Welcome to the Tetris Strategy Guide. Tetris is a game that has entertained and beguiled players since its invention in 1985. Tetris often lists in the top ten on any list of the all time greatest video games. A version of it has been ported out to almost every video game system and type of computer operating system. Tetris is even available on mobile phones, PDAs, and some scientific calculators. The addictive game has made an indelible impact on popular culture.
We will discuss some simple as well as more advanced Tetris Techniques. While the advanced moves may be difficult, they are worth more points in most variations, and for good players these types of moves are part of a standard arsenal. Understanding and practicing these techniques will greatly improve your score and increase your enjoyment of Tetris.
There are many variations of Tetris, but first we will discuss the
basic game and how it is played.
The playing field of Tetris is a simple rectangle, which as been dubbed the Tetrion by Henk Rogers, one of the people who helped bring Tetris to the west (and who owns a share of the current The Tetris Company). It has been described as a ‘well’ and the Tetrominoes (which are, again, shapes made of four blocks each) fall one at a time from the top of the playing area towards the bottom. A portion of the Tetrion displays the next three or four pieces that will be dropped from the top of the playing area. The playing area itself is ten spaces (or blocks) wide by 20 spaces down. The Tetrominoes are randomly selected to fall, and consists of seven differently colored shapes. More will be discussed on the individual pieces later. As the pieces fall, the play may move them from side to side in the playing area, either one space by tapping the left or right buttons or slide them quickly left or right by holding the buttons down. This assumes the pieces have room to move; the pieces can not move through the sides of the playing area or through other pieces.
As the pieces fall, the player can also rotate them ninety degrees by pressing the clockwise or counter-clockwise buttons. Again, the pieces need to have room to rotate, they will not move through the other pieces or the sides of the playing area. Some versions of the game will nudge the piece to the right or left if it next to a wall or other piece when the player attempts to slide or rotate it.
The Tetromino pieces fall one by one down through the play area, stopping when they reach the bottom or another piece. There is usually a button to make the piece fall faster when the player has is lined up the way they want it, and in some games a higher score is given for speed. Most versions give some time after the piece has stopped to move or rotate it further; but after this period the piece will be locked in place and the next one will begin to fall. The goal of Tetris is to fill a horizontal line with blocks from the tetromino so there are no empty spaces. When this happens, the row will clear and any remaining blocks above the cleared line will fall down by as many spaces as were cleared. The pieces will begin to drop faster and faster as the game goes on. As long as the playing field does not completely fill up with blocks, pieces will continue to fall from the top of the playing area.