. This makes Sega Tetris playable even at its maximum speed, much less TGM at instant-drop speed; contrast with NES Tetris where the game meets its effective end at Level 29 due to blocks being unable to reach the extreme left or right sides before hitting the floor and locking into place immediately.
    • In later games, the "ghost piece" feature (or Temporary Landing System as TGM calls it) was added, showing a "ghost" of the current piece to indicate how the piece will land if it is dropped as is, helping prevent dropping pieces in the wrong column by accident.
    • Early games use a very basic random number generator for generating pieces, but even then droughts of a particular piece or two can and will occur. TGM tweaks the randomizer to bias against dealing out repeats of recent pieces, while modern Tetris games use randomized permutations of all seven tetrominoes (after 7 pieces, all 7 tetromino types will each have been dealt once, after 14 pieces they've each been dealt twice, and so on). At worst, you'll go only 13 pieces without an I-piece, and should that happen you're guaranteed to get another I within the next 8 pieces.
    • The New Tetris introduced a "holding piece" mechanic, where a piece can be stored away for future use. This isn't only useful to save I pieces for later, but also great for replacing an indesirable piece with another one; although you can only swap once per singular tetrimino to prevent it from being a Game-Breaker.
  • Arc Number: Along with Bilingual Bonus: The name comes from the Greek word "tetra," meaning "four." All tetriminos are made of four blocks, and the line-clearing combo cap is four.
  • Arrange Mode:
    • Bombliss, otherwise known as Tetris Blast, is a mode where setting up a full line, instead of clearing them, sets off bomb squares in the lines cleared. Setting four bomb-squares in the shape of an O tetromino gives you a big bomb. This mode was featured in Tetris Party Deluxe and Tetris Axis.
    • Tetris: The Grand Master has several different cheat codes that can be entered before starting a new round to access arrange modes. Two particular modes include Big Block Mode where all tetrominoes have double-size dimensions (thus the playfield is effectively 5 x 10 rather than the traditional 10 x 20) and 20G mode where blocks begin with an instant-drop speed if you don't pick a mode that's already at that speed. Note that entering any of these cheats will disqualify you from high scores, even though most of them make the game more difficult.
    • Tetrisphere has the "Lines" mode, where blocks cannot be "dropped" to clear them, but instead, are automatically destroyed when 3 or more identical pieces line up in a sequence.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • In versions of Marathon mode that use a "Goal" system (as opposed to the more traditional "clear x lines to beat the game"), Tetrises become these. Because they progress you to the goal much faster than other, lesser types of line clears, they can actually deprive you of scoring opportunities.
    • Hypertapping in Nintendo NES Tetris, or tapping on the D-Pad 10 times per second, allows you to shift pieces faster than what the game's autoshift can do. However, unless you are playing on an emulator or otherwise have a means of turbofiring the D-pad, it can hurt your thumbs quite easily. Getting to level 30 and beyond is not worth it if you'll likely end up with repetitive stress injury and carpal tunnel syndrome for the rest of your life.
  • The Backwards Я: Both Atari arcade and Tengen's NES version spell the title as TETЯIS. In other words, TETYAIS.
    • The Atari version goes even further by substituting Я for the regular R in-game, for example, showing "GAME OVEЯ" when you lose.
  • Balance Buff:
    • The purpose of the Arika Rotation System and the Super Rotation System is to give you more flexibility in slipping pieces into tight spaces by ways of "wall kicks", or shifting your piece to adjacent spaces if a rotation would otherwise be blocked by an occupied space.
    • Traditionally in versus modes, you can offset an opponent's attack by clearing a line; you'll either get reduced garbage or even send a line or two if you clear enough lines to remove all of the incoming garbage. Tetris 99 makes counterattacks more powerful: as long as you keep clearing lines, garbage lines that don't get erased will be forced to wait until you put down a non-clearing piece.note 
  • Battle Royale Game:
    • Tetris 99 pits 99 players against each other. Clearing lines and racking up combos and T-spins will send junk lines to other players; you can pick a target of your choice, or have the game automatically pick a random opponent, whoever is in the lead, whoever is closest to losing, or whoever is targeting you (the only way to target multiple players at once). The game tells you who you're sending junk to, and who's sending it your way.
