I’m only just after finding out that Tetris has hit the grand age of a quarter-century! That’s just one year shy of my age! Anyway, I remember Tetris as one of the first games I had for my GameBoy Pocket, and for that matter, still have. It happens to be one of the most cloned games ever, and has appeared on multiple systems and has also seen a lot of remakes and also sequels and spinoffs. For instance, there is at least one Tetris game for the DS out pretty recently and I’m fairly sure there is one for the PC that is more recent too, along with a mobile release. And although I don’t have an XBox, I’m sure that it has one too. So, not only has it appeared on practically system (illegally or not), it’s also become one of the world’s most recognizable games as well of the most influential. I say influential as it seems that everyone and their dog has wanted to make a Tetris-type game. If not that, then they’ve wanted to do Breakout, Pong, Space Invaders or Asteroids. As well as being influential in their day, they have another thing in common; simplicity. The games are simple to pick up and play. All you need are the controls, and no more than 2 sentences to explain the game. This also makes them accessible to the masses, which is why Tetris is still so popular to this day… although the game has been updated each generation, the playing principles remain the same. This was supposed to just be about Tetris’ 25th birthday, but it’s evolved into talking about simplicity in games also, which to be fair is a logical progression.
Anyway, simplicity is why the Wii is popular (I imagine this has its own take on Tetris too), as the games are easy to understand and get into. I’d even go far as to say that Tetris is perhaps one of the main reasons why some people became gamers. Of course, you can still see the influence of Tetris in other puzzle games, even if it’s not obvious. I’m pretty sure that Tetris was in the back of the developer’s heads for games like Peggle and Zuma, to name a couple of games I’ve played recently. The major influence of Tetris in games like that is simplicity and accessibility, which is at the core of casual games. Addictiveness is another factor too… how many of you can honestly say you haven’t looked at the clock and thought “just one more game/level and I’ll stop, and it turns into 3 hours? I know I have had that many a time. Granted, it may not be towards our birthday game, but it has been towards a game. Another aspect of Tetris that is also recognisable is the music. How many of you reading this remember the Tetris music, the A one? I bet anyone who has played the game remembers it quite well. It’s like the original Super Mario Brothers song; it’s catchy and hard to get out of your head, although admittedly, there’s not a lot of music in SMB, so it’s all most likely remembered. For me, anyway the A Song is my most remembered song of tetris, apart from the main theme. The B Song, while I heard it and know it’s there, I don’t remember quite as much. I just read up about Tetris and there was a C song too… I don’t remember that at all!
Tags: Casual Gaming, Entertainment, Games Industry, Games Stuff, retro