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Game Development Dictionary


A wonderfully innovative Puzzle game, designed by Alexy Pajitnov. Tetris was the original "falling blocks" game.

Tetris was a 2D puzzle game. The play area was an empty box. A number of different shaped, randomly selected pieces would fall one at a time from the top of the screen. The player would be able to rotate these blocks, and move then toward the left or right as they fell. Once the current block came to rest at the bottom of the screen or on another block, its place would be fixed, and another block would enter the playing field.

The blocks would continue to fall until they were piled to the top of the screen, at which point the game would end. But a player would put this off as long as possible by carefully stacking the blocks in a compact manner.

Whenever the blocks were stacked in such a way that an entire horizontal row of the play area was completely filled with blocks, that row would disappear, and the blocks above would fall down to take their place. Every time the player completed a row, he would be awarded points.

Through careful planning, is was also possible to complete several rows at once. When this happened. the player would be awarded more points in proportion to the number of rows completed simultaneously.

The game mechanics of Tetris were uncomplicated, and it was easy for people to learn to play in just a few moments. Yet the gameplay was addictive, and Tetris became very popular.

A whole host of Tetris clones have been created. And because this type of Puzzle game is relatively easy to program, it is common for new programmers to learn by creating their own versions of Tetris.