    • Tetris Royale, for mobile devices, has a slightly different setup where players compete to get the highest score in a battle royale setting without versus mechanics.
  • Bilingual Bonus: With Arc Number: The name comes from the Greek word "tetra," meaning "four." All tetriminos are made of four blocks, and the line-clearing combo cap is four. Referenced in Puyo Puyo Tetris in how Tee's spaceship is named the Tetra.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Sometimes the best thing to do with an I-piece is to lay it flat, whether to clear a single line or to even out a stack.
    • In games that reward combos (consecutive line-clearing pieces), building a shaft 2-4 cells wide means less Tetrises but you can throw almost any piece into that space to build your combo. In versus modes in particular, combo-clearing lines will always send garbage, or counter it if garbage has been queued up to your side, even if you're just clearing one line at a time; not going for combo clears is a good way to get stuffed in Puyo Puyo Tetris and Tetris 99 in particular.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Has become a staple of official Tetris games since around 2007 or so. Tetris Online Japan, Tetris Friends, and Tetris Battle were all "free", but hide piece previews (except for Tetris Friends) and cripple your controls (in all three games) to slow you down; to remove these handicaps required either paying real money or several hundred hours of Forced Level-Grinding.
  • The Bus Came Back: Meta version: Arika, known as the creators of Tetris: The Grand Master, was formerly out of the Tetris business for years after the cancellation of Tetris: The Grand Master 4, but have made a surprise return with Nintendo Switch Online's free-to-play Tetris installment, Tetris 99.
  • The Cameo:
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: The Tengen NES version of Tetris, Tetris Party, and Tetris: The Absolute — The Grand Master 2 PLUS both have co-op modes where both players place pieces in a shared extra-wide well. Tetris Kiwamemichi notably has a similar mode that allows up to four players to play together.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Most games give each piece its own color; these were standardized across games in the 2000s. See Rainbow Motif below.
  • Comeback Mechanic:
    • One item in Tetris Axis switches your playing field with that of the opponent. This is most often used to transfer what should be an inevitable loss to your opponent.
    • In the versus mode of many games, if you receive multiple lines of garbage at once, the garbage's holes will often line up laterally, allowing you to easily counterattack by clearing it out, likely for a Tetris, if you manage to dig down to it.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Averted. Early players complained that the computer was cheating and refusing to drop the one piece they needed. Pajitnov added the "Statistics" bars at the side of the screen to prove that the game was fair over the long term. In more recent versions, the Random Generator deals all pieces seven at a time and is guaranteed to generate an equal number of each piece.
    • On the other hand, there's Bastet, a "Bastard Tetris" that does specifically deny you the pieces you want.
    • Up to Eleven: Wesleyan Tetris will give you an absurdly shaped piece, then shuffle the landscape while you're trying to place it. It will lie about the next piece just seldom enough that you can't afford to ignore it. It will place an Invisible Block right where you were about to clear a line, and greet your failure with a Rimshot. Welcome to Tetris Platform Hell.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Similar to how SRS-based games let you use twists to get a Triple with a T, you can do similar ones for S- and Z-pieces, neither of which can clear three lines at once without twisting. Unfortunately, most official games don't have an "S-Spin" or "Z-Spin" bonus, so the only purpose of S and Z triples other than getting the opportunity by chance is to show off.
  • Couch Gag: Puyo Puyo Tetris has a random character perform the SEGA Choir, as well as saying "Tetris", every time the game is started up.
