The majority of people between the ages of 20 and 40 have heard of Tetris — the simple building block puzzle game. But many of the kids growing up today won’t of heard of it (or many of the other classics like Pac Man) and wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this game as millions of the older generations have unless they’d had the chance to play the recent Tetris Party WiiWare game on the Nintendo Wii.
So that is why (along with the obvious commercial possibilities) the team behind Tetris in the States and the legend that is Alexey Pajitnov (original designer and creator of the game) have been working on the new “Tetris Friends” portal which will allow users — young and old — to play a variety of different Tetris versions online.
Although this may seem a little old hat (you have been able to find copy-cat games on the internet for years) it is in fact incredibly good at what it does, and really does bring Tetris to a whole new level. The 100% free site allows you to create an account and then play in one of 6 modes offering both addictive single player and competitive multiplayer action both of which can captivate you for great lengths of time.
The first is Tetris Marathon in which you have to complete 15 levels getting the greatest number of points that you can, followed by Tetris Sprint where you must clear 40 lines in the fastest time that you can. The other two single player games are Tetris Survival and Tetris Ultra — in the former you play through 20 levels accumulating as may points as you can, and in the latter you have to score as many points as you can in two minutes.
Whilst they may sound boring and a little simple, they most certainly are not. Not only is there the raw addictiveness that Tetris offers, but the array of different point scoring options and combos mean that there is always something else to aim for… like can you get two or more Tetris’ in a row? Or can you make it onto the leader board?
And that’s before you get onto the multiplayer — both the five player Sprint and two player Battle. The 5 player Sprint is the same as the one player Sprint, except that you are racing against other people adding a competitive edge that you never knew was there. You can then move up the ranks which will change the ability of the opponent you are against.
The ranking system also comes into play with the 2 player Battle, in which you have to make your opponent reach the top by sending a line over every time you get one or more lines. After a certain time (or three ‘knock outs’) the person who has hit the top the least number of times will win, and go up the ranks!
Although a simple idea, Tetris Friends is a really great website, and the games are thoroughly addictive successfully bringing Tetris into the new age; and I can testify this well — having discovered this I have spend the last two hours continuously playing this… and it’s great!