Tetris: 15 Things You Didn’t Know (Part 1)

We have all been guilty of a quick (or not so quick!) game of Tetris here and there. Why shouldn’t we? This game is purely addictive fun! However, there are many things that even the biggest Tetris fanatics might not be able to tell you! To indulge your puzzle-gaming addiction, we have compiled a list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Tetris! Don’t forget to return for our part two article, where we unveil the top eight things you didn’t know about Tetris!

Number Fifteen: The Minos. Believe it or not, the pieces of the game, or blocks, have a title. They are called “tetrominoes”, or “minos” for short. This name is based on the geometric concept of polyominoes; using tetrominoes instead just means the pieces have four cells. Originally, the creator had the idea of using five-celled tetrispentominos, but there were just too many options for their shapes.

Number Fourteen: The Variants. Each of the diverse tetromino shapes represent each of seven possible variant for a four-celled shape. Each one even has a name: O-Tetromino (the square), I-Tetromino (the line), T-Tetromino (the upside-down, cut-off “T”), L-Tetromino (the “L” shape), J-Tetromino (the backwards “L”), S-Tetromino (the “S” shape), and the Z-Tetromino (backwards version of the “S”).

Number Thirteen: The Name. Every name has an origin, and that goes for Tetris as well. “Tetra” is the Greek word for “four”, referring to the the recurring number in the game. The creator combined this base with the word “tennis”, just because that was his favorite sport.

Number Twelve: The Matrix. Like the game pieces, the game “board” also has a name. Traditionally, Tetris is played on a grid of 10×20 cells. This is deemed to be either the “well” or “matrix”.

Number Eleven: The Slow Season. Before it was a booming success, Tetris went through its fair share of hardships. It took six years for creator Alexey Pajitnov to turn a profit, and he accomplished this by selling the game to the Soviet government. The company of the game’s creation, AnimaTek, suffered so much that co-creator Vladimir Pokhilko lost his marbles and murdered his wife and son before committing suicide himself.

Number Ten: Versatility. For such an early development for computer-based entertainment, Tetris had remarkable potential. The game has adapted to over 65 different gaming platforms, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. It was also the first video game ever to be played in space.

Number Nine: The Purpose. Upon the game’s creation, the designers responsible for Tetris had high expectations for the game. Apparently, it was originally created to help users adapt to computers and make them less intimidating. Don’t forget to return for our part two article, where we unveil the top eight things you didn’t know about Tetris!