  • Crossover:
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • T-Spin Doubles (twisting a T-piece to clear 2 lines) are worth a hefty amount of points and send a lot of garbage lines to the opponent, and are nearly as valuable as a good old Tetris. A T-Spin Triple (T's are impossible to score Triples with if you don't twist them) is very difficult to set up, but in several games, it awards more points and sends more garbage than even a Tetris.
    • In Tetris 99, due to the way both the "K.O.s" and "Attackers" attack mechanics worknote , it's possible to exploit them both by deliberately building your stack as tall as possible (so as to get everyone using "K.O.s" to target you), then switching to "Attackers" yourself. It's a very risky strategy, since its value is directly proportional to how many other players are set to "K.O.s" and can easily backfire with a misdrop or a badly timed attack from an opponent. However, on the average you should get around a couple dozen players attacking you, so taking into account the attack bonus from "Attackers" mode, you can send around a dozen lines to all of your attackers for every single line cleared, which escalates even further if you can pull off combos and when you start racking up badges. If you can pull it off, you can easily net well over a dozen kills in the early game, though the strategy becomes less viable from the midgame onward as the competition dwindles (meaning less players will be targeting you at any given time, thus drastically reducing the bonus) and the pieces start falling faster. See it in action here.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration:
    • Usually in single-player modes, every time you clear a set number of lines (usually 10), the game levels up and pieces will start to fall faster.
    • Marathon mode in modern Tetris games sometimes eschew the "clear x lines" system in favor of a variable-width goal system, where clearing more lines at once will raise the level faster.
    • In Tetris 99, pieces fall faster as based on a timer, regardless of how many players are left.
  • Difficulty Spike: As an homage to TGM's drop speed scaling, reaching the 500th line in Tetris 99's "999 Line Mode" will suddenly cause all subsequent pieces to drop at roughly 5G speed, in stark contrast to the previous 499 lines where the rate of speed up is much more gradual. From thereon, the speed gradually accelerates even further as you approach the goal until you eventually hit 20G.
  • Disney Owns This Trope: The Tetris Company claims the trademark on tetrominos themselves (the shapes made with 4 square blocks) when applied to games.
    • While the Korobeiniki song is public domain, the Tetris Company's specific arrangement of the song for the games is trademarked.
  • Distaff Counterpart: In Puyo Puyo Tetris, Tee is the male Tetris counterpart to Ringo, the female protagonist on the Puyo Puyo side. He's also a Foil to Ringo in a few ways, such as him being a logical-minded spaceship captain who uses advanced technology whereas Ringo is an emotion-driven planetbound wizard-in-training who relies on magic.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In Tetris Effect, after completing Journey Mode, the game bids farewell by saying "Until the next trip..."
  • Downloadable Content: Tetris 99's "Big Block DLC", named after TGM's Big Mode, includes offline CPU battles and traditional Marathon Mode with additional content planned for later release.
  • Dummied Out: The NES version has an unfinished versus mode.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Earlier Tetris games have stickier blocks, i.e. once they land on something, they will lock, except for Sega Tetris games, which add a delay before locking. Many of these earlier games additionally have only one rotation button instead of two.
    • A few of the early home computer versions do not display what the next piece will be, making them much more difficult.
  • Endless Game: Many Tetris ports come with several modes, one of which (usually "Type A") is this (the others are aversions requiring you to clear a specific number of lines).
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • If you're migrating from a newer version to an older version, the latter becomes a retroactive example. Usually, you have no lock delay, let alone infinite spin, and stiffer controls.
    • Also, the video iPod version has notoriously touchy controls. The slightest movement as the piece is about to drop will move it out of place (or rotate it, depending on your game settings).
    • The original version was optimized for the Elektronika60 mini, but these were big and expensive, so mostly it was run on smaller and cheaper DVK PCs. These were quite a bit slower, though, and with unpatched E60 binaries the controls were notoriously unresponsive.
