Tetris Guide: History, Origin, and More


Tetris Guide: History, Origin, and More

Key Points About Tetris

  • A Russian is the original author of Tetris.
  • The original function of the game was to reduce the intimidating effects of computers.
  • The name, Tetris, was partly inspired by tennis.
  • Tetris was originally distributed by piracy.
Tetris, a simple but challenging and classic computer game.

What Is Tetris: Explained

Tetris is a puzzle video game requiring players to strategically move, rotate, and drop multiple Tetriminos falling into a rectangular Matrix at varying speed – usually increasing. Created in June 1984 by a Russian software engineer, Alexey Pajitnov, the game is based on simple rules that require skill and intelligence.

Strategy and speed are essential when playing the game; whenever the Tetriminos exceeds the skyline, such a player has lost the game. Therefore, the game requires that you clear as many lines as possible.

Quick Facts

Creator (person)
Alexey Pajitnov, Dmitry Pavlovsky, & Vadim Gerasimov.
Release Date
Original Price
Operating System
Android, iOS.
Developed By (company)
Tetris Holding LLC

Between 1984 and 2011, approximately 202million copies of the game were sold, with 132million bought as a mobile game for downloads and 70million as physical units. These figures have arguably made Tetris one of the most successfully sold video games of all time.

How To Use Tetris

Playing the game of Tetris is simple: the rule simply instructs that you move the Tetriminos to clear as many lines as possible, ensuring they do not exceed your screen. If that happens, then it is game over.

Tetris features a 10×20 playing grid; to prevent the Tetriminos from reaching the top of the playing grid, you must continually fill each horizontal line – when completely filled, they disappear, leaving space for you to stack more Tetriminos.

The more horizontal lines you clear, the longer your playing period and the higher your score. Also, the Tetriminos drop on the playing grid randomly. This ensures continuity of the game and, in turn, eliminates monotony. However, regardless of how randomly they drop, you can rotate, move, etc., each Tetriminos to suit your elimination structure.

The game’s speed increases with time, making it even harder to completely fill each horizontal line.

The Difference Between Tetris Vs. Anode

The Anode game is a very similar software to Tetris. Like the latter, the former requires their players to rotate and drop colored blocks on a column. However, instead of randomly filling spaces to clear a horizontal line, in Anode, a row is cleared only if the blocks in such a row have matching colors.

Anode is also somewhat expressive, featuring limited limitations. Essentially, Anode includes more options than Tetris. For instance, apart from ensuring the blocks on the same line have matching colors, adjacent blocks with the same colors would also be cleared, giving room to earn even more points.

There are also detonators that explode, helping you clear even more lines. To say simply, these detonators function like a mass destroyer to clear more spaces and keep you longer in the game.

Tetris Release History

One of the most popular and genius computer games of all time in history, Tetris, was conceived by the Russian Alexey Pajitnov in 1984. Pajitnov, the original author of the game combined 2 words to get the name “Tetris”: the name of the original game – “Tetramino” and his favorite sport, “tennis.”

 Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris.

Alexey Pajitnov, the inventor of Tetris.

When creating the game, Pajitnov was initially assisted by Dmitry Pavlovsky, his colleague from the Institute, and later by Vadim Gerasimov, a 16-year-old high school schoolboy who worked and played with IBM PCs in the Computer Center. Gerasimov ported the game for the operating system MS-DOS of IBM PC (using Borland’s Turbo Pascal) and was in charge of graphical design.

The First MS-DOS Version of Tetris

Pajitnov, Pavlovsky, and Gerasimov created a team, planning to make some dozen addictive computer games for the PC and put them together in one system, called a Computer Funfair. They also dreamed about selling the games. However, this part seemed unusual and challenging as the communist Soviet Union made making and selling something privately a dangerous affair.

Tetris' First MS-DOS Version
Tetris’ First MS-DOS Version.

The first Tetris ran in an MS-DOS text mode, using colored space symbols to represent squares of Tetraminos. The game could even automatically recognize the IBM monochrome video card, adjusting the way it drew on the screen. The last version of the game was one of the first to use proper timer delays to avoid running too fast on the newer and faster machines, which did almost all other games then.

When all efforts to sell the games failed, the Pajitnov group decided to give free copies of all the games to friends, including Tetris. Thus, the games quickly spread around the country. In 1986, the freely distributed PC version of Tetris available for download got outside of the Soviet Union, and a foreign company expressed an interest in licensing Tetris. Pajitnov decided to abandon all the games but Tetris, which made Pavlovsky very unhappy, resulting in the team’s dissolution.

In 1991 Pajitnov moved to the United States and later, in 1996, founded the Tetris Company. In the same year, he began working for Microsoft, where he worked for the Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection, MSN Mind Aerobics, and MSN Games groups. He left Microsoft in 2005. Although credited as the inventor of Tetris, Pajitnov’s net worth isn’t entirely specified.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tetris?

Tetris is a puzzle video game requiring players to strategically move, rotate, and drop multiple Tetriminos falling into a rectangular Matrix at varying speeds. Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris in 1984, assisted by Dmitry Pavlovsky and 16-year-old Vadim Gerasimov.

When Was Tetris Made?

June 6, 1984.

Who Made Tetris?

Alexey Pajitnov

What Is the Goal of Tetris?

The original goal of Tetris was to prevent blocks, referred to as Tetriminos, from stacking up to the screen by clearing as many horizontal lines of blocks as possible. However, the game experienced multiple upgrades, consequently featuring varying goals. But regardless, the twists still mirror the original goal.

Is Tetris Still Around?

Yes. Tetris is still played worldwide by several millions of players. Although the game was reportedly shut down by EA, a new developer, N3twork oversaw its continuity and made it available for free downloads for iOS and Android.

How Old Is Tetris?


Where Was Tetris Made?


Does Tetris Increase IQ?

Tetris is touted to increase players’ IQ. The game aids the development of learning and thinking skills, especially when played consistently.

What Was the Original Price of Tetris?


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