Tetris turns 25


Today is the 25th anniversary of Tetris.

If you visit Google Australia, where it is already June 6th, you will see a special Google logo in commemoration of one of the most memorable video games of all time.


The puzzle game, which features falling blocks of various shapes and sizes, was launched on June 6, 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov—a 29-year-old Russian programmer. The original version was only 10 levels long because that was all Elektronika 60 (a Soviet terminal computer) could handle.

The rights to the game were owned at that time by Russia, as it was created under a communist state. It was launched commercially in 1989 on Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld console and since then, Tetris has sold more than 70 million copies around the world—and is still going strong. The iPhone version of the game, for example, was named by AT&T as last quarter’s best-selling game.

The premise is simple: You simply rotate falling geometric shapes on a rectangular playfield and fit them together like a jigsaw. Completing horizontal rows of blocks makes them disappear and gives you points. Once the stacked blocks reach the top of the screen—it’s over!

For those who just can’t get enough of the game on their old console systems or mobile phones, there is a way to play it online. Tetris.com hosts almost a dozen different versions of the puzzle.

Happy birthday Tetris!

TRIVIA: Tetris is a combination of the words tetramino and tennis.  Its most familiar theme music is based on the popular Russian folk song called Korobeiniki.  The song has been covered several times, most recently by an American band called Powerglove.