  • Fake Longevity: 999 Line mode in Tetris 99 Marathon Mode, which is achieved by proportionately stretching out the speed curve. Whereas Level 15 is nearly instant drop speed in 150 Line mode, Level 15 in 999 Line mode feels about as fast as Level 1. The mode does hit a Difficulty Spike at 500 lines but it can take a while to get there.
  • Falling Blocks: The one and only. There's a reason games that don't actually use blocks are still classified as such.
  • Fan Remake: Numerous ports of Tetris have been made over the years, including an incredibly large number of fan-made ones (particularly for DOS).
  • Filk Song: Brentalfloss' Tetris with lyrics! and Tetris Suicide.
  • Guide Dang It!: 99 is particularly guilty of this, as the game doesn't tell you how the underlying mechanics work.
    • Badges are earned by scoring KO's on other players via sending them garbage. The Badges you earn translate into an attack bonus (represented by a percent multiplier) that boosts the number of Garbage Lines earned and cleared by clearing lines. This makes knocking out stragglers early a major point, as entering the endgame with less Badges than your opposition will make it very difficult to get rid of Garbage before it lands on your field.
    • The Right Stick can be used to target players of your choice. Random lets the game pick your targets with each attack, KOs targets players who are close to a potential KO, Badges targets players with the most Badges, and Attackers targets players who are also targeting you. Alternatively, you can use the Left Stick or touchscreen to target players manually.
      • If you use the "Attackers" targeting option, the amount of Garbage you send is multipled the number opponents you are targeting, so for example an attack that sends 4 lines to 3 different players will send 4 lines to each targeted player (for a total of 12 lines). You will also send out "bonus" Garbage based on the number of players that are targeting you, regardless of which targeting mode you are using.
    • The column on the left side of the screen represents chunks of Garbage that is queued to deploy on your field. Yellow means you have a few seconds left, red means you have very little time left, and blinking red means it will deploy after the next piece lock that isn't a line clear. While this itself seems intuitive, the game doesn't tell you that you can delay the Garbage timer by clearing lines, which causes the timer to rewind a few fractions of a second per line clear.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted:
    • In Tetris 99, one of the auto-target options will pick opponents who are leading in badge count. Badges are earned from KO'ing opponents and apply a multiplier to the number of garbage lines you send to other players. In other words, wiping out a lot of opponents early on can lead to you suddenly faced with a big queue of garbage lines, not only putting your offense on hold but also likely getting you taken out if you can't chain-clear lines. (However, having more KO badges also multiplies the number of garbage lines you can remove from your incoming stack.)
    • You can also invert this if multiple people are aiming at you and you set your targeting to Attackers; the bonus Garbage given out when being targeted by many players can overwhelm the opposition, even when just clearing singles and doubles.
  • Intermission:
    • The Atari arcade game featured a dancer after clearing every third round. Push the rotation button to give him the hook.
    • In Tengen's version, several dancers can appear based on the number of Triples and Tetrises cleared during a level. They take a bow either after completing the act or if you wish not to see it.
  • Interface Screw: The third Maximus Cup in Tetris 99 prominently features a Retraux Game Boy theme that uses an extremely faithful recreation of the famous game's design, complete with unique Tetris block patterns. However, because the entire theme uses monochrome patterns on each block to distinguish between pieces, players who are used to using the piece colors to easily identify blocks can have a difficult time adjusting. While this issue would normally be solved by using the standard skin, the Maximus Cup forces the theme to be always on for the duration of the event, meaning that you are required to play with the Game Boy skin on. That said, this trope can be inverted for colorblind players, who may need visual cues besides piece color to differentiate between pieces and as such are less likely to be bothered by the 4-color palette imposed by the Game Boy Skin since the blocks use different designs for each tetromino.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The T block. Because it has the most sides out of all the other pieces, and it's the only one able to T-Spin, you can practically put it anywhere on the board, granted there's an open space. Reflecting this status, Tee is the protagonist of the Tetris side of Puyo Puyo Tetris. However, horizontal Z/S and vertical J/L pieces can more fully fill spaces it cannot, making them more specialized to close gaps.
