Tetris (Nintendo Game Boy, 1989)
When the Game Boy launched in 1989 one of the first games to be made available was the puzzle game Tetris, which went on to become one of the most successful games of its era, and almost everyone who owned a Game Boy had a copy as it was an essential purchase. Tetris is one of the best examples of a game that is easy to play which becomes much more challenging as you progress.
Now because Tetris is such a famous game I don’t really need to explain how it works, you just need to connect the various shapes together to make lines disappear and keep going for as long as possible until you run out of space on the screen. There are two modes, one where you try to get the highest score that you can, with shapes dropping quicker as you progress, and the other is where you need to create lines and you can choose the speed at which the shapes drop and how many shapes are already on the screen when you begin. You can also turn the shapes round and drop them quicker using the various buttons.
I always used to enjoy playing Tetris, it really is a game where you always fancy another go and it’s the perfect example of where the gameplay is really challenging against the somewhat basic graphics. One thing that I always found odd was the weird noise when you did manage to get four lines in one go and create a Tetris, it made me jump.
As well as me, my dad also liked to play Tetris. Now he isn’t exactly a serious gamer, but he was able to complete level 9:5 high which is the toughest possible level as the shapes fall very fast, which is more than I could ever do, and upon completion there are some rather wild celebrations on the screen.
One way of measuring Tetris‘s popularity was when in 1992 a dance version of the famous theme music by Doctor Spin was released which made the top ten. This was an odd time where for a while computer game themes were hit singles, with the theme to Super Mario Brothers also making the top ten in that year.
As the years went by Tetris remained popular and is one of the main reasons why the Game Boy ended up being a very successful handheld console. In 1998 when the Game Boy Color was launched a new version of Tetris called Tetris DX was released and this was also great. It featured a few new modes including a time trail where you had to score as many points as you could in three minutes, and also a mode where you had to eliminate 40 lines as quickly as possible, and if you did get a Tetris, everything changed colour!
There have been several versions of Tetris released on various consoles throughout the years and among those are Tetris Attack and Tetris Blast, which are great variations on the original which I also very much enjoyed playing on the Game Boy in the 90s and I’ll be writing about those on here soon.