  • Kabuki Sounds: In The New Tetris, the song "Japan" is made entirely of kabuki sound and voice clips.
  • Kill Screen: Nintendo's NES version becomes virtually impossible to continue starting at Level 29, due to pieces falling so fast that they can't move to the left or right edges of the playfield anymore, but a superhuman player could theoretically reach a real kill screen at around 1550 lines. Versions based on SEGA's 1989 Tetris game, as well as current Tetris games with endless modes, largely avert this due to allowing pieces to be moved for a brief period after landing on something.
  • Konami Code: In Tengen's NES version, inputting the code while the game is paused replaces your current piece with a straight piece, as seen in this video. It only works once per 30-line section.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: All of the Tetris-themed characters in Puyo Puyo Tetris correspond to a Tetrimino — except for Ex, whose shape can only be made with at least five blocks (a Pentomino) rather than Tetris's standard four. This is because he is the antagonist of the game and engages in Tetris at a higher skill level than the others. He's also the only Tetris character in the game who isn't a crewmember of the starship Tetra. The X-pentomino does not actually exist in that game, though.
  • Marathon Level: Taken to its logical conclusion in 99's "999 Line Mode", which is potentially one of the longest-lasting modes ever featured in a Tetris game without being an Endless Game. The goal is to clear a whopping 999 lines in a single run without getting a Game Over; depending on how fast you play, this can take anywhere between 20 minutes to over an hour.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Minos in Tetris Worlds.
  • Multiple Endings:
    • The NES version of Tetris had rocket launches if you got at least 100,000 points. The third level is the Buran space shuttle. If you get it high enough, they put a UFO on the launch pad, but the nearby Kremlin launches instead.
    • The Gameboy version launches a Soyuz rocket if you beat Type A, and the Buran space shuttle if you beat Type B.
    • Tetris DX's endings feature attempts at launching something into space. If you play well enough, a rocket is launched successfully.
  • Mythology Gag: Tetris 99 features several references to the TGM series:
    • The game has a robotic voice saying "READY, GO" at the start of the round, similar to (but not exactly the same as) TGM. Also a Production Throwback, as both were developed by Arika and are the only games in the Tetris franchise to have something like this.
    • The paid DLC is called the Big Block DLC, a nod to Big Block Mode in the TGM series.note 
    • One of the Marathon options is 999 Line mode, referring to the 999 levels features in the TGM games' Master modes. In addition, getting to the 500th line triggers a massive Difficulty Spike via a sudden and substantial drop speed increase, referencing TGM games reaching 20G drop speed at Level 500.
  • Near Victory Fanfare:
    • Tetris DS has its Push Mode based on Donkey Kong. As you come closer to victory, the 25m music gains an upbeat drum beat, adds a melody, and then becomes the hammer theme from the same game. The reverse also occurs if you're on the losing side.
    • Also, in Marathon Mode of Tetris DS, while the previous four levels (16-19) play a "Hurry Up!" for their melody, the final level (Level 20) changes the music one last time into an awesome fast remix of the classic Tetris music.
    • Tetris 99 shifts to a high-intensity mix of Flight of the Bumblebee when the battlefield has been reduced to the last 10 players.
  • Nerf:
    • Tetris DS awards a large number of points or sends a whopping seven lines of garbage to the opponent for a T-Spin Triple. Many subsequent games simply don't recognize T-Spin Triples.
    • In official games with a variable-goal Marathon mode (where stronger types of line clears award faster progress to the end of the game), Tetrises got a severe nerf. Because they award eight goal units (as opposed to the 4 goal units from making four single-line clears), making a lot of Tetrises ends the game much faster, thus resulting in a low-score run.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The "Random Generator" used to deal out pieces in later iterations is, in fact, very restrictive and predictable. More specifically, it deals out permutations of the seven tetrominoes, meaning that every 7 pieces you are guaranteed to have an equal number of each tetromino dealt so far.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Most iterations of the game.
    • Excuse Plot: Tetris Worlds.
      • Tetris Plus involved trying to clear the floor so that a gem-hunting archeologist could get to the exit and treasures at the bottom before the slowly descending spikes reached his head. That's it.
      • The New Tetris appears to be about the player using blocks cleared in gameplay to assemble various life-size landmarks from around the world, though it's not entirely clear.
    • Puyo Puyo Tetris averts this trope, featuring a story mode that not only includes Puyo Puyo characters, but also new characters that represent Tetris.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Some people will look at you funny if you don't think the NES and Game Boy versions are the best Tetris games of all time.
  • Obvious Beta: Ubisoft's version of Tetris Ultimate on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One is notorious for having lag issues, as well as crashing entirely.
  • One-Word Title: A Bilingual Bonus: The name comes from the Greek word "tetra," meaning "four." All tetriminos are made of four blocks, and the line-clearing combo cap is four.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack:
  • Rainbow Motif:
    • The current color setup for the Tetriminoes follows this, except with violet replaced with cyan. For the curious, these are red for Z, orange for L, yellow for O, green for S, cyan for I, blue for J, and purple for T.
      • Puyo Puyo Tetris has a character representing each of the Tetriminos, which have accents of the same color as their corresponding Tetrimino. That Tetrimino, or its general shape, usually appears on their clothing somewhere too (or, in the case of Zed, on his metal frame). Ex's color is gray, which doesn't exist among Tetriminoes, though garbage blocks are gray.
    • SEGA's, Jaleco's, Capcom's and Arika's Tetris games instead use red for I, cyan for T, and purple for Z. This color scheme was retired after the mid-2000's and the establishment of the Tetris Guideline, but was brought back for Puyo Puyo Tetris as an unlockable block skin.
  • Rank Inflation: Present in Super Tetris 3, Tetris Worlds, and Tetris Effect, among others.
  • Retraux:
    • The aptly-named "1989" skin in Tetris Effect, which is only usable during events or unlocked at Level 50, emulates the colors and design of the famous Game Boy version, complete with 8-bit "Korobeiniki" playing over the game.
    • Puyo Puyo Tetris has an unlockable block skin that resembles the blocks from 1988 Sega Tetris, even down to the piece colors. It also has a block skin called Monochrome that, like the aforementioned Tetris Effect skin, replicates the Game Boy colors.
    • The PlayStation 2 Sega Ages 2500 Compilation Re-release of Sega's Tetris games includes Tetris New Century, a new game that uses Tetris Guideline rules with the graphics and sounds of the 1988 Sega game.
    • The third Tetris Maximus cup in Tetris 99 changes everything to look like the Game Boy classic; the playing board is modeled after the handheld itself, the "screen" is the distinct lime-green color, the pieces are all green and differentiated by other visuals, the music is the old Korobeiniki, the sounds are also cribbed from the game, and the background looks like a classic piece of promotional art for the game. Getting enough points during the tournament allowed players to use this unique theme outside of the tourney.
  • Sampling: The New Tetris for the Nintendo 64 has an impressive amount of this for a cart-based game. The soundtrack samples everything from vocals, to drum breaks, to chords, and even to melodies.
  • Series Mascot: SEGA's Tetris games have a distinct monkey mascot, first appearing in 1988 Tetris when you get a Game Over and appearing in various contexts in later SEGA Tetris games, such as 1999 Tetris where it wields a mallet that bashes away lines that you clear. It makes one more appearance in a multiplayer-only background in Puyo Puyo Tetris.
  • Shown Their Work: Neil Voss went to great lengths to make music for The New Tetris fit the overall folk music of each location featured in the game, albeit with his signature techno mixed in. "Morocco" is a good example in that he opted against using generic Arabian-sounding instruments in the Arabian music scale, and instead created traditional-sounding Berber music.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic:
    • In most games, the music speeds up if the stack gets too close to the top of the screen.
    • The 1988 Sega Tetris game has one track that plays throughout the game, and speeds up at certain level-ups, as well as a different theme for when your stack has gotten too high.
    • In Tetris 99, as the number of active players dwindles, the background music changes from faster-paced remix of the first song (at 50 players remaining) to an incredibly frantic version of "Flight of the Bumblebee" (at 10 players remaining). If the player is using the classic Game Boy skin, the latter song is simply replaced with "even faster retro Korobeiniki". If the player is using the Splatoon skin, the track most notably changes to "Now Or Never!" (the "1 minute remaining" theme from Splatoon) at 10 players left.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": What mathematicians spell "tetromino", the Tetris Guideline spells "tetrimino".
  • Stalked by the Bell: Fail to complete an objective in Tetris DS's "Mission" mode, and your playfield gets bumped up by four lines of blocks before your next objective is given.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The spinoff BomBliss. Bomb blocks are present in every piece, and line clears are replaced with a system where more lines filled at the same time, including ones without bombs, means bigger explosions.
  • The Tetris Effect: The Trope Namer.
  • Updated Re Release: Tetris & Dr. Mario for SNES, both of which are based on the NES versions of their respective games, featuring remixed graphics and sound plus an exclusive "Mixed Match" mode. Super Tetris 2 + Bombliss for the SNES is this to Tetris 2 + Bombliss for the NES.
  • Up to Eleven:
    • One of the numerous spinoff games out there is called "Not Tetris", which ramps things up by adding a Physics Engine into the game. Even if you do manage to properly align a Tetrimino, it'll bounce around before it settles.
    • I present to you Hell, which was inspired by the xkcd comic of the same name, and which features a "U" shaped bottom. It is genuinely playable, but enjoy your hell.
    • There's also Ntris (now Combinos), which is a tetris game that can make pieces with up to ten squares. It does not seem to be ridiculous until you are faced with six and seven square pieces that just do not quite fit.
    • First-Person Tetris. If you're prone to motion sickness, beware.
    • Full HD Tetris. This is actually the second of three versions of Full HD Tetris made by this person and is by far the most insane — the playfield is so large that even deliberately losing by stacking to the top takes ages.
    • Tetris 99 does this with multiplayer Tetris. Instead of 1, 2, or even 9 opponents, why not 98 of them?
  • Video Game 3D Leap:
    • Welltris, also created by Alexey Pajitnov. Notable that it did it without Polygonal Graphics.
    • The slightly obscure Tetrisphere also was this, and is a surprisingly good game, though gameplay admittedly matches up little with conventional Tetris. It's about quickly matching same-shaped pieces to form chains, and some of those pieces are made with three blocks instead of four.
    • The even more obscure Virtual Boy game 3D Tetris, which was also a surprisingly good game. Featured genuinely challenging puzzle modes along with the "normal" play.
    • Another game similar to Welltris and also released in 1989 was Blockout by California Dreams. An open-source version for modern systems is still actively maintained.
    • Sega Tetris (the 1999 game, not the 1988 one) goes the presentation route, having polygons for the scenery, the playfield, and the blocks, but beyond that it's much of the usual SEGA Tetris fare.
    • 2001's Tetris Worlds (released on the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox) is this in its entirety.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Many modern games actually reward more points for comboing single line clears than making Tetrises. Long story short, if you make a lot of Tetrises in these kinds of games, the game will end too fast for you to get a lot of good scoring opportunities.
    • T-Spin setups require you to create overhangs, which in nearly all other contexts are undesirable especially at low-gravity play.
  • World Tour: The overall theme of The New Tetris is this trope. Each stage is set in a different part of the world, usually near a famous landmark. Naturally, the last stop is Russia.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report